Divorce can be a turbulent time for any family. If a couple’s marriage has ended on bad terms, there might be animosity and a desire for revenge. Such feelings may lead one parent to try to prevent their ex from having access to the things they hold dear – such as their kids. Sometimes, an angry ex might even use duplicitous means to achieve this goal.
Can I lose child custody over a lie?
There are certain offenses that can get you barred from having custody of your children. Serious offenses, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse and child abduction are all reasons for a parent to lose their custodial rights.
While the court considers such offenses to be grounds for severe consequences, it is no more lenient with deliberately false allegations of such crimes. For example, if a mother knowingly deceives the court into thinking the father of her children is abusive, she could face serious repercussions with respect to her children.
California Family Code 3027 was established to protect parents who have been falsely accused. Under the code, a parent who intentionally brings false accusations of abuse against another can be held financially responsible for all associated court fees the other parent paid to defend the charges. The at-fault parent could also receive a change in custody arrangements as a result of the deceitful action, which could include a requirement of supervised visitation, limited custody or a loss of custody entirely.
When will a court opt for a change in custody?
A change in custody is never created as a direct penalty for an offense. Rather, the court will always determine any change in custody based on whatever it deems to be in the best interest of the child. If a certain offense gives the court cause to believe that continued contact with the offending parent may be unhealthy for the child, then the court may deem a change in custody to be warranted.