It seems to happen more often than not that a potential new client seeking a divorce alludes to cruel treatment by their spouse. Tennessee Williams wrote: “All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.” Cruel treatment has long been a “fault” ground for divorce — but a fault ground that has had little momentum recently. On the heels of two recent cases, cruel treatment allegations may find their way into many new divorce cases.
The 14th Court of Appeals recently heard Orzechowski v. Orzechowski (No. 14-20-00055-CV). While the sole issue on appeal was whether or not the trial court abused its discretion in dividing the community estate, the underlying bench trial focused on the issues of whether the husband had engaged in cruel treatment of his wife, as well as engaging in fraud of their community estate.