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What should you do if you're accused of child abuse?

If you're falsely accused of committing an offense like child abuse, there are some things that you should and should not do to protect yourself. Here are some of the most important things to do.

First, try to avoid custody disputes amicably to reduce the risk of accusations of child abuse. An ex-spouse who is angry could use false allegations as a way to punish you. Not all situations work out that way, but there are times when a parent will try anything to keep the other away from his or her children.

Should you hire an attorney?

If you're accused of child abuse, hire an attorney who you can consult with about protecting your reputation. The earlier you start to protect yourself, the less likely it is that the allegations will hurt you in the long term. Remember that the allegations have to be taken seriously, so work with the police, within reason, to help dismiss the allegations against you. Your attorney can help you make sure you don't put yourself at risk while assisting an investigation.

What shouldn't you do if you're accused of child abuse?

Some things you don't want to do include being too passive about the claim, which can lead to charges being placed or rumors spreading that damage your reputation. Don't be afraid to reach out to an attorney for help. If you're working with children or around them often, make sure you aren't doing anything that looks suspicious; it's always best to have a second adult present to avoid allegations in the first place.

Source: FindLaw, "Do's and Don'ts: False Allegations of Child Abuse," accessed Aug. 04, 2016

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