Extreme Cruelty Law and Legal Definition
Extreme cruelty has been defined as acts and conduct which destroy the peace of mind and happiness of one of the parties to the marriage. The conduct must be such that it so seriously affects the household as to render the marital relationship intolerable. Moreover, the conduct must be voluntary or intentional. Extreme cruelty includes a wide range of hostile, aggressive, or disruptive acts which may affect the physical, emotional, or psychological well-being of the victim-spouse. Extreme cruelty is a ground for divorce or an unequal division of the couple’s property. All states except Illinois and South Dakota recognize "no fault" divorces, but in some states evidence of cruelty may result in division of property favoring the suffering spouse (victim).