Emotional abuse is often invisible yet profoundly damaging. It is one of the reasons why some marriages come to an end. Unfortunately, not all emotional abuse victims in marriages have the confidence to proceed with a divorce, worrying that they may not be able to establish proof on such an intangible thing.
Abuse: A form of cruelty
New Jersey laws list the grounds for filing for divorce. This includes irreconcilable differences, adultery, desertion, separation, extreme cruelty, substance abuse, deviant sexual conduct, imprisonment and institutionalization.
While the list does not explicitly include abuse, courts recognize domestic violence, both physical and emotional, as a form of extreme cruelty, providing a broad protection to domestic abuse victims.
However, despite the protection, many victims worry that they may not be able to prove emotional abuse to proceed with the divorce.
Not an impossible feat
While it is less visible compared to physical violence, emotional abuse can be established through documentation, witnesses and professional evaluation. Victims can gather records of instances of emotional abuse, such as text messages and voicemails, to form their case. They can also ask for support from their loved ones who have witnessed the emotional abuse they experience. Furthermore, seeking professional guidance from a psychologist or psychiatrist can help prove the emotional impact of the abuse.
How you can establish emotional abuse for your divorce case will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. Hence, it is vital to review every relevant detail of your situation and plan your next steps with the aid of a legal professional.