No Soap Operas = Cruelty Divorce

The BBC has reported that an Indian woman was recently granted a divorce on cruelty grounds because her husband refused to let her watch her favorite soap operas.  You can see that story here.  The husband’s lawyers are arguing that this order is based on extremely flimsy grounds and, of course, they are appealing.

So, would something like this fly in South Carolina?  I meet with people every week that have been mistreated in their marriage.  While many of them have not been physically beaten or injured, they have been mentally tortured for years.  They have finally mustered the courage to leave and seek legal assistance, and they are very interested in seeking a divorce on cruelty grounds.

Here in South Carolina, one of the contested divorce grounds is physical cruelty.  In order to get a divorce on physical cruelty grounds in South Carolina there must be some physical aspect to the cruelty.  The South Carolina case of Brown v. Brown (215 S.C. 502) sets out the requirements: there must be “actual personal violence, or such a course of physical treatment as endangers life, limb or health, and renders cohabitation unsafe.”

Usually, a single act of violence during the marriage will not be enough for you to be granted a divorce on physical cruelty grounds unless it is very extreme.

So, if you are being denied your favorite television show here in South Carolina, you’re going to have to look outside of the physical cruelty realm to find your grounds for divorce.


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