If you are in the middle of a high conflict divorce with kids involved, you may be tempted to report that the children are being abused and neglected by the other parent. There may have been various forms of abuse during the marriage; physical, psychological, emotional, and even sexual. You know what your estranged spouse is capable of better than anyone. Your “mama bear” is in full force, ready to pounce on anyone who hurts your children.
During this vulnerable time, it is CRUCIAL to call on your “army of angels”…a support system for your kids. This can be doctors, therapists, a teacher, or guidance counselor…anyone who has a positive and caring relationship with your children.
The best thing to do, in my humble opinion, is to keep a journal of facts and details. Call a third party if you are deeply concerned that there is abuse occurring. A doctor can record and validate signs of physical or sexual abuse, and help you with next steps if they are warranted. A therapist can help keep emotional and psychological abuse in check- and help you meet the needs of your children as they process their experiences.
On the other side, your abuser may make false reports against you to DCS. There is nothing you can do about that…abusers don’t usually change. They seek new ways to hurt the target of their hatred. They do this without thinking of the effect it will have on their children. They are more concerned with keeping you on edge than with loving and supporting their kids.
Last year at this time, I was entertaining multiple visits by DCS, after my children’s father made false allegations of abuse against me. It started in March, and the investigation was completed around June. Making false allegations disrupts the lives of your children as well as your ex. It can be frightening for the kids, and worrisome to be taken out of classes at school in order to meet with a social worker.
Don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate for children, a public school teacher, and a mandatory reporter. I support DCS and the thankless and difficult work they do. I am not saying to stand by quietly while your children are being hurt. But….you need to put on your own oxygen mask first, especially if you were abused by the father of your children. Seek help…reach out to someone who will help you process.
Making false allegations to DCS is illegal in my state. I could not find any instances where anyone has actually been charged or fined for making false allegations, but the TRUTH will come out!