Unseen Harm: Emotional and Verbal Abuse in Divorce

Unseen Harm: Emotional and Verbal Abuse in Divorce

Nov 05

There is a popular saying which goes “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” In some circumstances this can be a great morale booster, but when hurtful or demeaning words and actions are coming from a close family member, this maxim no longer holds true.

How many sit-coms are based on dysfunctional families where the wife nags the husband, the husband wisecracks about the wife, parents scream at their children, children bad-mouth their parents or each other, and so on? People find it funny, but these are all examples of verbal and emotional abuse which in real life can do immeasurable but unseen harm when brought to extremes.

An article on the BB Law Group PLLC website, a law firm based in Woodlands, states that domestic violence in the form of emotional and physical abuse is common in the US, and significantly traumatizes its victims. Physical harm is easy to identify and prove, but bruises and broken bones heal. Emotional and psychological harm, on the other hand, don’t always, and can affect the outlook and personality of people especially when the victims are young children. Systematic and incessant emotional and verbal abuse can turn a person into a mass of twitches and tics, foster antisocial behavior, and cultivate an environment of fear and distress.

Under Texas law, emotional and verbal abuse is grounds for a fault-based divorce, which can have consequences for child custody and visitation, child support and spousal maintenance. However, since there are no visible signs, it is tricky to prove emotional and verbal abuse in court. If you want to file for divorce where your abusive spouse will be barred from contact with you or your children, ask a divorce lawyer in your area about your legal options and how to prove emotional and verbal abuse against your spouse. An experienced lawyer would know what kind of proof will be acceptable in divorce court as a basis for an order of protection.