The following is provided for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be comprehensive or to be interpreted as legal advice. It also shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to form an attorney-client relationship. For such advice, consult an experienced Family Law attorney.
Cruel and abusive treatment is the most common fault based grounds for divorce in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is usually simply proven by the testimony of the abused spouse. Even though most cases will require some form of physical abuse rather than "mental cruelty", there is case law basis for granting a divorce on these grounds solely on the basis of "mental cruelty" Ober v. Ober, 1 Mass.App.Ct. 32,N.E.2d 449 (1973).
It is important to note that most courts will require some level of severity before ganting a divorce on the basis of cruel and abusive treatment and a particular judge may not feel that particular circumstances rise to a level to justify granting a divorce under these grounds. Therefore, as in other fault based grounds, it is usually wise to plead an irretrievable breakdown as an alternate grounds for divorce.