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How to handle false child abuse allegations

As awareness of child abuse in Massachusetts and elsewhere increases, more reports of possible abuse are being made. While this may be an effective way to protect children, not all reports are accurate or can be substantiated. In some cases, these claims are made by those going through a divorce who wish to influence the outcome of a child custody case.

One way to reduce the odds of being accused of child abuse is to have another adult present while with a child. This may be effective for scout troop leaders, coaches or those who work at a daycare facility. Those who can't be around other adults may want to call other adults as character witnesses if a claim goes to court. Parents may reduce the odds of facing a false claim of child abuse by acting in an appropriate manner around children.

For instance, it may be best to refrain from making crude or sexually suggestive jokes or horseplay. Parents are also encouraged to maintain relationships with their children in the face of false accusations in a divorce proceeding. The children are not responsible for the actions of a parent, and they shouldn't suffer any negative consequences because of those actions. This is true even if they actually make the allegations as they could be influenced by an adult.

Those who are involved in a family legal dispute may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help resolve the issue without the need to go to court. However, if it is necessary to go to court, an attorney may be able to help a parent get a favorable outcome. This may be done by showing that a parent provides a safe and stable environment for the child at all times.

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