Cutting off family members completely is a nuclear option, but one that is occasionally called for by extreme circumstances. Such circumstances may include things like abuse, longterm conflict, or attempting to settle an argument with a false CPS report.
Today a person wrote in to Dear Prudence with a stunning problem: A close relative had filed a false report of child abuse with CPS over “a petty disagreement.” If you are flabbergasted that anyone would do such a thing, congratulations, you have probably spent much of your life around relatively decent people. The letter writer, however, is related to someone who thinks filing a false report of child abuse with CPS is a thing to do when angry with someone. Even more astoundingly, the rest of their relatives do not think this is that big of a deal. The person writes:
“In a fit of anger over a petty disagreement, a close family member decided to take ”revenge” by falsely reporting my partner and me to CPS. We’re in the midst of trying to clear up the investigation now. In the meantime we’ve cut off all contact with this person and hired an attorney. Because we’re expecting another child in the coming months, other members of the family think we should let it go, allow this person to celebrate the new arrival with us, and move on. I no longer trust this person. How do I stand firm under pressure to forgive such a grievous breach?”
If the letter writer happens across this blog post, perhaps I can be of assistance: Holy crap, do not reestablish contact with this person! A person who would file a false child abuse report as an act of revenge over a disagreement is, at the very best, a terrible person and one you do not want to be around. A person who would do that in the first place is probably a person who would do it again. That person could cost you your kids over a petty disagreement. Lose their number and forget their name.
Personally, I am astounded that there are relatives defending the false reporter and urging reconciliation. There are some things that cannot be forgiven. Intentionally filing a false report of child abuse with CPS is one of those things.