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Avoid the trauma of false child abuse allegations

It's a sad reality that kids sometimes wind up as pawns in their parents' divorces. Asking children to take messages back and forth between parents and letting the kids overhear derogatory remarks made about their other parent, are just a couple of ways that kids can be manipulated during and after divorce.

Perhaps the worst example of this is when one parent makes false allegations of child abuse against the other parent. This can be severely damaging to the children who may then be forced to submit to invasive testing procedures and interrogations by police, prosecutors, medical personnel and counselors. A false allegation of child abuse can be in itself a form of child abuse.

There are ways to reduce the likelihood of false allegations being lobbed at you during a custody battle. Failing that, it is still possible to ameliorate the fallout from such accusations.

Have a witness

If you suspect your ex might use this tactic against you, take another adult with you on pick-ups and drop-offs. Exercise your visitation at another family member's home in their presence. Never allow yourself to get into any situation with your child that could be misconstrued as abusive.

Avoid horseplay

Parents, especially fathers, often roughhouse with their kids. They may play-wrestle, tickle them or even toss them up into the air. Don't. All of the above could potentially leave bruises that might be blamed on abuse.

Seek amicable resolution

This might be easier said than done, but try to work out your custody terms calmly with your ex. False allegations often stem from anger and vengefulness. Therefore, if you can, avoid triggering those negative emotions in your co-parent.

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