Child custody battles are often emotionally charged and tense, even when both parents are earnestly trying to act in their child’s best interests. We love our children and want what’s best for them, but that isn’t always a simple thing to figure out after a marriage ends in divorce or the relationship between co-parents deteriorates.
Sometimes, both parents can work amicably with their Fort Collins child custody attorneys to make agreements about child custody arrangements together. When they can, it will lead to better outcomes for everyone involved, including and especially for minor children. Unfortunately, we know this isn’t always possible, and high conflict custody cases do occur locally in Fort Collins, CO, and throughout the world.
When an ex-spouse chooses to act maliciously, these already and naturally difficult divorce proceedings can become downright toxic. Although it is a crime to lie during court proceedings, this doesn’t always dissuade people from doing so. Many times, this happens through one ex-spouse lying or exaggerating about the other. It can be subtle, such as downplaying someone’s involvement in parenting, or it can be quite extreme, such as falsely accusing the other parent of physical abuse.
If your ex-spouse is lying about you in court in an effort to damage your relationship with your children, you have the right to fight back. The best first step to protecting yourself and your children is to consult with an experienced, high-powered family law firm like Johnson Law Group. Attorneys Myles and Genet Johnson have assembled a world-class team of Denver-based legal professionals and family law experts. They can design and implement the perfect strategy to defend yourself from an abusive ex during important Colorado child custody proceedings.
Child custody battles can represent some of the most heated and difficult cases in any courtroom. We naturally want to believe that everyone involved, meaning both parents and all court officials, are trying to pursue the best possible outcome for the minor children involved in the case. However, sometimes opinions can differ widely as to what those outcomes look like. A judge and each parent might have very different opinions about a child’s needs, and unless the child is too young to communicate, they might also have their own opinions to present to the court. With so many different voices involved, a quality Fort Collins child custody attorney can help ensure that your voice is heard and that your case is presented to the court in a way that is effective and legally actionable.
A good attorney can also help protect you from direct involvement when custody battles turn into dramatic, high conflict cases due to circumstances such as:
When false allegations are brought into child custody cases, it is most often part of a tactic called parental alienation. Parental alienation refers to one parent’s attempts to undermine and subvert the other parent’s relationship and involvement with their children. This can occur through subtle gaslighting or overt threats. These behaviors may be targeted at the other parent, the children themselves, other involved parties that may have leverage over the children’s relationship with the targeted parent, or all of the above. An extreme form of parental alienation occurs when one parent attempts to use the court and family law procedures as a tool to further their goals.
The false allegations used in court will typically be directly relevant to the ex’s suitability as a parent. This is often in the form of extreme claims about serious issues like child abuse, neglect, endangerment, domestic violence, substance abuse, etc. While you are innocent until proven guilty, the court takes allegations of harm or endangerment to minor children extremely seriously. If your ex attempts to use dishonesty to engage in parental alienation, you must have a proper strategy for disproving their false allegations if you wish to protect your reputation and the well-being of your children.
Estrangement is another term that sometimes comes up in family law cases. Alienation is a distinct concept from estrangement. Estrangement occurs when the child rejects bonding with the custodial parent due to their own fears or concerns. Estrangement does not typically involve a toxic parent manipulating the situation the way parental alienation does.
If your ex is making false statements about you in court to alienate you from your children or undermine your chances of getting custody or visitation rights, there are several things you and your legal counsel can do to fight back:
A: As with most other legal services, the exact price of a child custody lawyer in Colorado will vary depending on a number of factors. The complexity of your case, the part of Colorado you live in, and the quality of the legal representation you hire will all play a role in determining the final cost of services. Most family law practices charge an hourly rate for custody cases. High conflict custody cases can become more expensive than routine cases because they may require significantly more hours spent in court dealing with false allegations from your ex. While extreme false claims from the other parent in a custody case can sometimes run up the cost of legal services, it also makes quality legal help extremely important. Without a sound legal strategy in place, your ex’s lies have the potential to undermine your relationship with your children as well as your reputation.
A: Every family is different, and so is every divorce. This means “winning” a custody battle will look a little different in each individual case. For that reason, the best legal strategy will also vary. Some clients only want to be awarded visitation and fair co-parenting time, while others have serious concerns about the well-being of their children and are seeking full, sole custody of their children. Very generally speaking, the path to winning a custody battle is to present the court with solid evidence that you are a fit and capable parent.
A: In Colorado, an unfit parent is one who has been declared by a legal authority to be unable to meet their child’s basic needs or one who has endangered their child. Applying this label to a parent is a serious matter requiring clear evidence because it may result in that parent losing custody, visitation, or other parental privileges. Likewise, the court will take false allegations of unfit parenting very seriously.
If you’re facing false claims from your children’s other parent in family court, don’t make matters worse by engaging in their attempts to bully or bait you. Reach out to the world-class family law team at Johnson Law Group of Colorado. We’re ready to help you disprove false allegations and protect your most precious asset: your relationship with your children.