The damage done from being in an abusive relationship can take years to heal from. It may take many years of therapy to begin to repair the trauma a survivor of domestic violence may have endured. The impact emotional abuse may have on you can be harmful to all aspects of your health. Emotional abuse has only recently been approved as an acceptable reason to file a lawsuit. In order to prove your case, retaining the help of an attorney can help you to have the best possible outcome.
Proving Emotional Abuse
Over the years, states have adopted the theory of intentional infliction of emotional distress which has made it easier to prove emotional abuse in court. The intentional infliction theory says that when the defender or abusive party has suffered severe mental or emotional stress, you must be able to prove it. To win a case that is backed by this theory you must be able to prove that the person was intentionally reckless and that their actions were egregious and out of character. Lastly, you must also be able to prove that the other person did measurable harm to you. Each state has additional requirements depending on the state you live in.
Proving Prior Knowledge
You must be able to prove that your previous partner was aware that their behavior towards you might have an emotional impact on you. This is vital for a strong lawsuit against them. For example, if your ex-knows that you are fearful of something and intentionally exposes you to it, they are putting you in emotional distress. In this situation, your past partner was aware that this would cause harm. As a result of this anguish, you could suffer from loss of wages and entitled to damages if you are not able to work.
Expert Witness Testimony
Attorneys will have expert witnesses that they regularly utilize for their testimony. An expert witness such as a psychologist will likely be required to prove emotional abuse. Friends and family members that either witnessed or saw the change in your behavior may be able to testify in your emotional abuse lawsuit. All witnesses will first be vetted through your attorney to determine if they would make an appropriate witness.
Certain principles must be met and are required to bring forth a lawsuit against your ex. Utilizing a knowledgeable divorce attorney will help you to receive an outcome in your favor. With their knowledge, they will be able to guide you through the settlement process.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Scroggins Law Group for their insight into divorce and family law.