It certainly is possible, but it’s not likely. Judges have become very accustom to matrimonial litigants telling false tales about each other. Without a testimonial hearing, discovery from the agency and trial on that limited issue, whether or not the accusation is true or false, a judge is really ill suited to determine whether the accusations are false, simply because the agency does not validate them as child abuse.
What more often occurs is the agency finds some merit to the claim asserted but they may have a different perspective on it than the parent who made the allegation in the first place. The agency may assert that there’s no child abuse here but there are some concerns, and maybe those concerns don’t warrant the agency taking the child away from the parent. But, perhaps they would make recommendations to get some type of services, counseling, parenting classes, that sort of thing. In which case, the judge is going to say that the accusation wasn’t false, it just wasn’t child abuse, and there definitely is a distinction.
Allison C. Williams is a matrimonial and family law attorney serving Short Hills New Jersey. Her practice places an emphasis on complex child welfare matters. www.familylawyersnewjersey.com