As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, victims of physical abuse have the option of obtaining a protection order from a court in Nebraska that can help protect both them and their children. This is of course important when abuse has actually occurred.
On the other hand, when there has been no such abuse, protective orders and other formal accusations of abuse can be a somewhat daunting prospect for dads who may face the loss of custody and visitation rights or other serious consequences.
Sometimes, these accusations may be based on outright lies, but in other cases, it may be the result of some misguided information on what actually is or is not domestic violence as Nebraska law sees it.
Take, for example, the cases of emotional abuse and, its close relative, verbal abuse. Like other forms of abuse, emotional abuse is a systemic effort to control a person by making him or her feel powerless. It usually involves name-calling, constant criticism, checking in on someone and the like.
True emotional abuse is certainly wrong and damaging. Even if it is not standing alone enough for a court to enter a protective order, such allegations, if proven, can be a factor in a Douglas County judge’s custody and parenting time decisions.
However, it is important that men in a divorce proceeding or other breakup understand that emotional abuse does not include isolated incidents of yelling, being rude or critical, or the like. It especially does not include a man’s decision to end a relationship or a request for him to exercise his right to see his children.
A man who is accused of emotional abuse in the context of a family law case, or who has experienced the same, may have legal options available to him.