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What Do I Need For Mental Cruelty?

Answer: You must be able to show that your spouse’s behavior caused you emotional distress and that you gave him or her no cause or provocation for acting the way they did.

Their behavior must have been ongoing and without regard for the effect it was having on you. Here are some examples:

  • Starting a lot of unnecessary arguments in the house;
  • Yelling, screaming, or often displaying rage in the household;
  • Accusing the victim spouse of being worthless or otherwise minimizing his or her importance in the household;
  • Constantly criticizing the victim spouse’s abilities as a homemaker, breadwinner, parent, spouse, etc.;
  • Coming and going from the household at odd hours without explaining his or her whereabouts;
  • Refusal or inability to communicate in a reasonable fashion with the innocent spouse and refusal to see this as a problem.

Most victims of mental cruelty testify that they had problems concentrating, sleeping, or eating and that their stress levels were reduced significantly once they became separated.

The abuser usually does not get it and fails to acknowledge that a problem exists. They refuse to either go to counseling or give it a sincere effort if they do attend.

If they to attend some counseling sessions, it is usually for appearance purposes.


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Richard and Kari are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 60 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook, DuPage, and Will counties.


1 S 660 Midwest Road Suite 320 Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181



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