Getting Divorce for Unreasonable Behaviour in the UK

A Couple Looking Distressed

Unreasonable behaviour is the most commonly used reason for divorce cases in the UK. In order to use this as a ground for the divorce, the petitioner has to prove that the spouse has been involved in such behaviour in the first place.

What is Unreasonable Behaviour?

Unreasonable behaviour simply means that your partner’s behaviour is such that you cannot be expected to live with your partner now. It is the most commonly used reason for the breakdown of marriage in the UK as it covers most of the aspects. Now, unreasonable behaviour can be anything, such as your partner can be addicted to drugs or alcohol or that there is abusive behaviour, physical or otherwise. If it’s the latter, take a look at our article: How Can Legal Help Save Domestic Violence Victims?

It is not necessary to use severe reasons to seek a divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour; it can be mild and simple reasons such as having drifted apart from each other or your partner is spending more time on other things than with you or that you both have different ideas about your future. Cultural differences, social differences, too many arguments, conflicting ideas about raising children, partner having homosexual relationships, lack of attraction between the two of you, financial extravagance, lack of equality etc. all comes under unreasonable behaviour.

Your partner may or may not agree to the reasons that you have presented to the court for your divorce. Although, it would be a good idea to discuss it with your partner to keep things amicable and the bitterness at the minimum after the divorce.

You are supposed to fill in a D8 form and mention all the required data that includes the name and address of yourself, your spouse, and children.

In a divorce application sought on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour:

  • You show some four to five examples of your partner’s behaviour that have led to the breakdown of the marriage.
  • You cannot use your own behaviour to seek a divorce. You have to mention your partner’s behaviour only.

You would be required to file for an application using the D8 forms. Fill in the required data and submit it along with the required relevant fees to the nearest family court or divorce centre. It might be better if the reasons are strong enough to show that it has become intolerable to live with him or her. Thus, you are seeking to break down the marriage. You have to provide some written examples of your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour. These writings should talk about the behaviour, when it took place, and how it affected you. Domestic abuse, excessive/lack of sex, unreasonable sexual demands, debt/financial recklessness, verbal abuse, shouting, social isolation, drunkenness, drug addiction, social isolation, or manipulation can also be cited as examples of unreasonable behaviour. When citing the allegations, you must be specific to mention your own personal circumstances during the occurrence of such behaviour.

The citations for unreasonable behaviour that you provide in the court will not be shared with the public because divorce proceedings come under personal matters. Only the legal representatives, other parties of the divorce and the court’s staff will be able to access the contents of the divorce petition. If you are not sure about the words for your allegations, then divorce lawyers can help you by giving you professional advice. We will take the examples from your end and professionally draft them into the divorce papers.

Time Frame for Using Unreasonable Behaviour

If you decide to continue to live with your spouse after 6 months of the alleged unreasonable behaviour, then you might not be able to proceed with your petition. The court will assume that either you are lying or have accepted to live with the respondent. The longer you take to cite unreasonable behaviour, the lower your chances will get to have your petition granted. If you use unreasonable behaviour as a ground for divorce after six months, the court will likely ask for a better explanation.

Divorce Settlement

The grounds for divorce you choose will hardly affect the split of the wealth. Therefore, unreasonable behaviour during the marriage might not give advantage to any of the spouses.

Seek Legal Help

Even though it is the most common reason behind divorce in the UK, it is also the most complicated one because the other party is less likely to accept their behaviour. Thus, it is highly recommended to get a professional solicitor. At Osbourne Pinner, we are dedicated to providing you with a strong legal representation and support for your divorce due to unreasonable behaviour. Our solicitors at Osbourne Pinner will be more than happy to guide you through the process and give you the advice you would need in a complex case such as of divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

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