Skip to content

Checklist: Forms of abuse (4/4)

Post-separation abuse

Blocks access to money after separation

Drains joint bank accounts or assets

Uses stalking behaviours (property damage, excessive phone calls, phone threats and verbal abuse, phones and hangs up, etc.), particularly if you take a stand against what he wants

Monitors your whereabouts and/or follows you

Uses technology to stalk you

Uses social media to talk about your case or slander your name

Locks you out of the family home

Increases threats and intimidation

Escalates abusive behaviours when you have a new partner

Threatens/causes harm to your new partner

Makes false allegations to slander/undermine your new partner

Destroys your/children’s belongings

Uses children to justify breaking no contact orders

Disrupts children’s routines (e.g., sleep, eating, sports, etc.)

Withholds information about children

Contradicts your rules for children

Demands visitation schedules at your/children’s expense

Makes false accusations of bad parenting

Exploits “father’s rights” to gain sympathy/undermine you

Withholds child/spousal support, medical insurance, financial contribution to children’s extra expenses (e.g., sports, daycare, school uniform/graduation costs)

Neglects children during his time with them

Uses violence in front of children

Uses corporal punishment with children

Ignores children’s schedules, needs, identities, fears

Uses new partner to take on parental duties

Tells children his new partner is their new mother

Enforces strict gender roles with the children

Degrades you to children/family members

Uses children as spies/to monitor you

Threatens to kidnap children

Refuses to permit your travel with the children

Refuses to sign for children’s passports/provide you with them

Threatens to call CAS and have the children removed

Legal Abuse

Denies the abuse

Appears charming and conciliatory to the judge or other legal personnel, raising questions about the credibility of your story

Has you counter-charged by the police, complaining that you assaulted him too

Doesn’t allow children to call you when they are with him

Acts as his own lawyer as a bullying strategy in which he cross-examines you as an intimidation tactic

Makes endless motions over minor or inappropriate issues

Uses intimidation and threats if you do not agree to financial arrangements that disadvantage you

Pressures you to accept mediation and joint parenting arrangements even if you feel threatened and unsafe

Coerces you to trade away some legal rights (e.g., the right to property or financial support) in exchange for others (e.g., child-related)

Pressures you to change bail conditions or to try to have the charges dropped if he has been criminally charged

Contacts you out of court under the guise of negotiating the case

Uses delay tactics such as refusing to sell the matrimonial home or respond to legal offers, delaying providing financial information, etc.

Repeatedly changes lawyers, thus slowing the process down

Withholds information (such as financial disclosure) and then insists on unreasonable disclosure from you

Threatens to take/keep the children if you insist on leaving

Makes malicious reports slandering you to the court and other officials (child protection authorities, police, housing personnel, Ontario Works, etc.)

Threatens harm/death if you pursue legal proceedings

Attempts to interfere in the professional relationship you have with your lawyer in an effort to reduce your confidence in your own lawyer or make them reluctant to represent you

Learn more about legal abuse