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What constitutes "unreasonable behaviour" in divorce?

(81 Posts)
DoingItForMyself Thu 05-Jul-12 14:44:25

Does it have to be documented, big things or can you cite insults and incidents of selfishness etc? I don't want to have to wait 2 years to get it done, but with a background of low-level EA I don't have anything specific to hang it on.

Would it be easier for one of us to confess to a non-existent affair? Would an emotional affair suffice as I could probably muster one of those if I tried hard enough!

DoingItForMyself Tue 10-Jul-12 15:16:52

Thanks MW, nearly spat my tea on the keyboard at your comment !

so is that all I do now, print off the documents x 3 and send it to the court with the payment? Do I need to run it past stbxh or a solicitor first?

Midwife99 Tue 10-Jul-12 16:56:26

Calling Collaborate! Dunno have always used solicitors for my many divorces blush

DoingItForMyself Tue 10-Jul-12 17:06:27

Ah MW don't keep beating yourself up about the "many divorces" - it just shows that you're not a cynic, you still believe in love and partnership and being in a committed relationship even after being let down and hurt. Don't let the bastards change you.

TodaysAGoodDay Tue 10-Jul-12 17:10:04

Low-level EA is enough. I know because that's how I did it. No major things, just little things on and on and on and ...

It helps to write stuff for your solicitor. What mine suggested was say 'In the beginning he did this and said that. In the middle of the marriage it was like this. Towards the end it was like that. Overall I felt like this.' If you have a good solicitor, she will be able to turn that into something fantastic (for you not him haha)

DoingItForMyself Tue 10-Jul-12 17:15:47

Trouble is, we both agreed not to start spending money we don't have on solicitors if we can sort it out through mediation or with each other. Things have become rather more frosty since then, but I still don't want to start shelling out £££s for someone to do the basics - I'd rather save my money to spend on getting the financial settlement right! That will be the big battle, can't wait sad

Collaborate Tue 10-Jul-12 23:39:38

Don't forget to send your marriage certificate too - the original or certified (green from the register office) copy.

skyebluesapphire Thu 12-Jul-12 13:38:35

My STBXH was upset to get a letter saying I would be using UB as the reason but it was all I could use as he wouldn't start the divorce so he had to put up with it!

My solicitor put four reasons all relating to the emotional affair my H was having but won't admit to . And out OW name on the petition too.

Facebook chat, texts/emails through our holiday, 100 texts a day until he moved out, then he wrote me a nasty letter .

My H didn't defend the divorce but said he didn't accept the reasons and they would be challenged if repeated in any other context. I presume that this means that his solicitor told him that if I could prove all the points then there was no point in defending it, as he would have had to pay my costs too then.

I can just hear him sat there saying - well yes I did text her 100 times a day but it wasn't like that.....


According to the nasty letter he wrote to me he could have divorced me for my UB! But he couldn't be bothered so serves him right!

debbievds Thu 26-Jul-12 14:24:33

I am just in the process of starting my divorce, I have been separated for 2 years and could have gone down the road of unreasonable behaviour but felt that I would not be able to cope with my two children if my ex's behaviour became nasty. Dealing with the solicitor now and my ex is consenting to the divorce but has stated he will not take part in any mediation. Not quite sure how this will work out - if for any financial discussions this would have to be settled through Court.

DoingItForMyself Thu 26-Jul-12 15:15:00

Hope it works out ok for you Debbie. I think they insist that you try through a mediator before they allow it to go to court? Its also generally cheaper than paying solicitors' hourly fees, so he's a fool not to accept that offer.

I was originally going to wait 2 years but actually found I was watching what I said & did so as not to aggravate him, as I don't want to end up losing out financially if I upset him.

I realised that after tip-toeing around him for the last 13 years, this was my chance to be free and extract myself from his clutches, so getting the divorce sorted seemed a bit more urgent than I first thought.

Having said that, I still haven't submitted the papers, they're in my drawer waiting for me to see a solicitor and make sure I do it right, but have no money at the mo!

skyebluesapphire Thu 26-Jul-12 21:06:11

debbie if you are entitled to legal aid my solicitor said that they insist on mediation before court. If he doesn't turn up doesnt matter as long as you do, then you get legal aid for the court case too.

My solicitor said that Judges don't think too much of men who don't turn up for mediation.

onetiredmummy Sun 29-Jul-12 19:57:35

Apologies OP I don't have time to read the whole thread but wanted to reply.

Unreasonable behaviour is behaviour *that is unreasonable to you*

There's no list that has acceptable or unacceptable behaviour that you have to tick off. If things such as consistently not coming home until late is unreasonable to you then use it.

Cristina27022008 Fri 07-Nov-14 14:04:23

Hi All,

I am so glad that I found this website it is so helpful. I am just started divorce petition, I want to do all the paper works myself and have a lawyer to do just the financial issues, as I do not have much money. I live in Wimbledon and I work in the city. I would appreciate if I could meet someone went through the divorce to talk. I am so lost and scared. As I know for sure my husband will not be honest in his financial disclosure. As he always been hidden everything relative to his finances.

I am looking forward to hear from any one.

Kind Regards,

Waytoolate Mon 10-Nov-14 17:45:45

Where were you girls 40 years ago ?????
I just visited to research on wording my five UB - wanted to avoid contention. I could have done with the support you give each other 38 years ago, BUT better late than never - and it is better ! I am very happy now and have reclaimed my life and belief in myself.
Thank you all and good luck. Have faith in yourseves.

sarachambers1973 Sun 16-Nov-14 16:45:37

Hi I am going through a horrible divorce. My situation has been hard and traumatic it started a year ago I had I went into the priory to sort myself out with alcohol and post natal depression. Once I went in my mother in law and husband tried to get me sectioned twice permanently. They involved social services telling them I was a terrible mum. I was told I could not go back to the matrimonial home and would have to go to court to gain visitation to the children. I was then ordered to go do an addiction therapy course 100 moles away from my children which I did for 4 months. My husband tried to have the children taken away from me permanently be claiming I was bi polar and had border line personality disorder then stating I was schizophrenic. I had to attend an assessment with an independent psychiatric who cleared me of all three. I am now at the stage where my husband has thrown me out of the house. The courts ordered him pay a rental property fir me and now my children where I now have 50 percent share of the children. I husband threatened me with divorce right at the beginning of the year but never did anything about it. Now that I am stronger I file for divorce under unreasonable behaviour. We both agreed to the divorce bur now he us taking his time signing it off. I am.due to go to the matrimonial home to remove furniture for my new home which has been a nightmare he is so angry and assaulted me the other day in front of the chikdren over a piece of furniture . It has been a year now and I have been living in a nightmare everyday. I try to keep strong fir my children who are 6 and 4 I have explained as much as I can to them. My mother in law has played a huge part in the breakup of our marraige and controls my husband. I don't gave anyone really to talk to about it. I would love to hear from anyone who has experienced anything similar to me.

sarachambers1973 Sun 16-Nov-14 16:55:11

Just to add I know when we get to financial. Proceedings it's going to be a circus. The properties we own are all 8 me husbands name though I gave legal equitable rights in both properties however he told me yesterday he has put a pin on the matrimonial home nit sure what that is but he has made a life a living hell. I am going to be moving back to burgess hill West Sussex where I have no family or friends. It means I can be with me chikdren. I am.hoping that things will move on and I can start again . I have no regrets over the divorce. Any man that us married to their mother cannot be with his wife. I put down the fact he used hardcore porn throughout my marriage had liaisons with prostitutes and strippers on live websites. Also lack is emotional support.
He physically attacked me on holiday last year. And also I was in a marriage of three. How would any wife be able to cope with that? ? Would love to hear from anyone. Sara

TheNewWitchOfSWL Thu 20-Nov-14 14:39:30

Hi Sara, hope your situation improves soon.
I am following this thread, will post again later on with the UB of my ex to see if you guys can help with the wording.
Also what's the 6 months rule? Do we need to wait 6 months after separating to start divorce procedure?
Anyone ever did a divorce through wikivorce?

TheNewWitchOfSWL Thu 20-Nov-14 22:17:02

Mine are:

Prone to mood swings making me feel anxious.
Excessive drinking leading to inability to control emotions.
Withdrawl behaviour when not drinking.
Spending too much time socialising after work making me feel lonely.
Unwillingness to socialise as a family.
Difficulty in communicating.

I am trying to put it mildly but you can guess what lies behind. He is very P-A and I suspect he has borderline personality disorder and is depressed to some degree.

I don't want to wait for the 2 year period but I want to keep it friendly for our daughter's sake. He moved out on the 02/11 and I am just giving it a bit of time for him to feel stronger before `i serve the papers. He really struggled with the idea of separating.

marivotix Fri 21-Nov-14 15:36:47

I am starting also the divorce petition and I am unsure on how to put the reasons for the unreasonable behaviour. I started doing it but after reading the messages here I am not sure if I am explaining too much. I am going to write what I have done so far and I will appreciate any help:

- There have been considerable difficulties in the marriage since January 2013 due our cultural and religious differences (Muslim/Christian), leading to unbearable discussions and fights and making our living together really stressful, not the ideal atmosphere for our child.
- Withdrawal of love and affection which upset me greatly. All love and affection have disappear by now. Barely any intimacy during all this time.
- We have nothing in common any more, no socialising together as couple or as a family, doing each of us our own plans.
-As result of our differences we found impossible to continue living together, so the respondent vacated permanently the matrimonial home on January 2014 since when we have lived entirely separated and apart.
- Since we living apart the situation is much better for both of us

marivotix Fri 21-Nov-14 15:37:07


tessy111 Mon 24-Nov-14 02:32:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Boomingmarvellous Sat 20-Dec-14 19:27:12

That is a bit wordy.

There isn't a lot if space to put stuff so numbered sentences are better and clearer. Also put how the respondents behaviour makes you feel. About 5 incidences should be enough.

1 the respondent is cold and distant towards me and does not participate in family life, this makes me feel isolated and lonely.

2 respondent checks my financial outgoings making me feel unable to buy essential items. I feel controlled

3 respondent spends an unreasonable amount of the family finances on his hobbies and buying electronic equipment making me resentful of his extravagance.

Etc. ........

Worked for me!

Boomingmarvellous Sat 20-Dec-14 19:29:32

You can get it for yourself for £430 and ask the court to get half the costs from him. Intelligent divorce has a step by step 'how to fill in the paperwork' page!

cler1987 Sun 15-Feb-15 15:21:08


I have found this very useful but I am wondering if anyone can tell me if the following will be ok for getting a divorce on unreasonable behaviour, the divorce is agreed by both but he asked me to fill out the forms the reasons are:

1.The respondent and I never socialised as he never wanted to go Out as he worked long hour and didn’t like my Friends.
2.Withdrawal of love and affection .All love and affection has disappeared by now. Barely any intimacy during all this time with the long working hours and never seeing each other.
3.As result of our differences we found impossible to continue living together, so I vacated permanently the matrimonial home in September 2014 since when we have lived entirely separate and apart.
4.Since we’ve been living apart the situation is much better for both of us and we are getting on better.
5.Myself and the respondent had no common interests anymore and never did anything together.

thanks any help will be brilliant

Cueball73 Fri 06-Mar-15 10:31:36

Hi there,
It seems I find myself in a similar position to quite a few of yourselves.
I had to go to a solicitor yesterday, and even though my wife walked out on our marriage over a year ago, and even though she moved out early last year, I have to find 5 reasons of unreasonable behaviour.

I hope you don't mind but I plan on plagiarising several of yours, hoping that whilst keeping it accurate, there is no spite, malice or acrimony there. I am looking to get shared parental responsibility, but to do that, I have to shared child benefit payments, which means, I will take the payments, pay her the payments, and then complete self assessment forms, and pay the tax on the child benefit payments. All because I want to share parental responsibility!
(And yes, I will still be paying maintenance payments to her, even though it will be shared parental responsibility)

-Withdrawal of love and affection which upsets me greatly
-Refusal to have sexual relations with me which deeply hurts me
-Refusal to sleep in the marital bed which upsets me
-The respondent has moved out of the marital home as the marriage had irritrievably broken down.
-All love and affection has disappeared
-It is better for our two sons see two happy divorced parents than witness the tense, unhappy environment that our marriage had become even after 9 months of Relate marriage counselling.
-The respondent frequently went on social nights out without me, even when the opportunity arose where we could go together.

We have both agreed to the divorce and I am just trying to do it, so it is that final act of emotional and financial separation. Closure on 20 years.
Anyways, Thanks for the wealth of information Mumsnet, only wanted to register to post this and say thanks.

damnstatistics Wed 15-Apr-15 12:13:17

To avoid having to state unreasonable behaviour, could we say that we have been separated for 2 years (and living in the same house)? I told him I wanted to separate 5 months ago but the problems had been going on for much longer. So it's not totally true... but if we could agree to do this would the courts object? Could it raise problems later?

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