What to Know About Divorcing Emotionally Abusive Spouse

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Divorce is never easy, but it can be especially stressful when you are dealing with an emotionally abusive spouse who is doing their best to make every stage of this process even more difficult. Having an experienced Morton divorce lawyer on your side can be helpful. An attorney from our firm can help you prove emotional abuse and fight for the most favorable outcome.

What is Considered Emotionally Abusive?

An emotionally abusive spouse can engage in a variety of behaviors designed to manipulate you, control you, and keep you afraid. Your partner might:

  • Isolate you from friends and family
  • Give you little control over your decisions or activities
  • Lose their temper over tiny things
  • Threaten you with harm
  • Threaten to harm themselves
  • Downplay what they have done to you and make you feel silly for complaining

All of these behaviors can keep you on the defensive and make it difficult for you to leave.

Is Being Emotionally Abusive a Crime?

If your spouse is being emotionally abusive, they are committing a crime. It is rare that someone gets charged and goes to trial based just on the emotional abuse that they dole out, but it can happen and offenders can face jail time, fines, and other penalties. Because the court has so little tolerance for emotionally abusive behavior, proving that your spouse is abusive can help your case.

How Do I Prove Emotional Abuse in Court?

Your attorney can help you prove that your spouse has been emotionally abusive. There are a few things that we are going to want to show in court to make it clear that you have been dealing with abuse. You should:

Keep any digital evidence: Most abusers are careful, but sometimes they slip up and leave behind evidence of their abuse. If you have recorded audio or saved correspondence, like emails or text messages, that offer evidence of abuse, then save them and let your lawyer use them to build your case.

Make a timeline: Document everything that happens and write down dates and times. Make a comprehensive timeline that lays it all out, making the patterns of emotional abuse clear to everybody.

Talk to witnesses: An emotionally abusive partner usually tries to keep their abuse confined to those times when they are alone with their spouse, but it is possible that others have witnessed their behavior. Talk to friends and family members and see who would be willing to talk about what happened.

Can Abuse Affect the Divorce Settlement?

In many cases, emotional abuse can factor in when a final divorce deal is reached. Things like child custody, visitation schedules, and property division can all be decided with an emotionally abusive partner’s behavior in mind.

Schedule a Consultation Today

There is no reason for you to try and navigate this difficult process on your own. Contact the compassionate lawyers at Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. instead. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about what we can do for you.

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