Physical cruelty is “actual physical violence, or such a course of physical treatment as endangers life, limb or health, and renders cohabitation unsafe”, Gorecki v. Gorecki, 387 S.C. 626, 693 S.E.2d 419 (2010). You don’t have to prove actual physical injury if your spouse engaged in conduct that created a substantial risk of serious bodily harm or death. There is no waiting period to file for a physical cruelty divorce.
Evidence of physical cruelty can take many forms and will vary from case to case depending on the circumstances of that case.
You can ask for an Order of Protection in Family Court when you need a restraining order quickly and don’t yet have a lawyer. You can request an order of protection against a spouse, former spouse, the father or mother of your child, the person you are living with or used to live with whether in a gay or straight relationship. You can get the petition for an order of protection from the Clerk of Court of the family Court. The clerk’s office can’t give you advice or help you fill out the petition, but they will file it, schedule a hearing and get the other party served.
Someone who commits physical violence can also be charged criminally under the Criminal Domestic Violence statute (CDV), found at CLICK HERE The CDV statute applies to violence committed against household members, which include a spouse, former spouse, people who have a child in common, people who live together or used to live together whether gay or straight. If you are found guilty of CDV, you can be barred from owning or possessing a firearm. This office does not handle criminal matters.