Father’s life turned upside down after false accusations of abuse

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

Allegations of domestic abuse sometimes come up during divorce, child custody, and paternity proceedings in Illinois. In some cases, accusations are completely false. But, even when claims of domestic violence prove to be unfounded, the accused person’s reputation and relationships still take a major hit.

In a recent case, a father found himself facing felony charges and losing custody of his young daughter after doctors accused him of child abuse.

These accusations were not part of a family law case but rather stemmed from a doctor’s visit. The father brought his 3-month-old daughter to a hospital after noticing her hip pop. Doctors diagnosed bone fractures, and they believed that the fractures were the result of physical abuse.

The man and his wife challenged the doctors, but they would not budge.

Criminal charges followed and the father lost his child custody rights; he was now only allowed to see his daughter for two hours a week, under supervision.

After months of hard work, and consultations with many doctors, the baby’s mother ultimately learned the real reason behind the bone fractures. The girl has a rare condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which causes bones to be extremely vulnerable to fractures. A child with EDS can suffer fractures as the result of routine activity.

In October, more than one year after the father was accused of abusing his child, the charges were finally dropped.

This case illustrates the fact that false allegations of child abuse can be very difficult to overcome. Often, a parent knows that he or she is not guilty and assumes that a judge will see this very readily. In reality, those who face any allegations of domestic violence should prepare for an uphill battle and seek legal counsel.

Source:, “Child’s Rare Bone Disease Leads to Mistaken Charges Against Dad,” Claudine Zap, Nov. 15, 2013

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