Understanding Divorces for Unreasonable Behaviour

Filing a divorce application form isn’t a simple process. There are many different forms, checklists and boxed that need filling-in, but you may find one section particularly complicated: divorcing for unreasonable behaviour.

Divorcing because a spouse has shown ‘unreasonable behaviour’ has consistently been the primary reason for divorce since the late 1970’s. These days, it accounts for the reasoning behind 36% of all husbands and 51% of all wives who want to become legally separated.

In this guide, we’ve shared how you can understand divorces and unreasonable behaviour, along with explaining a few examples which may be interpreted as being ‘unreasonable’ on your divorce petition:

Grounds for divorce

In the UK, divorce petitions require that you give a reason for your decision to be divorced. Often referred to being ‘grounds for divorce’, unreasonable behaviour is listed as one valid reason.

‘Petitioner’ vs. ‘Respondent’

On your divorce petition, you’ll need to refer to yourself and your spouse as the ‘Petitioner’ and the ‘Respondent’. In short, the petitioner is the person who is starting the divorce, and the Respondent is the one who shown the act of unreasonable behaviour.

Unreasonable behaviour examples

There are many different ways that you could feel like you’ve been treated unreasonably throughout your time in marriage. Some of the most common unreasonable behaviour divorce examples include:

  • Excessive gambling or betting, without your knowledge
  • A lack of support, both emotionally and in general
  • Verbal, emotional, physical or any form of domestic abuse
  • Refusing to discuss important matters, including work or your marriage itself
  • Being financially irresponsible and failing to support your family
  • Alcohol or drug abuse or misuse
  • Not wanting to engage in sexual relations

Writing your statement

Once you’ve listed the types of behaviour that your partner has done throughout the marriage, you will need to list five examples of your spouse behaving unreasonably in your divorce application form. These must be written in a certain style, using the ‘Respondent’ and ‘Petitioner’ names that we explained earlier.

In your statement for divorce and unreasonable behaviour, avoid only listing the example that your spouse did. Try and communicate how this behaviour made you feel, as this will help you to convince the Judge working on your case.

Here are some examples of statements that you may write when filing a divorce for unreasonable behaviour:

“The Respondent has chosen to spend money on gambling excessively, and has not made any contributions to the household. This has caused the Petitioner to feel…”

“The Petitioner has felt a lack of support from the Respondent, particularly when she became made redundant. As a result, the Petitioner feels…”

“The Respondent has been emotionally abusive to the Petitioner, by frequently threatening and limiting access to joint bank accounts. Because of this, the Petitioner…”

Getting help with your divorce for unreasonable behaviour

As you can see, divorcing for unreasonable behaviour is extremely common, and is listed as the grounds for divorce within many marriages every year.

Here at 1Solicitors, we offer specialist support for both the Petitioner and the Respondent throughout the divorce process. From financial settlements and clean break orders, we believe that arming you with knowledge will ensure that your divorce petition is accepted by the Court, we’re always on hand to help.

To discuss your petition with one of our professional lawyers, contact us today. With family law solicitors in York, London, Manchester and other locations across the UK, we’re never too far away.

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