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Have I Waited Too Long for Unreasonable Behaviour Divorce?

(24 Posts)
Somefantasticplace Sun 16-Aug-20 12:44:23

I told my STBEXH that I wand a divorce in January. Long marriage, 20+ years and EA throughout, although I only saw it for what it was a couple of years ago.

I was set to use unreasonable behaviour but was persuaded that we could separate, divide finances and divorce next year when no fault becomes a possibility.

Now he's backtracking on the finances and I think I've waited too long to use my unreasonable behaviour examples as they are more than six months ago. We have basically lived separate lives under the same roof (apart from the joint finances) since January but I don't know if that makes a difference.

I've had conflicting advice from the two solicitors I've spoken to on this so I'm looking for anyone who has experience of divorcing with older examples?

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Littleorangeflowers Sun 16-Aug-20 17:24:24

Hiya ☺️ you can use anything remotely unreasonable that has made it untenable for you. Like criticising me, refusing to listen to me, refuses to sleep in same bedroom, anything he does that is unreasonable!

Somefantasticplace Sun 16-Aug-20 23:02:34

Hi @Littleorangeflowers, that's what I thought but one of the solicitors I spoke to thought my reasons might not be accepted because the examples were more than 6 months ago. I don't know if they were being over cautious or realistic. It would be awful to file for divorce and have it rejected because I waited too long.

To be honest I'm still scared of his reaction and keep second guessing myself - I'd love to be braver.

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Otter71 Mon 17-Aug-20 08:09:41

Some of my unreasonable behaviour that was accepted had been going on throughout the 20 year marriage. That said have you now been apart 2 years and would 2 years separation be easier?

Somefantasticplace Mon 17-Aug-20 18:05:13

Not 2 years yet @Otter71, although I first told him I wanted a divorce almost 2 years ago. I was persuaded to give it another try and I really wish I had said no now.

So did you have to give recent examples? This is what is confusing me. We have basically lived separate lives since this January so my examples are from before that, although we had a lovely conversation at the weekend where I was told that as he supported me while I was a SAHM I should support him after we separate since he has given up work to study for a career change. That felt unreasonable to me.

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Littleorangeflowers Mon 17-Aug-20 18:31:57

Hi somefatasticplace mine was accepted and I didn't put dates or anything I just said sort of general reasons like 'he is verbally aggressive on family holidays' and 'he doesn't care about my thoughts needs feelings as a person' .. dates weren't asked for as such in the thing you have to write online. I would file listing five things that reasonably make it unacceptable for you to have to continue and then get a solicitor you really like. In the free half hour just explain what you've said about what he's saying. You may not be expected to support him, he can get student loans and other financial support to support himself. Hard without knowing your full situation on here but general rule seems to be they will say pretty much anything to you to make you worry about what's going to happen but it may not actually translate into what will actually happen. They're going to say stuff to you to suit them really. I'm pretty sure just because you've been a sahm that in itself won't mean you have to support him on divorce. It's the children really that are at the centre of it - they have all the rights and the parents have all the responsibility. It may well be that he wants to retrain but there are lots of factors so don't be necessarily put off by what he's saying. flowers

Otter71 Mon 17-Aug-20 19:57:42

So the first example is that you have been living separate lives for some months and he doesn't engage in the family.
To be honest they don't care what the examples are as long as the respondent signs it. My ex husband refused to accept my examples so I let him write what he wanted - some pure fiction, others half truths not mentioning that I was doing things because he wanted me to...)
What is he training to do and how long will it take and when could he reasonably be expected to be back on a reasonable salary? You need to have some idea on this. My current dp had his ex wife retraining when they went through divorce. It skewed the salary expectations such that he was expected to pay spousal maintenance despite the fact that she was then earning a similar salary two years later. So it may be worth discussing the potential implications with a solicitor.
That said depending on how much who gets will depend on the wole picture you both put across.

Somefantasticplace Mon 17-Aug-20 22:28:41

Thanks again @Otter71 and @Littleorangeflowers, circumstances are that dcs are both over 18 and his studies finish in the next couple of months. He could choose to study more or to look for a job but either way I'm likely to be earning more than him.

I suppose I'm just very frustrated, I want out but he says he'll defend if I file for divorce on unreasonable behaviour and he is just bloody minded enough to do that. I thought we had an agreement that we'd separate and split the money from the house sale and I'd be able to get on with my life and then he decides that I should support him until we divorce. That could be more than a year and would really impact what I could afford to do. Typical that things get twisted around.

It feels like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place and I'm still being manipulated. I've been avoiding causing too much upset as dcs have been home since March but they will be away at university soon but then I'll be alone with him and I don't think I can stand it. That's why I'm thinking that just going for the divorce might be worth the trauma short term.

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Littleorangeflowers Tue 18-Aug-20 12:18:00

Given your children are over 18 I wouldn't have thought you would have to give him anything tbh. It's all about childrens needs. So young children who need a roof clothes school trips and so on. Spouses sometimes have to support other spouses if sahp but anyway clean breaks are the thing now. He would be expected to support himself and with no children under 18 he could. There's universal credit if part time student, student loans masters loans and obviously part time work which he would be able to do with adult children.

Freedom I would say is worth the short term trauma. Anyway it sounds like he's trying it on by saying he won't go for it unless it's on his terms. It's a free country. You're allowed to divorce him and move on.

flowers

Littleorangeflowers Tue 18-Aug-20 12:20:10

Get finances sorted before decree nisi. I really cannot see that you would have to support him if you separated given older children. Perfectly capable of doing that himself. Free half hour with a good solicitor will tell you for sure tho x

frazzledasarock Tue 18-Aug-20 12:23:27

I'd also chuck in has volatile temper and is angry and aggressive.

Given you're scared of his reaction to the divorce petition.

Just make a list of reasons, doesn't have to be recent, unless your using infidelity as a reason I think.

They are still pertinent to your reason for wanting a divorce. And do it.

frazzledasarock Tue 18-Aug-20 12:26:36

I'd get divorced sooner rather than later so he cant say he's putting his career on a back burner to support you.

Or that you support him to stay at home (for no reason).

Ex tried contesting my reasons for wanting a divorce, one reason was it's nobodies business and non of these reasons are a reason to divorce. Funnily the judge didn't seem to care much about that and did think I had a fair grounds for wanting to get divorced.

Littleorangeflowers Tue 18-Aug-20 12:33:17

I think being in a twatish manipulative relationship can skew how you think people will react. Normal people, including those at the divorce office, seem to understand what's unreasonable and go yep that's unreasonable, and grant it, even if to you the stbxh is telling you what they're doing is reasonable. I'm getting out of said twatish manipulative relationship and weirdly it still amazes me how encouraging and reasonable people are compared to the rubbish that comes out of stbxh mouth and email account lol. Talking to other reasonable and supportive people as much as possible has this delightful effect of getting your unreasonable radar calibrated to normal again grin

Somefantasticplace Tue 18-Aug-20 21:43:05

Littleorangeflowers

I think being in a twatish manipulative relationship can skew how you think people will react. Normal people, including those at the divorce office, seem to understand what's unreasonable and go yep that's unreasonable, and grant it, even if to you the stbxh is telling you what they're doing is reasonable. I'm getting out of said twatish manipulative relationship and weirdly it still amazes me how encouraging and reasonable people are compared to the rubbish that comes out of stbxh mouth and email account lol. Talking to other reasonable and supportive people as much as possible has this delightful effect of getting your unreasonable radar calibrated to normal again grin

This made me smile, I think my radar has a long way to go grin

Thanks for all of the advice and encouragement, I have made an appointment to speak to a solicitor on Friday to ask about what he might be entitled to and to get reassurance that my grounds would be acceptable. I hate that I'm so hesitant and that I still let him get to me so much, can't wait to get to the other side of all this.

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Belle1983 Tue 18-Aug-20 21:52:14

Hi @Somefantasticplace.
I separated from my exH in August 2015.
There was zero contact for ages. He didn't make any move to start the divorce (he ended the marriage, I was pissed off at the thought of paying so left it) but finally sent the papers off October 2018. Divorce finalised April 2019.

I used unreasonable behaviour and had no issues whatsoever.

The only thing I was told that was time limited was divorcing on the grounds of an affair.
That had to be done within 6 months of finding out, which is why I used behaviour instead.

Somefantasticplace Wed 19-Aug-20 08:52:24

Thanks @Belle1983 that gives me hope and I'm glad you got things sorted.

I'll see what this solicitor says and I know he's still inside my head but I'm trying to think more clearly about what is best for me

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Belle1983 Wed 19-Aug-20 09:39:08

Good luck @Somefantasticplace.
There might still be bumpy times ahead, but you've got a much happier place just a head of you x

Somefantasticplace Thu 20-Aug-20 07:58:46

It certainly does feel bumpy at the moment @Belle1983. Keeping my eyes on that happier place is what is keeping me going.

We're still both living in the family home (neither of us want to leave while dcs are still here) and it's been agony. I can barely stand to look at him anymore but I'm trying to keep things civil for the dcs and beacuse I'm working from home full time for the foreseeable future so I can't escape arguments easily. I have had some very dark days wheat I'd like to crawl under something and never come out but having the dcs here during lockdown has made me keep going.

I'll see what the solicitor says tomorrow and think about things over the weekend. Thanks again to everyone who has taken thr time to reply flowers

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Tiddleypops Fri 21-Aug-20 19:16:20

There's a confusingly worded note on the D8 form (apply for a divorce) which says
"Behaviour cannot be used
if you lived together as
a couple for a period, or
periods, totalling more than 6
months after the date of last
incident you want to rely on
as evidence"
I guess this is what one of the solicitors you spoke to was referring to. It really scared me too, my H is an alcoholic and so excessive drinking was point 1 on the application. I told him I wanted to separate in February 2018 and he pretty much quit drinking as a knee jerk reaction over night, then I didn't apply for divorce for another 10ish months. The upshot is, I put it anyway, it was fine. (And he's drinking more than ever now, obviously). Nobody questioned it. I think it means if you've lived properly as a couple for 6 months, which you haven't. You effectively separated when you told him it was over.

Tiddleypops Fri 21-Aug-20 19:17:35

I hope it went OK with the solicitor op, just realised that would have been today flowers

Somefantasticplace Sat 22-Aug-20 08:17:36

Thanks @Tiddleypops it's good to know that it worked for you, that was the bit of the form that I was worried about.

The chat with the solicitor went well, I liked her straightforward approach and will probably use her in future. We talked around the pros and cons of either divorcing on unreasonable behaviour or agreeing a deed of separation. We had a good dicussion and she thought my grounds would be acceptable and wasn't worried about the 6 months time limit as some of the behaviour had been long term.

At the end I thought the separation would work and would take the heat out of the situation. He's dragging his heels on getting legal advice so I might just get this solicitor to work with me on a proposal and get it sent to him, I think he would take advice then.

I feel less upset and clearer on what I want now but I'll keep unreasonable behaviour in my back pocket just in case. So nice to be able to come here for advice and support, it has really meant a lotflowers

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FippertyGibbett Sat 22-Aug-20 08:24:41

He will be expected to get a job and support himself.

Somefantasticplace Sat 22-Aug-20 10:45:50

I should hope so @FippertyGibbett, I was hurt but sadly not surprised by his opinion about me staying at home with the dcs when they were young being me just having fun and him funding it. I suppose if you never do any childcare you don't appreciate that it's hard work too.

His argument seems to be that it would be 'morally right' for me to support him until he gets a job, however long that takes.

I think it would have been 'morally right' not to have given me the silent treatment and all of the other crap I endured in this marriage.

It pains me that I still don't seem able to say that to him and just stay quiet while he drones on, the knot in my stomach getting ever tighter. I just keep reminding myself that every tiny step is a step closer to being free.

OP’s posts: |
bananamango Fri 28-Aug-20 15:07:11

Littleorangeflowers

I think being in a twatish manipulative relationship can skew how you think people will react. Normal people, including those at the divorce office, seem to understand what's unreasonable and go yep that's unreasonable, and grant it, even if to you the stbxh is telling you what they're doing is reasonable. I'm getting out of said twatish manipulative relationship and weirdly it still amazes me how encouraging and reasonable people are compared to the rubbish that comes out of stbxh mouth and email account lol. Talking to other reasonable and supportive people as much as possible has this delightful effect of getting your unreasonable radar calibrated to normal again grin


OMG this made me laugh - my situation exactly. It's not a competition I know but my DH has - over the last 10-12 years - got deeper and deeper and deeper into EVERY SINGLE conspiracy theory out there. This includes the illuminati, the royal family are half robot, the reason the apes started walking us because aliens came and mates with them, Hillary Clinton has a neurological condition brought on by eating the flesh of a certain type of African monkeys that were sacrificed alive in satanic rituals, Pizza-gate, the world is run by a ring of satanic paedophile politicians including Barack Obama...I could go on and on and on. I am freaked out but over this long period I've lost my grip on normality to an extent as he keeps telling me how narrow minded I am.

He's now trying to teach these theories to our kids.

Think I have grounds for unreasonable behaviour?? hmmwink

I have posted myself earlier today but that was before I'd totally read through this board so I've learned a lot in the last few hours from all the amazing advice on other threads.

Such amazing support here.

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