What counts as ‘unreasonable behaviour’

So you’ve bitten the bullet and made the decision to issue your divorce petition, you don’t want wait for two years, and you’re not quite sure if adultery is the way to go. Your Spouse is the reason your marriage has come to an end, you’ve tried all you can but you just can’t go on any longer; so where do you begin?

Unreasonable behaviour is a fault based divorce petition, which means the marriage breakdown must be based on your Spouses behaviour, and how that behaviour made you, as the petitioner, feel.

‘Unreasonable behaviour’ can be anything that makes YOU feel unhappy about your marriage; it can be big things such as physical violence, emotional abuse, or a lack of intimacy in your relationship or it can be lots of little things, like having no mutual friends, not socialising together, or constant arguments in your home.

It is always a good idea to start with the first thing, the first time you started to feel like your spouse’s behaviour was unacceptable to you. Remember the idea is to build up a picture that the marriage is at an end;  that it has ‘irretrievably broken down.’

We would look to end the statement of case with the ‘final straw’, the event that occurred that made you believe your marriage was truly over. Again, this is entirely about you, what made you feel like you could not remain married to your spouse.

Other than the-first-and-the-worst parts, try to provide us with a few other examples of your Spouses behaviour, remember this is a fault based ground for divorce so you should tell us how your spouse’s behaviour affects you, i.e that constantly picking up his washing made you feel like the domestic, or that him coming home drunk calling you names eroded your self-esteem, or that fights over trivial things day after day is wearing you down or affecting your mental health.

If you need assistance with drafting your divorce petition, or need advice and assistance in respect of the legal side of separation, please contact us at  and a family law specialist will get back to you.

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