Question: I really need to get a divorce. I live in Roswell, Georgia, with my husband of 18 years. He drinks a lot of beer and wine and the other night, for the first time ever, he attacked me with a fork after dinner. He was drinking at dinner and said that his chicken was under cooked. He got really angry and attacked me with his fork and stabbed me several times in the arm.
I went to the hospital and needed some stitches. I didn't tell the doctors what happened. I just said that I had an accident making dinner.
Our marriage has not been good for several years and he'll sometimes not come home at night. One time he stayed away for two weeks. He said he was just working. I have spoken to a Roswell divorce lawyer about a year ago but I wasn't ready for a divorce. Now I know need to get divorced.
Was his stabbing me with a fork enough to get divorced? It was the first time he'd ever been violent. He's usually quiet and just plays games on his computer or looks at pornography websites.
Answer: Cruel treatment under Georgia law may be bodily or mental. Generally, however, a single act of domestic violence is not considered by the courts to be cruel treatment unless the act is of such an atrocious nature that the circumstances surrounding it indicate that it will be repeated which justifies being fearful of injury. (See Brown v. Brown, 217 Ga. 671, 124 S.E.2d 399 (1962)).
Being stabbed by your husband with a utensil and having to go to a hospital or clinic is likely to be found to be cruel treatment. Your husband's actions caused severe physical harm and you sound like you are truly fearful of repeated violent conduct (and you should be). As Roswell divorce lawyers we see all too often marriages that end with violent episodes. We have seen relatively minor incidents and we have seen major incidents involving violence. This, however, is the first time we have seen a fork used to assault a spouse.
Your husband's attack is also a crime. It appears with your injuries to be a felony.
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