Mental Cruelty

Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Wikipedia.

Mental Cruelty

A course of conduct on the part of one spouse toward the other spouse that can endanger the mental and physical health and efficiency of the other spouse to such an extent as to render Continuance of the marital relation intolerable. As a ground for Divorce, it is conduct that causes embarrassment, humiliation, and anguish so as to render life miserable and unendurable or to cause a spouse's life, person, or health to become endangered.

mental cruelty

n. a term, rapidly going out of fashion and out of the statutes, which has been used to justify granting a divorce when the state laws required that some wrong had to be found in the defending spouse. In absence of actual physical cruelty (or unwillingness to discuss it) the person wanting the divorce could testify to a list of indignities ("he swore at me, he came home late, he humiliated me in front of friends, he was hateful to my mother, he read girlie magazines," or similar tales told about the wife) which would be verified by a relative or a friend to satisfy the judge that the petitioning spouse would suffer mental harm if the marriage continued and proved that there were grounds for a divorce. As "no-fault" divorce has gained favor, such charades have faded into legal history. (See: divorce, cruelty)

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
But after Sharon plucked up the courage to end their violent relationship and get a divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty, Holland continued to make her life hell.
Recent research has now clearly shown that psychological and emotional issues once believed important only for people-happiness, stress management, the mind-body connection, emotional suffering, mental illness, emotional abuse, and mental cruelty -- are experienced by animals.
I am now divorcing him for physical and mental cruelty.
My only concern is for the mental cruelty that will be inflicted by the extra time spent sitting in traffic.
But talk to teachers and parents and rather than lauding Walliams and Lucas - they might be more likely to recommend drumming the pair out of the country for widespread mental cruelty.
The mental cruelty of slavery has been evoked in many of the novels I discuss here, most notably, perhaps, in the remarkable passages on the lack of the freedom to love in Morrison's Beloved and in the exploration of slavery's impact on both communal and individual identity in Williams's Dessa Rose.
The job of the host (see the serpent in Genesis 3) is to ensure that sufficient acts of infidelity, betrayal and mental cruelty are committed to cleave the happy couples and entertain us -- one and the same thing really.
Her fight was not with her affliction or directed against her plight, but rather against violence, war, inhumanity, and any kind of spiritual or mental cruelty.
Effectively balancing regional generalizations with detailed discussions of individual states, Bardaglio analyzes the development of the doctrine of mental cruelty in divorce cases; the gradual shift toward a more child-centered orientation in child-custody decisions involving divorce, indenture, and guardianship; the lack of vigorous legal sanctions against racial intermarriage in the antebellum Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina; and the legal doctrines used to rationalize the rape of free and slave black women.
The INS separated the waiver exception into two spheres: physical battery and extreme mental cruelty.
We have no hesitation in holding that by filing numerous false complaints against Deepak ( name changed) and his family members with the police and his office, she has caused mental cruelty to the husband," the bench said.
I saw physical and mental cruelty of all kinds and seeing your stories just brought it all back.