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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!

Porcupine123 Fri 25-Nov-16 15:08:17

Hello everyone!
This is my first post on mumsnet. I read this thread extensively, as I suddenly found myself facing a similar situation. We have been married for under 5 years, out of which I trying to save us for the last 3. His vile temper, narcissistic personality, and mood swings have led me to illness. During last two years we bought a ruined house which I worked on almost entirely by myself (I bet my head he would deny that). Funnily enough, he demanded divorce but agreed that I can do it (he's too lazy). I have read the whole thread which was invaluable but I would be really grateful if someone who's been through this could tell me if my examples will be enough for the judge. I cannot write the whole truth, because I need to keep him pleased. He is in total denial about his temper, so I cannot write anything remotely aggravating. This is the bare minimum I came up with that he cannot deny. I admit I hijacked some of your problems - as someone rightly mentioned I married a pattern of behaviour sad

1.Towards the end of the marriage the Respondent has been showing no interest in my wishes or opinions, and on several occasions admitted he has no respect for me, claiming I do not deserve it, which made me feel rejected and belittled.
2.The Respondent has repeatedly refused to communicate on any meaningful level regarding problems in our marriage in the last two years. For example, the Respondent has refused my requests to attend counselling in attempt to save our marriage.
3.The Respondent has encouraged me to take up medical studies and subsequently refused any support, demanding I should terminate the course under threat of ceasing all communication with me. It made me feel anxious and insecure about my future.
4.In the last year of our marriage the Respondent became very secretive, which made me feel isolated and undermined my trust. For example, the Respondent has suddenly denied me any access to his emails, bank account, and phone.
5.As a result of the Respondent’s unreasonable behaviour, I permanently vacated our former matrimonial home on the 5th day of November 2016 since when the Respondent and I have lived entirely separate and apart.

LoveAboveAll Fri 04-Nov-16 01:20:23

Hi sorry to trouble - your post was a while ago. What GROUNDS then were used in that divorce application please? as it sounds like it was soft and kind? thank you

trainwreck Thu 07-May-15 12:21:55

Can anyone help in,do l need a solicitor as my ex is divorcing me under unreasonable behaviour,when it was him who cheated,on me and l just walked out,we have a house together,no kids,can't afford a solicitor,but his letter from his says that if l just sign it,then l don't have to pay any cost,but l don't like the fact that he has put that its unreasonable behaviour,when all l did was walk out,l did try to get him to mediation,but he wasn't willing does that help my case,or that l have prove that he has admitted to affair

damnstatistics Wed 06-May-15 09:34:50

If anyone can give me some feedback on the reasons I have suggested I would be really grateful - think H might contest it.

damnstatistics Thu 30-Apr-15 10:06:45

Dear Mumsnetters - filling in Form 8... Thinking about unreasonable behaviour, and I would very much welcome any feedback on the following... I'm taking to heart the previous comments about informing DH in advance about the reasons I put down, to try to make it less of a shock when the papers are served...

Respondent constantly picked fights over trivial matters, insulting and belittling me, making me feel extremely anxious and exhausted

Respondent ruined family outings with his irritation, aggressive driving, and relentlessly negative comments and attitude, so that for several years I have had no companionship and intimacy at home.

Despite repeated requests from me, respondent refused to stop smoking in the house, even when the children were babies and when I had cancer, which made me feel he did not care for our family's wellbeing.

All love and affection has disappeared, which upsets me greatly.

trainwreck Mon 27-Apr-15 20:23:28

Hi everyone my hubby cheated on me through txting and sleep with prostitute,I tried to save my marriage,but after 13 yrs l walked away.

Before that are marriage was good,but 3 yrs ago that's what he did to me,knowing at the time my mum had cancer,we both lost two kids in are 20s which for me l have never got over,he made me sleep in the spare room before l walked out so he could carry on with the txting,while l tried to save are marriage,he wouldnt go to relate,so l had to do mediation then l found out the reason he won't got he wanted kids,he marriage me knowing l couldn't give them to him,he has now put me down as unreasonable behaviour,when he was him who cheated,and told me he wanted kids,knowing l can't give them to him,he has now got a gf with kids,but when l left he said he wasn't going to divorce me until two yrs now he is with saying that he will use UB,any help would be good,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?

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.

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

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!

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!

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

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

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


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

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.

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?

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

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.

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.

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,

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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