The spouse alleging the cruel and inhuman treatment ground for divorce must prove that she or he suffers from cruel and inhuman treatment which endangers his or her well-being and makes it unsafe or improper to continue living with the other spouse. Unfortunately, for the spouse who seeks to end a loveless and miserable marriage against the wishes of the other spouse, mere incompatibility will not meet the statutory criteria for cruel and inhuman treatment, particularly where the marriage is of long duration. To obtain a divorce on cruelty grounds, there must be substantial evidence of cruel and inhuman treatment.
Cruel and inhuman treatment can involve either physical or mental cruelty. To be a reason for divorce, the treatment must have such a serious effect on the physical or mental health of the divorce-seeking spouse that it is not safe or proper for the parties to continue the marriage.
Some examples of acts that courts have held to be cruel and inhuman treatment for divorce purposes include physical attacks upon a spouse; constant screaming, profanity or other verbal abuse; gambling away the household funds; staying away from the house too often without an explanation; going out with another man or woman; and wrongfully accusing the other spouse of adulterous relations with another man or woman.
Alcoholism, by itself, usually is not a sufficient basis for divorce, unless your spouse becomes cruel or violent when intoxicated, so that you fear for your health and safety.