By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Divorce brings out the worst in people. Bitter feelings are fueled by a combination of resentment, betrayal, and/or basic loss of control over what might perceived to be the health and safety of children.
Ex or soon to be ex-spouses are much more brazen about making accusations than most every-day people for a variety of reasons — not the least of which is the fact an ex-spouse also coincidentally has much to gain by making (and following through on) accusations.
Here are some of the most common criminal accusations which tend to stem from divorce and/or custody disputes:
- Criminal trespass
- Interference with Child Custody
- Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child
- Indecency with a Child
- Injury to a Child
- Terroristic Threat
- Unauthorized Computer Access
Most people think of criminal charges and accusations as so far fetched that someone would only make such a claim against another if there were at least some degree of truth to the claim. Accusers going through a divorce or custody dispute, though, have their view of the facts soured by their own emotions, agenda, and self-interested perspective. Unfortunately accusers can also manipulate or poison their own children’s perspective in these types of cases too.
Law enforcement’s view of these types of claims also varies. Sometimes an accuser finds a receptive audience who might not understand or is deaf to the dynamic of the underlying divorce or custody proceedings. Often law enforcement is “stuck” in the middle because while they know claims are being fueled by self-interest — they simply must follow up on certain types of allegations as part of their public duties.
Examining and defending any of these charges means examining the details of the divorce or custody proceedings which are related. Defense lawyers must show prosecutors, judges and jurors the context of the allegations and what other interested people have to gain by making such allegations. This can only be done through detailed investigation of all the surrounding facts and circumstances.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any situation you should contact an attorney directly. Communications through this blog are not confidential.