Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

What are the grounds for unreasonable behaviour?

(20 Posts)
backtothedrawingboard Fri 02-Sep-11 12:28:11

Please could anyone give me examples of what they have cited in terms of unreasonable behaviour.

My solicitor has suggested it as an option if H won't agree to a separation agreement which would entail him moving of the family home voluntarily. I don't think he will agree so may have to petition for divorce.

mumblechum1 Fri 02-Sep-11 12:38:38

Hi, I'm a family lawyer and in the twenty odd years I've been practising I've issued petitions on everything from a husband who didn't pick up his socks (is there any other kind?) to one who attacked his wife with a claw hammer and puther in a coma for three weeks, and everything in between.

The court doesn't really care whose fault it is that the marriage has broken down, and usually it's down to both parties anyway.

Typically, you'll be expected to state the general background, eg saying that your husband drinks to excess/shouts at you/is secretive/wastes money/is mean with money, or whatever your main complaint is, then specify maybe 6 or 7 incidents to illustrate that behaviour.

so you may be saying that your dh is very unsociable and notinterested in spending time with you and the children because he's a workaholic or a golf fanatic. So you say that, then come up with 4 incidents in the last year where you've asked him to go on a day out with you and the children and he's refused, going to play golf with his friends instead.

Put enough allegations in that you can afford to prune off a few. The draft petition will be sent to your husband for his feedback and it helps to oil the wheels if he gets his way in having one or two of your allegations deleted before the petition is issued in court. If you don't agree the allegations before issuing the petition, there's likely to be an expensive and time consuming argument in court - far better to thrash it out before issuing.

chill1243 Fri 02-Sep-11 12:41:23

BACK Its a very good question on unreasonable behaviour. I am not a lawyer but I take an interest.

It could be to do with sex, holidays, money attitude, shouting, aggression,
teaching the budgie to say rude words.

Hope something comes on for you with more actual experince.

backtothedrawingboard Fri 02-Sep-11 13:00:48

Thanks MC1 - didn't realise it could be so wide. I doubt my H will agree with any of my allegations so I'll start putting my list of incidents together. It feels like I'm doing an investigation!

mumblechum1 Fri 02-Sep-11 13:05:44

The thing to bear in mind is that it's behaviour which you find unreasonable, ie it's a very subjective test. It doesn't matter whether I or next door's dog would find your h's behaviour unreasonable, only that you do.

garlicnutter Fri 02-Sep-11 13:37:04

Back, another thing to consider is that some very proud/controlling types don't want to be dumped but will respond by doing the dumping. This happened with my X#2. I issued a petition, he went nuclear and petitioned me. All I had to do then was make a show of disputing some of his claims against me, and I got my divorce wink

wishiwasholdingaachinegun Fri 02-Sep-11 13:43:29

Do the men get to see what you've written then?

I 'unreasonable behavoured' my ex and never heard anything back from it. Does that mean he admitted he was a git?

And to help the OP; yes you need about six examples of his behviour. I forgot what most of mine were but I definately wrote about his temper (would stand in front of me punching himself in the face), him nagging me for an abortion/adoption whe I was pregnant with our (planned) baby, refering to sex as 'his martital right' and I think I mentioned him aso refusing to allow me a debit card or doorkey.


mumblechum1 Fri 02-Sep-11 14:32:48

Yes, the respondent has always seen the Petition, at one time only after it was filed at court, but best practice now is always to send a draft for consideration before filing.

mouldyironingboard Fri 02-Sep-11 17:04:31

You've had good advice from mumble. What the lawyers on both sides need to be sure of is that they are able to show the court that the marriage has broken down for good.

garlicnutter Fri 02-Sep-11 18:16:52

Courts don't force people to stay in marriages they don't want, mouldy. Any old behaviour will do, really, it's just about giving a "reason" why you can't stand it any longer. One of the famous ones was a man who divorced his wife on grounds that she cooks fish every Friday, although he can't stand the smell.

carernotasaint Fri 02-Sep-11 23:17:52

Wishiwasholdingamachinegun. Blimey how did you cope with all that. I hope your life is happier now.

FabbyChic Sat 03-Sep-11 00:03:03

Do you have a mortgage with this man? If so irrespective of what you put he does not have to leave, one could say if it is that bad why don't you leave?

garlicnutter Sat 03-Sep-11 00:34:42

Yes, you're both entitled to live in the family home I'm afraid - unless violence is involved, then you'd need police evidence. If neither of you will move out, you'll have live separately in the same home - not sleeping together, sharing meals or anything like that - until your decree absolute. It's shit but loads of people have to do it, including me (twice.)

garlicnutter Sat 03-Sep-11 01:21:37

<belated caveat> I'm not a lawyer and it's 10 years since my divorce.

piellabakewell Sat 03-Sep-11 08:29:27

I started off by petitioning UB, but when we sent exH the petition he crossed half of it out and wrote his comments on the rest. It reached the point where it was so sanitised it didn't sound unreasonable anymore. This went on for about 4 months and cost me a fortune, then it reached the point where there was only 2 months to go for two years separation so he agreed to do it that way instead. We lived in the same house for 16 of those 24 months but that wasn't a problem at court.

InTheArmyNow Sat 03-Sep-11 15:39:42

Can I ask? If you live seaparetly in the same house before divorce, can u claim benefit as a single person? Also who is paying mrgage fax electricity etc as it Is all shared?

piellabakewell Sat 03-Sep-11 17:56:26

I claimed tax credit as a single person a few months before I moved. He paid household bills, as he always had, I paid most of expenses related to the children. He earned 2.5 times my income (over £100k) so I didn't feel bad about him continuing to put a roof over his children's heads. He did remind me often that I could leave whenever I wanted though hmm.

InTheArmyNow Sun 04-Sep-11 11:39:41

Thanks for that. I though that it would not be possible for me to claim tax credit as a single person if he was still in the house. Would you have to prove that you are not sleeping in the same bed anymore too?

piellabakewell Wed 07-Sep-11 19:17:20

No, you don't have to prove it! I also didn't have to prove anything to the court when claiming two years separation, but had to sign an additional affidavit to explain the circumstances.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 08-Sep-11 03:09:45

"Any old behaviour will do" Classic, garlic! grin

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: