BROOKLYN, New York. Abuse and domestic violence take on many forms. While the most serious and life-threatening kind of domestic violence is physical, many individuals suffer from verbal and emotional abuse. Unlike physical abuse, this abuse rarely goes reported, but the scars from this kind of violence can last for a long time. If you are leaving a verbally abusive relationship, you may be wondering whether you can seek sole custody of your children. While it might seem understandable why a verbally abused partner will want sole custody, before you take your case to court, you may want to speak to a qualified integrated domestic violence lawyer in Brooklyn, New York like the Elliot Green Law Offices.
Part of the challenges of seeking sole custody after verbal abuse, is that the evidence of it can be hard to produce. Much of the damage is done in private and the verbally abused rarely call the police on their partners unless their partners make active threats. Because abuse can often follow cycles, victims may have periods of relative peace, during which they may forget an incident of abuse.
According to Psychology Today, there are several tactics emotional abusers use. These tactics include countering everything you say, which effectually denies you your right to your own opinion, changing the topic when you try to address an issue or concern, or telling you your feelings are wrong by discounting them or minimizing them. An abuser might gaslight a victim, by denying their perceptions or telling the victim that he or she doesn’t remember an incident or concern the victim may have. According to WomensHealth.gov gaslighting includes denying events that took place, calling you “crazy” or saying you are being “too sensitive” or presenting an alternative version of the facts to what you know took place. The cumulative effect of gaslighting involves the victim feeling like she or he has a bad memory or begins to question her mental health.
It is understandable that a person leaving an abusive relationship might want to protect the children from ongoing abuse. However, before seeking sole custody, it is important that you have evidence to support your claims in court. The courts tend to favor both parents sharing a relationship with the children. In the case of emotional or verbal abuse, you may have to show that your partner has actively threatened the children or is a direct danger to the children. Seeking counseling, professional evaluations for yourself and your children, and gathering evidence of emotional and verbal abuse is essential to building the strongest possible case.
Your partner may still have the right to see the children through shared parenting time or visitation. The courts will often determine what is in the best interests of the children, and this may include alone time with your ex or observed parenting time.
The Elliot Green Law Offices are divorce lawyers in Brooklyn, New York who understand the unique challenges domestic violence victims face. All permutations of domestic violence should be taken seriously. Sometimes verbal abuse escalates to physical abuse over time. If you are getting divorced and have concerns for the safety of your children, reach out to our law firm today.
Elliot Green Law Offices
32 Court Street, Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11201