Can emotional abuse be used as a factor during a divorce case?

Emotional abuse is one of the invisible aspects of divorce. What do we mean by this? Well, emotional abuse might not leave any visible scars, but it can be as damaging to you mentally, as physical abuse. Many women, and men too, know that emotional and physical abuse is a nightmarish ordeal that often leads to a dissolution of marriage. Regardless of whether the abuse during a marriage was emotional or physical, we’ve often seen this being used as the reason one spouse files for divorce. 

Examples of emotional abuse during a marriage

Abuse is all about power. Through yelling, bickering, bullying, gaslighting, and other tactics the abuser can begin to wear down the victim. Slowly, an unhealthy power dynamic is created of abuser and victim. Feelings of inadequacy, fear, shame, or worthlessness can develop and a person might not know how to get out of this unhealthy cycle. 

Emotional abuse often includes verbal threats. These could be threats of violence both physical and otherwise, they could also be threats of humiliation. For example, an abusive spouse might threaten public shaming. Many victims describe the torture are nauseating and the physical symptoms are very real.

Children can be affected by this. Not being old enough to understand, they could mimic abusive behavior. Likewise, they could also react differently and become depressed, reserved, or problematic at school.

How victims of abuse divorce their spouse

When a victim decides it’s time to divorce, they often know that the abuse might get worse. How so? Well, once divorce is filed the abuser might continue to verbally torment their former spouse. Text, phone calls, emails, etc. Even stalking or manipulating their children can occur. 

Make sure to save all physical evidence of abuse. This will help you and your legal team prepare for a strong presentation of your case.

It’s also important to get these pieces of evidence in order to file a restraining order. Temporary Protective Orders in Georgia, also known as a TPO, are able to be requested within a day. You must allege that a domestic partner, like a spouse, either physical assaulted you or threatened to do so.

Emotional abuse and Child Custody

Judges consider several different factors when granting custody of a child to a parent. Even though the abuse might not be directed at the child, it is important that the judge be presented with evidence of the abuse so it can be considered when making a determination of which parent should have custody of the child. For example, judges take into consideration the mental health of each parent, their stability, any history of domestic abuse. Oftentimes abused spouses are scared to speak up for themselves – and their children – and risk losing custody. 

Your attorney’s role in explaining to the court the trauma of the abuse is absolutely crucial during this stage. You probably don’t want your abusive spouse to gain serious custody over your child or children.

Contact The Edwards Law Group Today

If you’re located in Atlanta, Marietta, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, or anywhere in the Metro Atlanta area, and are looking for an experienced divorce attorney contact us today.