False accusations of domestic violence can occur in civil matters and in divorce or child custody cases as a way for one person to extract revenge or to restrict the rights of another. In addition to playing into stereotypes and making it harder for actual victims to come forward or be believed in actual cases, fabricating domestic violence can result in criminal penalties.
How Common Are Cases Involving False Accusations Of Domestic Violence?
In addition to using false accusations of domestic assault, child or spousal abuse, and intimate partner violence as a way of smearing someone’s name or reputation, these allegations may be used as a way of getting a more favorable outcome in the following types of situations:
- During a divorce or when ending a domestic partnership ;
- When seeking alimony or during the division of marital assets;
- During child custody proceedings.
Fortunately, the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence reports that in more than two third of reported cases, the allegations end up being substantiated by evidence in the case.
Penalties for Falsely Accusing Another of Domestic Violence
In addition to having a negative impact on your case and resulting in civil penalties, including fines and a potential lawsuit, making false accusations of domestic violence is punishable as a criminal act under Section 16-10-26 of the Georgia Code . Classified as false reporting of a crime, it could result in misdemeanor charges, which remain on your record, while subjecting you to a jail sentence up to a year.