What are indignities?

An indignity is conduct which renders the other spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome. According to one case, “Indignities may consist of:

  • unmerited reproach
  • studied neglect
  • abusive language
  • and other manifestations of settled hate and estrangement.”

Facts supporting an allegation of indignities must be developed on a case-by-case basis because each individual has a different level of tolerance for misbehavior by a spouse.

The fundamental characteristic of indignities is that indignities must be a course of conduct or continued treatment, repeated and persisted in over a period of time. Under North Carolina law, isolated instances of bad or objectionable conduct do not constitute a sufficient pattern of conduct to amount to indignities.