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Are there warning signs before being falsely accused of abuse?

When relationships start to founder and the parties begin looking for a way out, the risk of being falsely accused of domestic violence rises sharply.

This can be devastating to those forced to defend themselves against these false allegations of abuse. They can face prison time, lose jobs, custody and visitation of their children and have their reputations shredded–all before ever being convicted by a judge or jury.

When a person is blindsided by untrue accusations of domestic abuse, it can be especially difficult. However, often there are signs that something may be afoot. The trick is to be alert to potential warning signs, including:

— A partner with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, depression or a similar psychological disorder.

— A savvy spouse who knows how to game the system and has a history of seeking restraining orders against other intimate partners.

— An unpredictable, moody, manipulative or attention-seeking partner who never assumes any responsibility for marital problems.

— A rocky relationship with a potentially acrimonious custody dispute looming.

— A partner who was arrested on domestic violence charges seeking retaliation.

— A spouse who jokingly referred to plans to obtain a restraining order or outright threatened you with doing so.

— After discovering an affair, you confront your cheating spouse about the infidelity.

— Family members or friends of your spouse have sought restraining orders against their partners and may encourage your spouse to do the same.

While divorce may indeed be inevitable, being falsely accused of domestic abuse does not have to be. To avoid the possibility of being charged unjustly, it is necessary to become proactive. Seeking legal counsel may be in your best interest.

Source: Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, “What are the Warning Signs of an Impending False Allegation?,” accessed May. 15, 2015

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