Understanding DARVO: Protecting Yourself in Divorce and Custody Battles in Las Vegas and Henderson

Posted by David Jacks | May 22, 2024 | 0 Comments

Divorce and child custody battles can be tough. Emotions run high, and people can say and do hurtful things. One trick that some people use is called DARVO. This stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender. Understanding DARVO is important if you are going through a divorce or custody fight in Las Vegas or Henderson. This blog will explain what DARVO is, how it affects these cases, and how to protect yourself. If you need help, call The Jacks Law Group at 702-834-6300.

What is DARVO?

DARVO stands for:

  • Deny: The person says they did not do what they are being blamed for.
  • Attack: The person attacks the person who blamed them, trying to make them look bad.
  • Reverse Victim and Offender: The person pretends they are the victim and that the real victim is the one causing trouble.

This trick can confuse the real victim and make others think the wrong person is at fault.

DARVO in Divorce Cases

During a divorce in Las Vegas or Henderson, DARVO can be a big problem. Here are some examples:

  • Denying the Abuse: The abusive partner says they never hurt their spouse and that their spouse is making it all up.
  • Attacking the Accuser: The abusive partner calls their spouse crazy or a liar to make them look bad in court.
  • Reversing the Roles: The abusive partner pretends they are the one being hurt, not their spouse.

DARVO in Custody Battles

Child custody fights in Las Vegas or Henderson can also see DARVO tricks. Here are some examples:

  • Denying Parental Misconduct: A parent says they never did anything wrong and that they are a great parent.
  • Attacking the Other Parent: The accused parent says the other parent is unfit, maybe saying they are irresponsible or unstable.
  • Reversing Victim and Offender: The accused parent claims they are the real victim and that the other parent is lying to get custody.

Protecting Yourself Against DARVO

If you think your spouse or co-parent is using DARVO, here are some steps to protect yourself:

  • Document Everything: Write down all interactions and keep records of any abuse or important communications. This can help you prove the truth in court.
  • Seek Professional Support: Talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you deal with your experiences and provide support.
  • Hire an Experienced Attorney: Get a lawyer who knows how to handle DARVO tactics and can fight for your rights. Call The Jacks Law Group at 702-834-6300 for expert help.
  • Stay Calm and Focused: DARVO aims to upset you. Stay calm and stick to the facts when presenting your case.

Examples of DARVO and Non-DARVO

  1. Example One: Denying the Abuse

    • DARVO Litigant: During divorce proceedings, John denies ever being abusive towards Mary. He insists that Mary is fabricating stories to gain sympathy from the court. John paints a picture of their marriage as mostly peaceful, suggesting that Mary's allegations are baseless and part of a vindictive plot.
    • Non-DARVO Litigant: John acknowledges the issues in their marriage and focuses on presenting evidence of his behavior and actions. He works with his attorney to address the allegations factually, aiming for a fair resolution without resorting to personal attacks.
  2. Example Two: Attacking the Accuser

    • DARVO Litigant: Sarah accuses her husband, Tom, of financial misconduct during their marriage. Tom responds by attacking Sarah's mental health, claiming she has a history of irrational behavior and cannot be trusted. He submits character witness statements from friends who question Sarah's stability, aiming to undermine her credibility.
    • Non-DARVO Litigant: Tom addresses the financial misconduct allegations by providing clear financial records and evidence to refute Sarah's claims. He refrains from attacking her character and focuses on the factual inaccuracies in her accusations.
  3. Example Three: Reversing Victim and Offender

    • DARVO Litigant: In a custody battle, Mark accuses his ex-wife, Laura, of neglecting their children. Laura denies the allegations and counters by accusing Mark of being the neglectful parent. She claims that Mark is using the custody battle to manipulate and control her, portraying herself as the true victim of his abusive tactics.
    • Non-DARVO Litigant: Laura denies the neglect allegations with documented evidence of her involvement in the children's lives. She provides statements from teachers, doctors, and other professionals who can attest to her care and involvement. Laura focuses on demonstrating her suitability as a parent without resorting to counter-accusations.


DARVO is a sneaky trick that can make divorce and custody cases in Las Vegas and Henderson even harder. Knowing about DARVO can help you protect yourself and make sure the truth comes out. If you are facing DARVO tactics, get professional legal and psychological support. Call The Jacks Law Group at 702-834-6300 for help navigating these tough situations.


This blog post is for information only and is not legal advice. For personalized legal guidance, please contact The Jacks Law Group at 702-834-6300.

About the Author

David Jacks

David Jacks is a seasoned attorney and founder of The Jacks Law Group, PLLC, in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. Born and raised in Las Vegas, he served as an Animal Care Specialist in the U.S. Army before transitioning to a career in law. He earned his BA in Political Science from UNLV and his JD from Arizona Summit Law School. David’s practice focuses on family law and personal injury cases, including divorce, child custody, and car accidents. He is recognized for his professional excellence and has received numerous awards. David is actively involved in the legal community and various professional associations.


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