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Seeking sole custody due to psychological abuse

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Divorce |

Family law courts in California prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody. If you believe that your spouse is psychologically abusive and poses a threat to the well-being of your child, you may choose to pursue sole custody to ensure their safety and emotional stability.

Seeking sole custody in California on grounds of psychological abuse is a complex legal process. It requires careful consideration of various factors.

Understand California’s legal framework

California family courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Nearly 26% of all children in the U.S. are living with one biological parent, but it is widely accepted that maintaining an active relationship with both parents is healthier for the child. The law recognizes the detrimental effects of various forms of abuse, including psychological abuse, but establishing a case for sole custody requires an understanding of the legal framework and compelling evidence.

Gather evidence of psychological abuse

To strengthen a case for sole custody, gather compelling evidence of the effects of the abusive behavior on the child. Psychological abuse can be challenging to prove. It is important to document incidents and gather any relevant evidence. This may include:

  • Documentation: Keep a detailed record of incidents that includes the dates, times, locations and descriptions of the abusive behavior.
  • Witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the abusive behavior, try to gather statements or contact information from them.
  • Therapy or Counseling Records: If you or your child has sought therapy or counseling, the records may help show the impact of the psychological abuse.
  • Police Reports or Restraining Orders: If there have been instances that involved law enforcement or if you have obtained a restraining order, these documents may be relevant.
  • Medical Records: Medical records may be useful if there are any physical or psychological effects on you or your child.

A detailed and factual account of the abusive behavior will help the court grasp the severity of the situation.

Cooperate with the court

The court may order a child custody evaluation to assess the fitness of each parent and determine the child’s best interests. This evaluation involves interviews with both parents, the child and relevant individuals such as teachers or therapists. Cooperating with the evaluation process and providing accurate information is pivotal to showing a commitment to your child’s well-being.

Family law cases can be emotionally taxing, especially those that include abuse allegations. Seeking professional support, such as therapy or counseling, may be advisable for both the parent and the child.