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How to Deal with False Accusations During Divorce

Even amicable divorces can be stressful and difficult. When your spouse is angry, bitter and vengeful, however, it can make the process even harder. Some exes respond to divorce stress by leveling false accusations at their soon-to-be ex during litigation or mediation.

What can you do if you’re falsely accused of abuse, concealing assets or infidelity during legal proceedings?

Common types of false allegations

When exes make false accusations, they typically involve allegations of domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse, infidelity or concealing assets. This might be to avoid paying spousal maintenance, get the upper hand in custody agreements, receive a better financial settlement or simply cause harm to the other person.

What to do if you’re falsely accused

False accusations can be very distressing for the accused spouse, who will want to defend their reputation and avoid negative effects on the case. Your attorney can advise you about which actions to take—and what to refrain from doing—as your case continues.

In some cases, such as claims of infidelity, the accusations may not matter in court. Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, so even if one spouse was unfaithful, it shouldn’t have any bearing on the final divorce settlement absent an enforceable agreement otherwise. That’s why it’s key to talk to your attorney as soon as possible: there may be no reason to worry, even if it feels terrible.

If you don’t already have an attorney, hire one as soon as you get wind of these allegations. Do not attempt to handle the situation on your own.

Consequences for false allegations

Depending on how your ex is making their false accusations, there may be legal consequences. Lying under oath can result in contempt of court or perjury charges. If they are making public accusations to damage your reputation, civil remedies may be available.

For help navigating false accusations during divorce, call the seasoned divorce lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN.

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