Emotional Abuse Leave Scars
Video Transcribed: Is emotional abuse an emergency for the purposes of Title 43. My name is Brian L. Jackson, I am a dads rights attorney in Oklahoma. And I want to talk to you today about emotional abuse and whether or not that would constitute an emergency pursuant to the Oklahoma Statutes.
Emotional abuse is usually defined as, basically, it’s conduct that would be unreasonably hurtful to the emotions of the child, whether it’s verbal abuse, such as insults, making fun of the child, humiliating the child, using cruel language to the child.
And there’s no denying, emotional abuse leave scars, children that are subject to it as adults may spend years and years in therapy trying to clear up issues they have over this. But is it an emergency?
Well under Title 43, an emergency is defined as when a child is in an environment that threatens imminent irreparable harm. So the question becomes, is it imminent irreparable harm if the child is being exposed to emotionally abusive conduct by a parent? And the answer is like many things under the law, it depends.
It could be, but it’s not guaranteed. And you may be dealing with a situation where there is hostility between the child and the parent and maybe the parent has a bad habit of trash-talking the other parent and a court could very well find that while this is not conducted in the best interest of the child, it’s also not an emergency.
And it’s important to understand that there is a huge distinction between what is an emergency and what is not in the best interest of the child. It is not in the best interest of a child, for example, to not feed them a wholesome diet.
But in most cases, it’s probably also not an emergency, unless you’re talking about it, like a diabetic child who is not being kept on a good diet for that condition. And I mean, it’s important to understand it’s a broad spectrum of what you might call shitty parenting that does not rise to the level of an emergency.
And many times things that would constitute potential emotional abuse would be examples of shitty parenting, but not necessarily emotional abuse, or not necessarily an emergency under the standard, under Title 43, it’s a high burden and many types of conduct that we would frown on are actually not emergencies.
Typically, the way the courts are looking at this in Tulsa is, it’s things like serious neglect, substance abuse will usually get you there, but not always. Physical abuse, sexual abuse clearly, a threat of physical abuse, the threat of sexual abuse.
Sometimes exposure to criminality will get you there, but it oftentimes depends on the crime. And unfortunately, emotional abuse may or may not get you there. Now, this is not to say, it’s not something that you should address with the court, you clearly should.
And it’s not saying that nothing can be done about it, but it may or may not constitute an emergency order in Oklahoma, such as to get the court to act immediately. Now, if you have a question about that situation, you need a good lawyer and you should go to dads.law where fathers are not disposable.