Divorcing a Verbally Abusive Spouse


Verbal abuse is one surprisingly common reason for people to file for divorce in Pasadena.

Obviously, everyone loses their temper once in a while and says things they later regret. This is understandable, but not to be confused with a truly abusive relationship.

Verbal abuse refers to a repeated pattern of:

  • Yelling
  • Swearing
  • Screaming
  • Name calling
  • Intentional put downs
  • Threats of physical violence, often under the guise of a poorly conceived "joke"
  • Blaming the victim for the abuser's poor behavior
  • Dismissing your feelings when you try to explain how the unkind words make you feel

Verbal abuse is harder to recognize than physical abuse, but can be just as harmful. Verbal abuse is damaging because it harms your self esteem and makes you feel like your needs are not important. Instead of having a marriage that is a true partnership, you're walking on eggshells around your spouse and putting your own feelings on the back burner.

If your spouse is verbally abusive, it is best to let your attorney handle as much of the settlement process as possible. Using a mediator is often a good way to quickly and cheaply settle your divorce, but divorce mediation is not appropriate in your case. If your spouse is constantly berating you throughout your mediation sessions, it will be tough to make sure you get the settlement you deserve. Hiring a skilled attorney means you'll have an advocate who can stand up to your abuser.

If you and your spouse have children together, let your attorney know about your spouse's history of verbal abuse. If your spouse is abusive towards the children, this is relevant information for a child custody hearing.Verbal abuse tends to escalate in frequency and intensity, which can have serious negative effects on a child's long-term mental health. Multiple studies have linked verbal abuse to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you are in need of legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena family law attorneys can help advocate for your interests throughout the settlement process.