Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What Constitutes Emotional Abuse In A New York Child Custody Case?

Emotional child abuse can harm the development of a child. A pattern of emotional abuse can interfere with the child’s social, cognitive, and psychological development. Emotional abuse is not limited to verbal insults. This type of abuse includes isolating, terrorizing, ignoring, rejecting, neglecting, and exploiting in addition to verbally assaulting a child. The results of emotional abuse can be devastating. Potential harm may include withdrawal, poor self-esteem, destructive behavior, suicide, poor social development, and ongoing problems in adulthood.

Proving emotional abuse in a New York custody case can be difficult. Unlike physical abuse, there are no outward bruises or injuries to substantiate the claims of emotional abuse. A New York child custody lawyer can help you take steps to protect your child during a custody case.

Charges of Emotional Abuse in a Custody Case

During a custody case, New York courts are required by law to consider all allegations of domestic violence, including allegations of emotional abuse. Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse. New York defines domestic violence to include physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse, and psychological abuse. Therefore, if you believe your child’s other parent or any other person significant in the child’s life is emotionally abusing your child, you can raise this allegation during the custody action.

If you are alleging emotional abuse, you have the burden of proof. In an emotional abuse case, you must prove to the court by a preponderance of the evidence that the abuse took place. Therefore, you need evidence that proves to the court that it is more likely than not that the emotional abuse took place.

A New York child custody attorney can help you identify evidence that you can use to prove emotional abuse. Evidence may include testimony from witnesses who were aware of the abuse, threatening text messages, recordings, videos, or abusive emails. However, it may be difficult to obtain this evidence when you do not live with your child’s other parent.

In many cases, you need the assistance of a neutral professional to evaluate your child to determine if he or she has been emotionally abused. Psychological evaluations by a psychologist, therapist, or other professionals can help substantiate your allegations of emotional abuse. In some cases, the court may also appoint someone to represent your child to help determine if emotional abuse is taking place.

It is important to remember that isolated events are not typically proof of ongoing emotional abuse. There are bound to be disagreements and emotionally charged episodes between children and parents in some circumstances. However, any allegations of emotional abuse must be addressed for the safety and well-being of your child.

Child Custody Lawyers Are Here to Help

If you believe that your child is being subjected to emotional abuse by a parent, step-parent, or another person, help is available. Contact Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, P.C. to speak with a New York matrimonial law lawyer today. Our New York child custody attorneys can review the specific circumstances in your case to help determine the best course of action to protect your child.

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