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Legal Information: California

Custody

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Updated: 
April 2, 2020

If I report that my child was sexually abused, can that harm my case if the judge or other professionals don't think it's true?

You cannot be placed on supervised visitation, be denied custody or visitation, or have your custody or visitation rights limited due to the fact that you did any of the following:

  • you reported suspected sexual abuse of the child;
  • based on a reasonable belief, you acted within the law to determine if your child was the victim of sexual abuse; and/or
  • you sought treatment for your child from a licensed mental health professional for suspected sexual abuse.1

However, if you made a false report of child sexual abuse during a child custody proceeding or at any other time, the judge can place you on supervised visitation or limit your custody or visitation if the judge finds “substantial evidence” that both of the following are true:

  1. your intent was to interfere with the other parent’s lawful contact with the child; and
  2. you knew that the report was false at the time you made it. 2

In addition, the judge must believe that limiting your custody is necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the child.2

​1 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 3027.5(a)
2 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 3027.5(b)