Divorce and Emotional Abuse: What You Need to Know?

Divorce is one of the most challenging journeys someone will ever take. Proving emotional abuse in the court of law can be a challenging situation and the same can be impossible without the assistance of a lawyer. They can assist even though it can be difficult to demonstrate emotional abuse in court.

Being in an abusive relationship and getting divorced is never simple. Even though many people have physical evidence of violence, emotional abuse is rarely visible. Then how do you go about getting a divorce following emotional abuse? How do you establish it in court, and how will your divorce be eventually impacted? Some of the most common queries from our clients are addressed in this post.

The emotional abuse may occasionally continue while your divorce is being processed. An emotionally abusive spouse will frequently use repeated abuse to intimidate you into accepting a lower offer. The emotional abuse can be of written proof, such as emails and texts, posts or private messages on social media, and psychological assessments of you, your kids, or your ex-partner. Keep a record of every abusive email, text message, or phone call you receive from your ex-partner, and retain copies or screenshots of all written abuse to your lawyer.In these situations, it’s crucial to update your divorce lawyers on the situation, keep a record of all communications, and save any written evidence. 

Additionally, you can request that all communications go through your lawyer or a phone app designed for divorce, such as Our Family Wizard or Coparently. These apps can automatically record every conversation you two have. You could request a protective order from a North Carolina court in some circumstances to stop your ex from getting in touch with you.

What is considered to be emotional abuse?  

The emotional abuse of one spouse by the other is one of the most harmful scenarios that can exist in a broken marriage. Family and friends might not notice emotional abuse, although it is typically a severe, protracted type of domestic violence. 

Emotional abuse can be used to keep control over one’s partner. It’s common for an abusive partner to convince their victim that they deserve poor treatment. It is a must for a victim to take precautions and support available if he or she is facing emotional abuse from a spouse in the form of insults, threats, ridicules, or degrading remarks in front of others. A competent divorce and  family law attorney can be of tremendous help.

It is against the law to threaten a spouse or another family member with significant bodily harm or to continue to harass them in a way that causes them great emotional distress under the United States Family law. The law gives an abused spouse the ability to get a court order compelling the alleged abuser to stop and keep their distance from the victim.

In divorce and separation cases, emotional abuse is frequently stated as a contributing factor. Even if the marriage ends, the abuse could still go on.

Different categories of emotional abuse

There are numerous ways to abuse someone emotionally. Several instances include:

  • Insulting or disparaging a spouse or romantic partner
  • Shaming a partner or ex-partner
  • Referring to a partner negatively
  • Stopping communication
  • Excluding a lover from friends or family
  • Controlling a spouse’s or partner’s employment or financial access
  • Convincing a spouse or close companion that their recollections or perceptions are false
  • Threatening physical damage to a spouse or partner
  • Making self-harm threats
  • Stalking or harassing a lover, ex, or spouse.

Domestic emotional abuse refers to behaviours that cause a victim to fear that they may soon be harmed or harassed to the point of causing emotional anguish. Whether they take place in person, in writing, over the phone, online, or through a third party, these activities against a spouse, an ex-spouse, or a partner are prohibited.

You may need to take action to safeguard yourself and put an end to the abuse if you have experienced emotional abuse. You might need to apply for a domestic protection order in order to get relief. A family court judge would examine such a request and it would probably be backed up by testimony from a domestic abuse counsellor or acquaintances who saw the victim displaying fear or strange reverence in front of his or her spouse.

Emotional abuse after divorce proceeding in child custody cases

Unfortunately, even after a separation or divorce, emotional abuse which is frequently coupled with other types of domestic violence can persist. An abuser’s pattern of behaviour could worsen after a divorce or separation. Plans for custody of your children, as outlined in a separation agreement or the ultimate divorce settlement, may be significantly impacted if you can show that your spouse physically or emotionally abused you during the marriage or subsequently.

A divorce lawyer could try to ensure complete custody of your kids or file a motion asking the court to change your child custody arrangement if you want a more long-term solution.The measures required to protect your and your children’s safety should be the first thing a judge discusses. The next step would be to evaluate the pattern of physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, and how it impacts each family member.

It is regrettable, but legal, for a judge to conclude that a mistreated spouse experiences post-traumatic stress disorder or other abuse-related symptoms and may thus be less capable of being a good parent. In such a situation, a judge would ask if a support structure was available to take on certain parenting duties after the separation.

The judge should decide how much the abusive parent should be involved in raising their children. All visits must be under the judge’s supervision. To decide if the parent can be rehabilitated, the judge will rely on expert advice.


From the above discussion we conclude that divorce and family law attorneys will act in accordance with your instructions. A professional divorce lawyer’s impulse is to provide evidence that completely informs the judge of the severity of your spouse’s emotional abuse and the grave injury you have endured. Lawyers and attorneys would anticipate that you would fight for sole custody of your kids and that your spouse’s time with them would be strictly monitored.