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What consideration is given in divorce cases involving domestic abuse... verbal/emotional (not violence)

Oldsmar, FL |

I am just beginning the divorce journey after over 20 years of marriage. Husband has anxiety disorder but has refused treatment. Is emotional abuse considered in equitable distribution or alimony awards?

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Attorney answers 7


The courts look at the totality of the circumstances...that is the whole picture. You would be best served by sitting down with an experienced divorce attorney with whom you are comfortable and getting a clear picture of your situation.

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Howard M Lewis

Howard M Lewis


great counsel


I am sorry that you are going through this. The conduct of the parties is definately a factor that the courts will look at among many other factors. Please chat with a local attny, it will be well worth it. Take care.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


The court looks at multiple factors in making decisions. Retain an experienced Florida divorce to lawyer to protect your rights.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


Though the other attorneys are correct in that the court can look at "everything" in dividing the assets and assessing alimony, as a practical matter, emotional (and, for that matter, physical) abuse really plays no role in the statutory factors a judge uses to determine equitable distribution or alimony. You can review those factors by looking at Florida Statute 61.075 (equitable distribution) and 61.08 (alimony). Though there is an identical "catch-all" factor in both statutes, I've never seen a judge use it to include abuse. If emotion abuse were used as a factor in eduitable distribution and alimony, we lawyers would probably litigate nothing else. It would still be wise to speak to a lawyer, though, and you are welcome to call me at 813-443-5249.

The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me for a free consultation at 813-635-0222. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!


Mr. Rose has an excellent answer. I would add to it only that judges are human, and as such they are more or less "moved" by stories of abuse. One of the factors that you will find in the equitable distribution statute is the very inclusive "any other factor necessary to do justice and equity." So judges listen, and while there is no specific space for "emotional abuse" on the equitable distribution worksheet, there is a space for it in the judge's mind. It is excellent that you are thinking ahead and seeking advice early.


I believe Mr. Rose's assessment is correct. This is certainly an issue that you should discuss with your attorney.


Your studd will get divided 50/50. You will get alimony if you have need and he has ability to pay. Emotional abuse while upsetting will help your case very little. Contact my office for free consultation 727-446-7659

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