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How Are Criminal Charges Used In Divorce?

As an attorney for 20 years in Northern Kentucky practicing both family law and criminal law, criminal charges can and are used in a variety of ways during a divorce proceeding. A common use is to claim of domestic violence against a spouse.  This may allow the claiming party to get temporary use of the home, force the other spouse out of the home and even get temporary custody of the minor children. While this may seem as a good tactic, it often backfires if it is proven that the allegations were without merit.  In short, judge's don't like litigants that play games. Non-payment of child support can be charged as a crime. If you are charged with non-payment of support, it could be as a misdemeanor, felony or as a contempt charge in civil court.  All of them could involve fines, fees and incarceration.  If you have any child support issues pending in court, hire a good attorney. Allegations of sexual abuse or abuse or neglect of a child may also be used during a divorce.  While courts do recognize this may be a ploy, especially when allegations first appear during a divorce, the Courts also often err on the side of caution in protecting children.  Until more courts begin prosecuting false allegations, these are likely to continue.  Disproving a sex abuse allegation is nearly impossible, but a very competent attorney can often provide your best defense. As an attorney that handles a fairly large number of divorce and criminal cases, this is unfortunately an increasing area of litigation.  The litigant/defendant must walk the balance of fighting for his children and fighting for his freedom. If criminally convicted, the chances of seeing the children during their years as a minor are very slim.  That must be weighed against the rights to spend time with your children and the best interest of the children.  Family court judges differ widely on how they deal with sex abuse allegations.  Some take the approach to "err on the side of caution" which may lead to many more false allegations.  Other judges seek to punish those who make false allegations, thereby potentially lessening the disclosure of actual abuse. If you are in a divorce or criminal case, get a lawyer.  If you are involved in a situation where criminal charges or allegations are being made, you need competent counsel.  You may need separate criminal and divorce attorney, or one that handles a large number of such cases in order to navigate the way through the juvenile, civil and criminal systems (yes, you may end up on all three).  For a consultation, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 581-MIKE; 859-581-6453

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