Saturday, December 14, 2013

How can can you prove emotional abuse in family court?

Q:  my uncle has gone crazy and has been put into many mental institutions. my aunt and her kids do not feel safe around him because he has in the past emotionally abused them. he has even tried to hurt himself. so my aunt wants to get an order of protection so they can feel safe again. is there anyway to prove emotional and verbal abuse using her kids or other people as witnesses?

A:  David's Answer:  The issue is that emotional or verbal abuse, in themselves, do not create grounds for an order of protection. This is because one must allege (& be prepared to prove) that a domestic violence crime has occurred - and verbal/emotional abuse generally does not constitute a crime. She may wish to consider getting a divorce, assuming she's still married to him. Schedule a consultation with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

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