What constitutes as unreasonable behaviour on divorce?

What constitutes as unreasonable behaviour on divorce?

Therefore the decision of timing is often jointly considered by each spouse. However when it comes to considering the actual grounds for the divorce, this is often an area where decisions are made in isolation and not collectively.  

There is one ground to divorce which is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In order to prove this you must demonstrate one of five facts which are adultery, unreasonably behaviour, desertion, separation of two years with consent and separation of five years without consent. Unreasonable behaviour is the most common fact that is used by partners during divorce proceedings. However, using this as a fact to form your petition often troubles some partners as to what can actually constitute unreasonable behaviour.  

To shed light on this important question we have put together this article to help you understand what unreasonable behaviour actually means. 

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What one individual may deem as a minor quirk may actually be deemed as a major iteration by someone else. Therefore, unreasonable behaviour is down to what the partner deems as unreasonable within their relationship. 

It is important to remember that unreasonable behaviour is not overly probed by the courts in terms of its validity. The fact of the matter is that if one partner finds the behaviour unreasonable then this is enough to cite as a reason. 

It is always advised where ever possible to substantiate your case as far as reasonably possible, however this is not always feasible neither practical.  

For example one partner may find objection to their partner being out socialising to a level that they may deem as excessive. This could constitute as an unreasonable behaviour, yet it could be difficult to prove in terms of the behaviour being unreasonable.  

Therefore the courts may just ask for details which give a brief idea of the behaviour that is being held as unreasonable.  

Citing examples of unreasonable behaviour is not normally difficult for the petitioner to write a string of behaviours they deem as the cause for the break down of the marriage.

Even marriages that are healthy can often exhibit unreasonable behaviours to varying degrees. 

Citing unreasonable behaviour can sometimes expedite the process

Although no particular ground for divorce expedites the process, there are some facts that can be stated that require less substantiation than others. For example, if adultery is chosen then your partner has to admit adultery as the grounds for divorce. For varying reasons they may not wish to admit to this, which can further delay the process. 

Two years separation has the obvious implication of waiting two years but also requires some further cooperation from your partner. Therefore the respondent has to provide their consent to the divorce. 

Some of the fault grounds need active participation from the other side in order to proceed. However with unreasonable behaviour it is fine for your partner to state they do not accept the claims made against them. 

As long as the petitioner has satisfied the family courts that the respondent has had a chance to respond this will be enough to allow the process to proceed. 

Therefore the respondent may respond to the petitioners divorce solicitor or family court with further claims or a response to the claims of unreasonable behaviour. 

An experienced divorce solicitor will be able to advice on methods to make your petition less inflammatory and offer further advice around citing unreasonable behaviour as a fault ground. 

If you need an established and experienced family law practice within Cardiff contact Alun Jones Family Law today

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