The divorce between Amber Heard and her Hollywood mega-star husband Johnny Depp has taken an ugly turn for the worse. While Heard cited irreconcilable differences when she filed for divorce in late May, she has since alleged Depp of verbal and physical abuse throughout their four-year relationship.
Depp’s divorce lawyer says the claims of abuse are financially motivated. Depp is one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors, earning over $100 million in 2010 alone. Reports say the couple do not have a pre-nuptial agreement.
Law enforcement was called to the couple’s residence on May 21 in response to Heard claiming she had been hit in an eye with a cell phone. The officers, however, found no evidence of any crime and Heard declined to go on record with a report.
Seriousness – and Prevalence – of False Claims of Abuse
As for the case between Heard and Depp, we’ll remain on the sideline and see how it plays out. Of course, allegations of abuse are very serious and deserve to be investigated.
But what happens if you’re falsely accused of abuse? If you think it rarely happens, think again. A survey conducted by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments revealed that 1 in 6 participants knew someone who had been falsely accused of domestic abuse, sexual assault or child abuse – most of them male.
Being accused of abusing a spouse, girlfriend or child is one of those charges that can be difficult to recover from, even if you’re innocent of the charges. A host of negative consequences of being falsely accuses of domestic abuse can include:
- Loss of job
- A criminal record with jail time
- Loss of custodial rights associated with seeing your children
What to do if Your Spouse Falsely Accuses You of Abuse
There are proactive actions you can take if you feel that your partner may falsely accuse you of abuse.
- Hire an attorney – ASAP!
Your absolute best chances for clearing your name hinge on hiring an attorney skilled in family law and domestic violence. They are not rattled by these accusations, and can provide you with a wealth of information in protecting and clearing your name.
- Change your login information.
Successful prosecution of domestic abuse is reliant upon evidence. Believe it or not, there have been instances of accusers logging onto their partner’s cell phones and email accounts, then sending threatening messages to themselves to setup their partners. Remember to change your login information on everything, including bank accounts, computers, etc.
- Get your side of the story out first.
If you sense your partner acting erratically, go ahead and give your family members and friends a heads-up as to what’s going on. This can also help to prepare them in advance for the gravity of any false accusations in the future.
- Strictly abide by any restraining orders.
If a claim of domestic abuse is filed against you – even a false one – there will usually be a restraining order involved. Don’t panic. Whatever you do, make sure you adhere to every aspect of the order. Your partner will likely try to provoke you into breaking it, but do not take the bait.
Have You Been Accused of Abuse? Call the Men’s Legal Center, Now!
While some divorces are as amicable as possible, others can be very volatile. Allegations of abuse are akin to pouring gasoline on already smoldering embers. If you’ve been accused of abuse, there’s no getting around the fact that you need legal representation immediately.
Here at the Men’s Legal Center, we’re committed to protecting the rights of men in all aspects of family law. Call us at 619-234-3838.