Navigating an Emotionally Abusive Ex-Spouse

Facing the unique challenges of having an emotionally abusive ex-spouse can turn into a physically, emotionally, and mentally draining situation

Navigating an Emotionally Abusive Ex-SpouseTypically, emotional abuse begins before there is a divorce, and frequently it can continue after the marriage is over.  If you have children, you will have no choice but to tolerate your ex while protecting yourself from verbal abuse.

At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, our attorneys are characterized for having an attentive ear while listening to your particular situation in our initial cost-free consultation. Once we have collected the information we consider relevant and pertinent to your case, we will present to you the possible scenarios you can address. Once you have a clear panorama of the possibilities, you can retain us, and we will become your allies. Our attorneys serve clients in Lacey, Hazlet, Little Silver, Tuckerton, Jackson, and other towns throughout Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ. For a free consultation, call our offices in Brick or Sea Girt, New Jersey, at (732) 812-3102 or fill out our online form, and one of the members of our team will be happy to assist you.

What are the Components of Emotional Abuse?

  • Public Embarrassment. Picking fights in public places or talking about private things in social situations
  • Being patronizing. Isn’t it cute when you try to do X?  You know it is way beyond your capabilities.
  • Character assassination. The overuse of always and never such as,” You’re always difficult. You never do anything for the children.”
  • When an insult is disguised as “kidding,” and if the other party protests, they are labeled as uptight or overly sensitive.
  • Name-calling and Criticism. Straightforwardly being insulted with names such as stupid, clumsy, a loser, etc., or receiving negative feedback about everything from cooking to appearance to child-rearing.
  • This is an intimidation tactic and may be joined by throwing things or banging on doors, tables, or the dashboard of a car.
  • They show disinterest in things that are important to you.
  • Insulting Appearance. Making negative comments about the other spouse’s hair, size, or clothes.
  • Trivializing accomplishments. Commenting that your accomplishments have no value or actually taking credit for what you have done.
  • Purposefully trying to upset you. Spouses know better than just about anyone how to get the other’s goat.  Getting a rise out of someone gives them fuel to talk about how immature and selfish the other partner is.
  • Threats and Intimidation. This is usually done to make the other person feel small and unable to be in control of their own life.
  • Guilt trips. They say that guilt is the gift that keeps on giving. This can be manifested in sulking, refusing to talk to the other person, or emotional blackmail (“If you would do X, then maybe our children would love you more.)
  • Economic abuse. This can include controlling all of the finances and not giving the other any money to control being independent or even stopping the other from seeking employment.

How To Stop Verbal Abuse From An Ex in Ocean County?

There are actions you can take to dissolve the explosive nature of a spouse who is verbally abusive.  The first is to set boundaries such as ending a conversation; if the ex becomes abusive, the conversation ends right there or insisting the custody and visitation agreement be respected.  Next, it is of utmost importance to not involve the children.  Forcing the children to pick sides is at best a wrong decision and, at worst, emotionally abusive for them as well. Regarding the children, neither ex should ever speak ill of one another within earshot of the children.  This is someone whom they love with whom they want to spend time, and badmouthing the ex is harmful to the family as a whole. Finally, keep conversations with a toxic ex to parenting and child issues. There is no need to discuss dating, personal information, or anything outside of the children.

What Constitutes Harassment from a Former Spouse?

Harassment is a larger topic in which emotional abuse is placed. It is when an abuser intentionally causes emotional harm with threatening language via text, phone calls, or social media in repetitive instances, causing emotional distress. It can also include actually hitting, pushing, or kicking the victim.

What Are the Options if an Ex is Emotionally Abusive in New Jersey?

There are a few options. One would be to divorce and move on with as little contact with an abusive ex as is possible.  Enjoy life, set boundaries, make new friends, find a new hobby or pastime, and leave the past in the past.  However, for many people, that just isn’t enough.  Stopping an abuser in their tracks by suing them is sometimes precisely what needs to be done.

How Can One Sue For Emotional Distress?

Family Law and Post-Divorce Attorneys in Brick, NJThere are two kinds of emotional distress claims.  The first is an intentional infliction of emotional distress, and this is when the defendant purposefully causes trauma to another person.  The second type is the negligent infliction of emotional distress, which is where the defendant’s intention was not to cause harm, but the action resulted in being harmful, nonetheless.

Documentation is vital for this kind of case.  There are several ways to prove the distress has affected someone by documenting sleep patterns, lost or gained weight, trouble at work, medical records, and the results of any medical interventions which indicate stress-caused health issues. The case must be discussed with an attorney as soon as possible to file a lawsuit and prepare for the discovery part of the trial.  At this point, there is a possibility that the other side may want to settle out of court.  This should only be done if the lawyer of the victim is in agreement.  If no agreement is reached, the case will go to trial.

How Does One Prove Emotional Distress?

There are several factors in having the necessary evidence to sue someone for emotional distress.  Physical concerns such as stress-related conditions like migraine headaches or ulcers can be proof of distress.  Testimony from a doctor and/or psychologist goes a long way in proving the negative effects one has experienced. Family members, coworkers, or friends who have witnessed incidents can also testify. Also, time is important as in how long the defendant has caused the emotional distress.

Our Comprehensive Family Law Firm with Offices in Brick and Sea Girt, NJ Can Help you Deal with Legal Ramifications for an Emotionally Abusive Former Spouse

Divorce is stressful enough, and when emotional distress is a part of it, things can become complicated.  As much as one would like to wrap up the unpleasantries and move on, some people do not make that possible.  A divorce attorney can not only help with your divorce but can, by doing so, give you a new lease on life and a fresh start.

At Bronzino Law Firm, our divorce attorneys are waiting to hear from you.  If you live in Lakewood, Red Bank, Point Pleasant, or Eatonton, we have knowledgeable legal professionals who work with passion and will handle your case personally.  Don’t let intimidation and bullying prevent you from moving forward. Place the law on your side with our help.

Contact our offices today at (732) 812-3102 to speak with a family lawyer about your individual situation and the legal avenues that may be available to you. We are ready to start your case immediately and get you moving forward to your best life.