Children and Abusive Marriages

Being in an abusive relationship is already hard enough, but when there are children involved the effects of such relationship can be complicated. Being a parent, you have the both the moral and legal responsibility of ensuring the safety and health of your child or children. Domestic violence does not only affect one parent, but also the child in the family, even if they are not experience any physical abuse. As a parent, it is your legal and moral obligation to ensure the long-term health of your child against the effect of domestic violence.

It may not be mainstream knowledge, but domestic violence and abuse are considered as a form of child maltreatment in certain areas. In an event of a divorce or child custody battle, claims of failing to protect the child from being exposed to domestic violence or abuse can put into consideration. The website of  Marshall & Taylor PLLC has information on the complications that domestic violence and abuse can cause in a divorce or child custody proceeding. A parent who fails to report child abuse (in any form) can be held liable in accordance to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act [pdf] or CAPTA. Being a victim of domestic violence or spousal abuse mean you are also in legal danger.

The legal argument in the parent’s responsibility for reporting domestic violence and abuse is various studies providing strong evidence of emotional and psychological damage in children who have grown up in an abusive or violent family. Children often feel emotionally deprived and could develop high risks of future physical abuse. Abusers often use intimidation and fear to control their partners and prevent them from leaving, which is why it is vital for victims to find support in order to leave and protect themselves and their child from future harm. Fortunately today there are many institutions and organizations that help abused spouses and their children and assist in providing temporary shelter, counseling, and financial help.

Divorce – Couples Therapy

Divorce can be a painful and stress-filled court procedure, especially for spouses who have lived together for so many years. But even blissful marriages have their own rare cases of ups and downs and, sometimes, when marital problems seem like impossible to remedy, couples see divorce as the best solution to end the problems for a happier future.

The pressure brought about by divorce still tends to increase due to the many other divorce-related issues that need to settled, like child custody, visitation rights and child support (if there are minor children), spousal support or alimony, and division of assets, properties and debts. Thus, on its website, Marshall & Taylor, P.C., says that divorcing spouses need to be represented by lawyers adept in family law due to the sensitivity of divorce and all related issues. Such lawyers will also be the spouses’ best allies, able to understand their personal situation and ready with the best arguments that will uphold their rights and interests.

In some instances, children become instrumental in uniting their parents, keeping them from divorcing one another; still in other situations, the couple refuses to give up their marriage and finds ways to save it. The good news is, there are ways of overcoming marital problems, making the marriage stronger and even sweeter in the end. One of these ways is couple therapy, which aims to recreate the strong loving bond that the couple once enjoyed.

On her website, Kathleen Snyder, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Professional Counselor (LPC), states that some the most common causes of divorce are failure to balance work and family, differences in parenting style, lack of communication and obstacles to sexual intimacy. When these or any of these problems begin/s and the spouses react by withdrawing from one another or give an attack-defend response to stressful situations then the marriage may just eventually be on its way to its end.

How long the stress cycles will last and how these will affect the spouses actually depend on the spouses themselves, though. Thus, Kathleen Snyder explains that spouses ought to be able to work out their differences, repair the damage caused by the problems and make room that will allow friendship and intimacy to return.

Going through couple therapy is a major marital decision, so is divorce. The only question is which will really and objectively make the spouses happier in the long run.