Gilbert, AZ asked in Family Law for Arizona

Q: What do you do when you are being falsely accused of child abuse for the third time? always dismissed before.

The mom has falsely accused him to other times. Each was proven to not be true. They are divorced and she lives with us one week on one week off. The mom doesn't believe in discipline, she is one of those touchy feely it's ok didn't they hurt your feelings.... Mom has some mental issues. My son spanked her, not even a hard spank because I was present for it. Her mom says she has a bruise, well if you saw my granddaughter there isn't a day she doesn't have at least 5-10 bruises on her. She is very fair skin and bruises easy. She comes home from school each day with them.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Kai Michael Henderson
Kai Michael Henderson

A: This is a very delicate topic and it is unclear in what context this is arising in. A.R.S. Sec. 13-403 provides in part: "Justification; use of physical force.

The use of physical force upon another person which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances:

1. A parent or guardian and a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or incompetent person may use reasonable and appropriate physical force upon the minor or incompetent person when and to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline."

If the Son stands in loco parentis to the Grandchild, then he may have justification under the statute if he is being charged criminally. The issue could also come up in a Dependency or Family Law context. In a Dependency context you will need to consult with an attorney to find out the best course of action. If it arises in a child custody dispute, then having the ex-daughter-in-law living in the same house might not be working out and another arrangement might prevent more serious charges from coming up in the future. To preserve the domestic situation you might also encourage the ex-daughter-in-law to seek professional help for her mental illness from a health care provider. It is not unusual for individuals to attempt to use false or weak child abuse charges to gain leverage in a custody dispute, especially when their mental condition may make them reckless towards the consequences of such allegations. Child abuse is serious in Arizona and is often governed under A.R.S. Sec. 13-3623 which provides for a variety of circumstances where a felony is alleged. You may wish to have a more thorough discussion of this issue with an attorney.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.