How Can I Prove Emotional Abuse in a California Child Custody Case? 

Parents are supposed to provide unconditional love and support for their children, but sadly, this is not always the case. Some parents lash out at their children or use their position of power in the family dynamic to exert power over their children through emotional abuse. If you suspect that your child is being subjected to emotional abuse by the other parent, you need a knowledgeable attorney to help prove it in your child custody case. Contact The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates today to learn more.

How Does California Define Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse, sometimes referred to as psychological abuse, is defined as a pattern of behavior that impacts a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth. Emotional abuse is the most common type of abuse that children are subjected to and is also the most difficult to identify and prove in a child custody case. Typically, emotional abuse happens over time, with the abuser using their words and actions to exert control and power over the child. Some of the most common acts perpetrated in emotional abuse cases include the following:

  • Withhold love and support
  • Reject, criticize, threaten, demean, or berate the child
  • Humiliate the child
  • Engage in name-calling, and
  • Insult the child.

How to Prove Emotional Abuse in California Custody Cases 

Parents are one of the most common perpetrators of emotional abuse to children, and you may think that a child would pull away from a parent committing these abusive acts, but that is not often the case. Children begin to identify this as “normal” family behavior so they do not report it, or they fear the consequences of what would happen if they told someone what their parent is doing. For these reasons, it can be extremely difficult to prove emotional abuse in child custody cases, but it is not impossible.

One concrete way to prove emotional abuse is with tangible evidence, such as photos, videos, or printouts of communication between the abusive parent and the childlike social media messages, emails, and texts. Without this evidence, it can be more difficult to prove emotional abuse, as it becomes one person’s word against another. However, showing significant changes to a child’s own behavior can be compelling evidence that emotional abuse is being perpetrated on the child. Common examples of these behaviors include:

  • Anxiety
  • Avoiding certain situations
  • Declining grades or performance at school
  • Delayed emotional development
  • Depression
  • Desire to hurt themselves or others
  • Desperately seeking affection from other adults
  • Developmental regression
  • Frequent physical complaints like headache or stomach ache
  • Loss of interest in activities, and
  • Low self-esteem.

To learn more about how to prove emotional abuse in a child custody case, contact our office today.

Our Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Los Angeles Can Help 

Do you believe that your child’s other parent is committing emotional abuse? If so, our experienced California custody attorneys may be able to help with your case. Contact us today at the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates to schedule a consultation.