What to Know About Divorcing Emotionally Abusive Spouse


An emotionally abusive spouse can wear you down and do a lot of psychological damage over time. When you finally do get the strength to leave them, they can throw more complications into an already complicated divorce process. You do not have to stand up to them alone though. A Shelby County, Tennessee divorce lawyer from our firm can help you fight for a fair settlement and freedom from a relationship that is holding you back.

What Behaviors Are Considered Emotionally Abusive?

Many types of behavior can be considered emotionally abusive. Spouses can engage in all of these behaviors to keep you unbalanced and uncomfortable in your own home:

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Cutting off your access to money and other resources
  • Raising their voice at you frequently
  • Not allowing you to make decisions
  • Stopping you from taking part in activities you once loved
  • Threatening you
  • Gaslighting you and telling you that you are to blame for their behavior
  • Getting set off by any little thing

Living with a person who acts this way wears you down and makes you think that you are losing your mind. These are an abusive partner’s goals.

Is Emotional Abuse a Crime?

Yes, emotional abuse is often considered a crime, even though it is rare for someone to be charged only for that. Emotional abuse can also easily change into physical abuse. This type of aggression needs to be taken seriously from the beginning, and you should do everything that you can to protect yourself.

What Happens If I Show That My Spouse Is Emotionally Abusive?

If you can show that your spouse is emotionally abusive, that can potentially make a difference in your case. The court does not have a high tolerance for abusive partners. You could receive a greater share of the marital assets and a more favorable deal overall because of what you have experienced.

If you want to avoid a “he said, she said” situation, there is evidence that can be used against an abusive partner. We recommend:

  • Having witnesses who can testify about the abuse
  • Saving digital records of abuse, like voicemails and recordings
  • Saving any correspondence that can show abuse, like texts or emails
  • Making a timeline of abuse with specific dates and events

All of this can help you make your argument and show what your spouse has put you through.

Reach Out to Our Legal Team

When you are ready to start the divorce process, contact Rice Law. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about what we can do to help you in this difficult time. Divorce is not easy, but we are ready to make sure that you will not be taken advantage of or bullied.