What is unreasonable behaviour & how to prove it?
Unreasonable behaviour is the most commonly used ground for divorce in UK divorce law and it’s because of a very simple reason.
In England and Wales, there is only one ground for divorce as such, which is the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage, which is proved by using one of the five available ‘facts’.
The five available facts for divorce are:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- 2 years separation with consent
- 5 years separation no consent required
Couples that are seeking an instant or quick divorce will not want to wait 2 or 5 years before being able to file for divorce.
Therefore, couples are left with adultery and unreasonable behaviour to choose from out of the five available facts.
If no adultery has taken place then you must seek to use unreasonable behaviour as your reason for divorce.
It is simply this, the ability to file for divorce quickly without waiting years or proving adultery, which is the reason that unreasonable behaviour is the most commonly used ground for divorce in the UK.
How to prove your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour
To file for divorce using unreasonable behaviour, you must show that your husband/wife has behaved in such an unreasonable manner that you find it intolerable to live with him or her, and as a result, the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
Common examples of unreasonable behaviour include:
- Your spouse on numerous occasions has stated that [he/she] does not love you anymore, which has caused you distress.
- Your spouse has consistently shown little or no interest in socialising with you or [his/her] friends and has made no effort to do so.
- Your spouse does not sleep in the same bed as you and has not done so since [insert date], causing you distress.
- Your spouse has a bad temper that [he/she] has lost on numerous occasions causing you to be scared.
- Your spouse has been verbally abusive towards you on numerous occasions causing you distress.
This list is by no means exhaustive of the reasons you can use, it’s simply showing you some of the most common examples given in the divorce petitions that we deal with.
The reasons you can use vary from serious behaviour such as building up debt, being violent and/or verbally abusive to general behaviour such as a lack of socialising together.
When it comes to filing for divorce and completing the necessary divorce papers, you must satisfy the judge with your reasons given, which is no easy task for people with no knowledge of the divorce law.
This means that you will be expected to give at least 4 or 5 detailed explanations as to your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour.
If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself or are worried that your wording will not be sufficient, please call us on 01793 384 032 for free advice.
General facts on unreasonable behaviour
You must remember when completing your divorce petition that you are proving your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour and not your own.
You cannot file a divorce petition against your husband or wife using your own unreasonable behaviour.
Something to also bear in mind when deciding whether or not to use unreasonable behaviour as your reason for divorce is that a divorce petition on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour has a time limit.
Like with adultery, you must file for divorce within six months from the last incident of unreasonable behaviour, providing you continue to live together.
If parties no longer continue to live together you can still issue a petition on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour after six months have passed, but it’s advisable not to wait too long.
Quicke Divorce can help you with your divorce
As the allegations of unreasonable behaviour will be specific to your own marriage, it’s best to get advice from experts to ensure you understand the process and procedure required to obtain a divorce.
We have helped over 20,000 couples in England and Wales file a divorce based on unreasonable behaviour since 2000.
Our divorce experts know the law extensively and therefore will be able to prepare your divorce petition correctly so that it passes through court efficiently.
We can prepare your behaviour based divorce petition and guide you through the divorce process with our DIY Divorce Service for £59.
Alternatively, we can manage your entire divorce process for you, including the drafting of your divorce petition, filing your divorce papers with the courts and dealing with all communication with the courts and any opposing solicitors for you.
This service is called our Managed Divorce Service and costs £169 fixed fee with no hourly or hidden charges, which is why it’s the most popular service we provide.
Still unsure, simply call us on 01793 384 032 for free advice and information on any divorce related matter.