Unreasonable behaviour is by far the most common fact used in divorce. This can be almost anything but if you want your divorce to go smoothly, there are some areas to steer clear of

The existing law connecting to divorce proceedings goes back to 1973. Some 46 years without modification. It states that if celebrations have not been separated for more than 2 years, they need to rely on either unreasonable behaviour or infidelity to support the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

So, what is “unreasonable” behaviour in divorce?

The reality is that unreasonable behaviour can cover a wide range of sins– it is just behaviour that a person party finds unacceptable and the courts consider serious sufficient to grant a divorce. In most cases, the examples of unreasonable behaviour offered has no bearing on any other aspect of the divorce, like where the children live or the financial settlements. It is just a requirement that examples of unreasonable behaviour are noted in the divorce petition. This is why there is a growing clamour for a no-fault divorce in this country. The law currently needs you to list faults of the other person, which can make an already emotionally charged circumstance worse, leading to denials and counter claims, slowing down the process and costing everybody more money.

Normally, we would advise between 3 and 6 examples are consisted of in a petition. You do not require to go to town and provide a long list.

There are some typical examples of unreasonable behaviour, however the first thing to say is that if you desire a straight-forward uncontested divorce, there are some locations to attempt and avoid.

It is smart to avoid concerns surrounding the kids if possible, for instance excessive discipline. Nobody likes kids being brought into the conflict in between the moms and dads. While there might be an authentic reason for wishing to consist of something relating to the kids, there will be plenty of other things to select from that are less inflammatory.

Others to avoid if possible are things like monetary mismanagement and extreme drinking. Ironically, these are among the most common ones, but they are most likely to provoke a defensive reaction from the other party, trying to validate their actions or play the scenario down. If they do that, they will be contesting the divorce which will slow it down and increase the expense.

To keep things moving, it is best to stick to moderate reasons, like your partner being moody and/or argumentative, inappropriate relationship (not adultery) with another individual, or a lack of intimacy. Investing excessive time working rather than with the household is among the most typical, non-inflammatory factors we see.

And obviously, there is an entire range of unusual and more unusual ones that we will not enter into here but are frequently sex-related.

A knowledgeable divorce and family lawyer will be able to talk you through the options for you and recommend the best path to consider your situations. Remember this though, while you might seem like putting the knife in, or contesting all the examples of unreasonable behaviour listed by your partner, doing so will score no points with the court and is likely to cost you time and money.

How to demonstrate unreasonable behaviour

To rely on this, the party beginning proceedings need to satisfy the court that the other party to the marital relationship “has acted in such a way” that they “can not reasonably be expected to deal with them”. The test has actually been defined as whether a right-thinking individual would conclude that the party beginning proceedings might not be anticipated to live with the other party.

Most divorces are not opposed (contested). Therefore, proving unreasonable behaviour is seldom a concern. Nevertheless, for a couple attempting to get separated a couple of years ago (Owens v Owens [2017], the court has had to examine this point and choose what is or is not sensible or unreasonable and to what degree among them must expect to live with the other and probably, the behaviour they grumble about. It has been identified that there is a 3 strand test: -.

An examination of what the individual did.

An evaluation of that behaviour upon the celebration obtaining the divorce.

As assessment by the court taking these 2 aspects into account and the evidence prior to it as to the history of the marriage.

It has to do with whether these two parties can be fairly expected to deal with each other.

Issues showing unreasonable behaviour to the court.

In the case described, Mrs Owens said her hubby’s behaviour was such that she could not be expected to cope with it. Mr Owens did decline the claims of unreasonable behaviour. The very first judge to hear the case discovered that the behaviour alleged was “scraping the barrel”. He agreed the marital relationship had actually broken down but for factors aside from those declared by Mrs. Owens and declined to dissolve the marital relationship based upon the claims of unreasonable behaviour advanced. The parties were to remain married, although Mrs Owens definitely did not wish to.

The case was appealed. The Court of Appeal agreed with the very first judge and dismissed the appeal, leaving the parties still wed. Abnormally, the case went on then to the Supreme Court– who again discovered that a divorce would not be allowed on the accusations Mrs Owens had made. This case was among the examples given up attempts to have modifications made to divorce law currently going through the House of Commons.

For how long does a divorce consider unreasonable behaviour?

Up until relatively just recently the answer to this question would have been reasonably straight-forward and we would have stated 6-9 months. Nevertheless, it is now typically more like 9-12 months because of overwhelming delays in the processing of all divorces by the Courts. Provided the current Owens v Owens case mentioned above it will likewise depend upon whether the examples of unreasonable behaviour offered are accepted by the Judge.