How to Prove Non-Physical Abuse in Court
There are many different ways one can be victimized by abuse in a relationship. For some, the evidence of the abuse is worn on their body. Unexplained bruises, broken bones, and marks on the skin can be a tell tale indicator that someone is physically abused. However, when the abuse is emotional, it does not leave the same kinds of evidence. Moreover, when emotional abuse is the reason for a divorce, providing evidence of that abuse can present unique legal challenges.
Emotional abuse can affect your life in several different ways. Abuse can cause you to miss days at work or be less focused, which therefore results in the minimization of your earning capability. It can cause you to be distracted at times when losing focus is dangerous—i.e. when you are driving. Emotional abuse is no small matter, even if it does not leave physical marks.
Emotional Abuse and Child Custody
Proving emotional abuse in court can feel like boxing a ghost. You know the abuse has occurred. You have lived through it every day. Yet there are no physical marks to help prove the existence of abuse.
With regard to child custody, most state courts make custody decisions about what is in the best interest of the child. Courts are hesitant to remove a child or block a parent's access to a child without hard evidence of abuse. However, you can request a custody evaluation. When that happens, an expert can testify and offer his or her opinion on whether he or she believes that you or a child has been emotionally abused. The person often is a psychologist who will interview both parents as well as the children involved.
When the court is determining child custody issues, the court is much less concerned about the grounds for the divorce than it is for the safety of the child. Focus your efforts on providing evidence that speaks to the danger your child would be in should the abusive spouse be granted custody.
Can I Use Witnesses to Help Me Prove My Case?
Your lawyer may want to depose your spouse, as well as any witnesses, to the emotional abuse. It is imperative that you are clear and concise with your attorney to make sure that he or she can proceed with facts that can be proven. Judges are usually not swayed with evidence of one bad fight, or one emotionally charged exchange that resulted in verbal hostility between the couple.
Are You or a Loved One the Victim of Emotional Abuse?
If you or a loved one is considering divorce or has been victimized by an emotionally abusive spouse, it is important for you to know that there is help. There is a way out. Our compassionate DuPage County divorce attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC are equipped with the resources necessary to handle your case, defend your rights, and make sure we provide the court with all of the facts, so we have the best opportunity to get you the outcome that best suits your needs. Contact us at 630-580-6373.