Mental/Emotional Abuse = Child Abuse?


I an in the last stages of divorce (been over a year, she was served last week). I thought at the time, since I voluntarily gave her the house, the car, and pretty much everything else, that the kids would be better with her than with me with no job and not sure how I was going to live, or where. We have joint custody,filed with a court. I have them every other weekend, alternating holidays, and a month in the summer and they live with her the rest of the time.

It seems that all her anger towards me has been redirected towards my 11 year old (who she always said was “just like me”), to the point that she is miserable… my daughter loves one thing, her puppy, and it’s gotten to the point that she is repeatedly threatened with taking the dog to the pound, making her walk to school (2 miles, across busy highways), every letter, phone call, and text message I get from her is laced with her asking me not to “tell that she has been talking to me about this” because she’s been threatened with punishment for even telling me what is going on.

She isn’t being, as far as I can tell, physically abused, but she certainly is suffering mentally. Is it possible to claim mental/emotional abuse = child abuse, and if so, how do you determine that if the ex denies everything (which I’m sure she will). I’m now working and have never missed a payment or a visitation, and have an apartment with room for all the kids if that’s even possible now.


You may file a motion to modify custody based on your ex’s new and different treatment of the child which is certainly a substantial change in the child’s life. You can also seek a psychological evaluation of both mother and child as a part of your action.