The reality is that the reason you give in the divorce application won’t usually affect any decisions the Court might have to make about your finances and child care arrangements, unless it’s particularly serious, for example if there is a suggestion of financial misconduct in a financial case, or allegation of any kind of abuse in a children case.
And our Divorce Solicitors have seen that the reason given in the divorce petition can sometimes cause conflict in the divorce process, which is why we look forward to the No Fault Divorce Bill which has recently been passed in Government and should come into force within the next year.
With the No Fault Divorce Bill, couples can rely upon the reason for their divorce as simply being that the relationship has broken down, and you can jointly apply for the divorce too.
Examples of Unreasonable Behaviour
No one should have to put up with unreasonable behaviour in a relationship, especially as it’s likely to be having an impact on your wellbeing and home life. Often, couples separate simply because they grow apart or they both behaved in a way that the other person didn’t agree with, and although they don’t necessarily want to rely on the other’s behaviour to start a divorce, many often do so simply to move matters on.
It’s important to remember that there’s no set list for what unreasonable behaviour is. Every relationship is different and there can be many reasons why your marriage or civil partnership has broken down. But here are some of the most common examples of unreasonable behaviour that our Divorce Solicitors see:
- Abuse - this includes domestic abuse (including physical violence), emotional abuse (such as manipulation and controlling behaviour), and verbal abuse (including shouting and belittling)
- Debts/irresponsible with money - money can be the cause of many arguments in relationships, particularly if one of you is reckless with your joint finances. And if your ex ends up racking up debts, this can cause irreparable damage to your relationship
- Drunkenness - if your ex drinks to an excessive amount and/or takes drugs, then this would come under unreasonable behaviour
- Excessive habits - if your ex spends an obsessive amount of time gambling, playing games or using social media, this can cause strain and distance between you
- Inappropriate relationship with another person - adultery alone is already one of the grounds for divorce, but an inappropriate relationship doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing. It might be that your husband or wife’s relationship with someone else makes you feel uncomfortable, even if they’ve not physically acted on this
- Lack of socialising - while it’s common to have different interests and friend groups who you socialise with, marriages and civil partnerships can break down if you spend too much time socialising without each other, and can lead to one or both of you feeling neglected
- Lack of support - this can include physical support, such as childcare and/or household chores, emotional support, or support with life choices e.g. a career change
Again, it’s important to remember that the Court isn’t concerned about why you’re getting a divorce, but if any of the above sounds familiar, you may want to put ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’ as the reason for your divorce application.