Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
a cruel act; a deliberate infliction of pain and suffering
n. the intentional and malicious infliction of physical or psychological pain on another. In most US states, various forms of “cruelty,” “extreme cruelty,” and/or “mental cruelty” used to be grounds for divorce if proved. This brought about a lot of unnecessary (and sometimes exaggerated or false) derogatory (nasty) testimony about the other party. There was little standardization of what constituted sufficient “cruelty” to prove a divorce should be granted. Starting in the 1960s “no-fault” divorce (sometimes now called “dissolution”) began to replace contentious divorces in most states, so that incompatibility became good enough grounds for granting a divorce.
Any act of inflicting unnecessary emotional or physical pain. Cruelty or mental cruelty is the most frequently used fault ground for divorce because as a practical matter, courts will accept minor wrongs or disagreements as sufficient evidence of cruelty to justify the divorce.
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This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 2 Views.