Mental Cruelty Law and Legal Definition

Wanton, malicious or unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering upon the feelings or emotions of another amounts to mental cruelty. In short it can be any behavior that causes mental agony to another person. Such cruelty happens when the persons involved are connected by a relationship like marriage, employee and employer, master and servant etc.

Mental cruelty is usually taken as a ground for divorce. When the behavior of a spouse makes other spouse’s life intolerable and unhappy the ground of mental cruelty can be raised. The situation has to be that the distress suffered by the spouse due to the conduct of the other spouse has put her/his life, mental and physical health in danger. It is not necessary that physical violence be involved. As "no-fault" divorce has gained favor, mental cruelty as a ground for divorce has faded into legal history