Even though you´re going through a divorce, your spouse does not have the right to be emotionally abusive. If this is happening to you, you have to understand that your divorce process will probably be even more demanding than the typical divorce.
But first, we have to define…
What is emotional abuse?
This kind of abuse does not leave physical marks, but is still extremely painful and damaging. This type of abuse can also manifest in several different ways. Some examples of emotional abuse can include:
- Making threats
- Spreading lies on social media
- Sharing personal and private photographs/conversations
- Controlling financial decisions and accounts
- Criticizing appearance, weight, clothing and culture
Emotional abuse usually causes strong feelings of shame, helplessness, and fear and can result in serious emotional distress and psychiatric damage.
That´s is why it is very important to keep records.
When you are divorcing someone who previously was, or continues to be, emotionally abusive; the divorce process will probably be even more demanding than the typical divorce.
It is very important you know that you can ask for legal help with this issue. Make sure you track any proof of abuse during the time you were married and throughout the divorce process. You may have a restraining order against your abuser, in which case he or she is forbidden from contacting you. If he or she continues to contact you, keep a record of these restraining order violations and report them. Remember you can´t do it by yourself. You need a trusted advisor who can give you the best path to a successful legal solution.
What is next?
You may be ordered to attend mediation to resolve your issues. If mediation doesn’t work, your divorce may go to trial. Here, a judge will consider arguments and evidence offered by both sides. If your spouse has engaged in unreasonable and hurtful behavior that’s caused you extreme emotional pain, you may be able to use this to your benefit at trial.
If you and your spouse shared any children in your marriage, the divorce process will also address the custody of your children. In cases where there is a record of abuse by one parent, the other parent typically has a substantial advantage if he or she wishes to obtain primary or sole custody. A judge will consider the best interest of the children and the behavior of each parent is an extremely important factor. Again, the records you keep of any abusive behavior your spouse exhibits, either towards you or your children, can be used to help you obtain the custody you seek.
If you’ve been the victim of intentional emotional abuse in Long Beach, Seal Beach, Lakewood, Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Newport Beach, or Los Angeles, do not hesitate to contact experienced attorneys for help. William D. Evans family law attorneys are here to help you. Call us to schedule a free consultation at 562-439-9001