How Do I Prove Excessively Vicious Conduct or Cruelty of Treatment?

Cruelty of treatment and excessively vicious conduct are two distinct grounds for divorce, however, they mean essentially the same thing. As a result, they are often listed together.

A limited divorce is available on these grounds, however, cruelty of treatment and excessively vicious conduct are rare. The typical poor treatment of which spouses commonly accuse each other as a marriage disintegrates rarely arises to a level sufficient to prove these grounds in court. Typically such grounds require substantially more than disagreements, emotional isolation, arguments, shouting, and even an occasional incident of physical violence. These grounds generally require a condition that is closer to routine and deliberate mental or physical torture by one spouse against the other or against a minor child of the complaining party.

In addition to a limited divorce, these grounds also serve as grounds for an absolute divorce. In order to obtain an absolute divorce on these grounds, in addition to the above, a party must also show that there is no reasonable hope or expectation that the parties will reconcile.

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