Knowledgeable Family Law Representation

Is emotional abuse grounds for full child custody?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2022 | Child Custody |

All types of abuse are grounds for granting full child custody to the other parent in California. For this to happen, you would need to prove to the court that the other parent abused your child in some fashion.

What counts as emotional abuse

Emotional abuse comes in various forms, including verbal, neglect, ignoring and rejecting, isolating and terrorizing, exploitation and parental alienation. Using cruel words and threatening abuse are examples of verbal abuse. Exploitation is when the parent uses their child for their own benefit. You may have heard the stories of parents pushing their kids into the spotlight for their own personal gain. In more serious cases, some parents sexually extort their children. Using children to commit crimes or in criminal activities also count as exploitation.

Parental alienation is when one parent prevents the other from seeing their child, unless they are actually a threat to the child’s well-being. It’s illegal to prevent the other parent from seeing their child because you dislike them. Turning the child against their other parent is emotional abuse.

How to prove emotional abuse

Video recordings, audio recordings and text and email records help prove emotional abuse. To prevent the other parent from going on their best behavior, you may want to discreetly gather evidence. If they see you recording, they might stop and avoid repeating the behaviors until the child custody battle is over.

Requesting a mental health study is another option when you’re going through a child custody case. A mental health study would evaluate your child for signs of abuse. California also allows legal testimonies to help prove emotional abuse. However, tangible evidence is better because the judicial system can’t rely just on what others say about what happened. Recordings of the abuse are more convincing.

A parent could lose the right to joint custody when they emotionally abuse their child. One can prove emotional abuse through recordings, transcripts, a mental health study and testimony.