This is the next post in my series on how domestic violence impacts Las Vegas, Nevada child custody cases. My last article discussed how fathers can deal with false domestic violence claims. It is important to understand that false accusations are not uncommon in family law proceedings. A party may make such claims out of a belief that it will give them a legal advantage. Defending against such accusations often involves providing the Court with a larger context which demonstrates that the claims are fabricated. This article will be expanding upon that discussion by discussing the process of changing custody due to a false accusation. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights lawyer.
Fathers may request a change in custody due to false domestic violence accusations
The Court’s sole concern in any child custody case is for the best interest of the child. One of the factors which the Court will consider, when determining what is in the child’s best interest, is the extent to which each parent will foster a relationship between their counterpart and the youth. When a parent makes false accusations of violence, in an effort to gain custody, then they are actively attempting to frustrate the parent-child relationship, instead of encouraging it. A parent who has been falsely accused, therefore, may request that custody be changed in their favor due to the conduct of the offending parent.
The Court will typically not make a change in custody solely on the basis of a false allegation. A judge will consider the broader context when determining whether there should be a change. Suppose, for example, that a father has two days of visitation each week. Now suppose the evidence shows that the mother regularly drops the child off late, demands to pick the child up early, and does not share information with the dad. Also, the child is not performing up to their potential in school. In such a situation, the Court may or may not be willing to change custody to award the dad more time. If, however, the mother takes her conduct a step further and falsely accuses the father of domestic violence, then this may be enough to warrant a change. While how the Court will rule in any situation depends on the specifics of the matter, this example shows that the making of false allegations is just one factor which a judge will consider.
Filing a Countermotion is usually the first step for Las Vegas fathers who wish to change custody due to false accusations
The first step in changing child custody is typically for the requesting party to file a Motion with the Court. In cases involving false domestic violence accusations, however, the initial request is often made by the party making the false claim. In such a situation, the responding party may file an Opposition and Countermotion in which they ask that custody be changed in their favor. The original request, as well as the Countermotion, will all be decided as part of the same proceedings. After the initial pleadings are filed, the Court will hold a brief hearing and issue any temporary changes which may be necessary. The two sides will be ordered to mediation. Each party will then have the opportunity to perform discovery. The case will conclude at trial in the event that a settlement is not reached. While this process may sound straightforward, it can quickly become complicated. It is strongly suggested that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you.
I am a Las Vegas fathers’ rights lawyer who practices solely in the area of domestic relations law. I understand that this is an important time in your life. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence then my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today. We look forward to speaking with you.