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What constitutes "unreasonable behaviour" for divorce?

(26 Posts)
DoingItForMyself Thu 05-Jul-12 14:37:29

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 Thu 05-Jul-12 14:43:23

Actually maybe I should re-post this in divorce - oops!

fluffyraggies Thu 05-Jul-12 14:45:20

I am absolutely no expert - but have been through a divorce where i had to give grounds. (He wouldn't divorce me - he made me divorce him)

Without going into the nitty-gritty, yes, you can cite small incidents and general ongoing situations. I was worried about this too, as i didn't want to drag the whole marriage over the coals. I was amazed at how much general stuff can be submitted.

No one can actually refuse to divorce you.

I wouldn't make anything up doingit.

Does that help at all?

ShirleyKnot Thu 05-Jul-12 14:46:46

EA is a perfectly acceptable reason for divorce.

I think I put on mine: abandonment, adultery, excessive alcohol comsumption, one x incident of physical DV and stuff about his not contributing financially to the household and staying out all night once a month.

Are you going to a solicitor? I seem to remember just pouring it all out and she drafted the thing for me.

NotMostPeople Thu 05-Jul-12 14:48:10

I divorced my exH on grounds of unreasonable behaviour. My solicitor asked me to tell him why I was divorcing him and then he put it into the correct terminology. In my case I was married to a workaholic who wanted a little lady at home who'd defer to him - he made a bad choice in me. You sound like you'd have even stronger grounds.

DoingItForMyself Thu 05-Jul-12 14:54:44

Well its lots of little things (saying I looked like someone particularly hideous from TV, but then saying its just a joke) checking all my receipts, lots of eye rolling and "do I have to" when asked to join in with family activities, saying that if I didn't have more sex with him he'd find someone who would, but then totally denying saying it, getting stroppy about lights left on, bags not put away in cupboards etc, so none of it on its own is probably divorce-worthy, but it was endless criticism.

Just doesn't sound like enough when I write it down. Maybe I should go back over previous posts to dig up the most juicy stuff I complained about?!

TheLastNameLeft Thu 05-Jul-12 14:56:39

I divorced on the grounds of "irreconcilable differences"

Will that work instead?

fluffyraggies Thu 05-Jul-12 14:58:45

I can remember sitting in the solicitor's office going over the darker details of my relationship with my ex (yes, they draft it for you) and suddenly feeling a great surge of sadness and then huge relief that it was going to end. I was weepy in his office, and I had to stop the car on the way home and cry - as if i'd been to therapy or something. I felt embarrassed at the time, but know now he'd probably seen it all before.

I'd spent so long and so much effort trying to convince myself that i was happy. It was quite overwhelming to realise i didn't have to do that anymore.

Sorry - just had to tell that.

fluffyraggies Thu 05-Jul-12 15:00:54

doingit - just say what you've just said here. You STBX sounds like a prize prat smile

RockinD Thu 05-Jul-12 19:42:46

It's a subjective test, so if you think a behaviour in unreasonable then it's unreasonable.

Incidents of emotional abuse would suffice - belittling you is always a good one.

As others have said, talk to your solicitor and they'll sort out the wording.

Good luck.


Berris Thu 05-Jul-12 20:01:53

You need about half a dozen reasons, and if you can cite a couple if 'big' ones, with dates. I did my own divorce on ex's unreasonable behaviour and used things like - friendship with another female outside the relationship, going to the pub every night (leaving me home alone with the DCs), that kind of thing.

skyebluesapphire Thu 05-Jul-12 20:40:36

My solicitor drafted mine, I gave him a copy of the nasty letter my STBXH wrote to me, along with copies of Facebook chat, emails, and mobile records and he decided that the excessive contact with another woman was the main grounds of unreasonable behaviour . .....

My H was apparently very hurt (aw diddums!) that I used UB as the reason but i didn't want to wait two years and couldn't prove adultery. My H could have divorced me but chose not to despite being the one to walk out!

Just make a list of stuff and let your solicitor choose .

PoshPaula Thu 05-Jul-12 20:51:59

My ex divorced me on grounds of unreasonable behaviour, as I had already moved out some time before and we were definitely over. He included the point that I had shown 'no interest in gardening'. He was so right - I did jack all gardening actually...

DoingItForMyself Thu 05-Jul-12 20:54:23

Lastname - what constitutes irreconcilable differences then, just wanting different things from life? (e.g I wanted him to be part of our family - he wanted to be single! I wanted him to be loving to me, he wanted to tell me I look like Bubbles from Little Britain and thought it was a funny joke hmm )

PoshPaula Thu 05-Jul-12 21:01:18

Rockin is right. It's subjective and so it's what you consider to be unreasonable behaviour. It's a quick route to a divorce.

StillGettingItWrong Thu 05-Jul-12 22:59:28

I'm having the same problem. My STBXH was/is emotionally and verbally abusive. I could go to town on him giving examples of his shitty "unreasonable" behaviour but for the sake of keeping it amicable I'm having to come up with less inflammatory reasons. After all, as someone who proclaimed to be "never wrong" he's not going to go along with the truth. (It never happened in his "reality" anyway...). Does having minging toe nails count as UB...? hmm

izzyizin Thu 05-Jul-12 23:26:20

Citing instances of his 'endless criticism' is more than sufficient to divorce on the ground of unreasonable behaviour.

Alternatively, instances of his 'endless criticism' can be used as evidence of irreconcilable differences.

Tell your solicitor what you've said here and they'll draft your Petition - it's what you're paying them for.

YankNCock Thu 05-Jul-12 23:30:30

I did my divorce on grounds of unreasonable behavior, and as many have said, it's whatever you consider to be unreasonable. I gave about 5-6 examples, some specific incidents, some more general. Would be happy to send you a copy if it would help, I did this for a friend who is also getting divorced recently. If you PM me your email, I'll scan just that page and send it.

skyebluesapphire Thu 05-Jul-12 23:37:52

If my STBXH had filed for divorce, according to his letter to me detailing my faults he could have said:

House was a disgrace

Hurtful sarcastic comments over the years

I walked all over him

I didn't support him in his business

I got stressed and took it out on him

He didn't love me any more

I didn't care when he was ill

We only had sex two or three times a week (!!)

I never allowed him to see his friends

I organised his entire life.

luckily for me he wasnt organised enough to do the divorce so I got in first grin

None of the above is true by the way apart from the house being a tip and the sex friends tell me their H's are lucky to get it once a month but can you see why he made me feel like a really bad person and why I now need counselling!

pinkkoala Thu 05-Jul-12 23:50:31

i am interested in this, i gave my solicitor some unreasonable behaviour comments such as the threats i had from him, an incident where he put a belt round hir neck in front of dd, but can i use things like his laziness, refusal to work-he is currently unemployed but keeps refusing jobs agencies find him, he isnt supporting me financially at the mo, i pay all bills, food etc-and tells me that i had time off-yes i did om paid mat leave 7 yrs ago. i feel the threats and belt incident is going to kick up such a storm i wanted other things that could maybe keep it bit more amicable especially as we have dd who is 7. who i should add that he has said he will fight me for custody of her, i have always been main carer and work part time.

ShirleyKnot Fri 06-Jul-12 06:47:08

Refusal to work and financially contribute is definitely a good reason. You can add threats to make you comply in with that as well.

Your solicitor will help you. I tried to go down the nicey nicey path with my ex husband and my sol told me that I needed to just be honest about why I wanted to dissolve my marriage. I was very scared at the time but looking back, he always was a big fat bully so me standing up to him was a GOOD thing.

catsrus Fri 06-Jul-12 07:46:03

It's a means to an end, my exH left me (OW but not admitting it - lol I even knew who it was) but I suggested he divorce me on the grounds of UB, it made him do the work and because he's a picky sod it cost him a lot more than me in solicitors time.i knew if I divorced him then he would get nasty with whatever I said and demand changes. We used collaborative family law so had joint meetings with solicitors at the start and agreed to keep it amicable. I asked if it was ok to not read the petition and was told alli had to do was say I'd received it. It went to my solicitor - I have a copy on my PC but have never even looked at it.

I don't care what he said - he probably believed it <shrug> it doesn't matter, no-one ever gets to see it. If your ex also wants a divorce then letting him think he has the moral high ground might be the strategic way to go. I Just did what I had to do to get it over with as painlessly as possible, unlike shirley standing up to him wasn't important at this point, though it might be for a lot of people . And yes I do sometimes get the urge to read what he said but I'd rather be indifferent than angry so the urge is easily resisted smile

His solicitor said that in every marriage, even good ones, there will be things you could cite as UB so don't think it has to be huge

DoingItForMyself Fri 06-Jul-12 07:59:57

Wow Cats - you must have cast iron self control to have never looked at it!

I think stbxh would rather not bother if I left it to him (perhaps he realises he will end up losing more than he gains when we divorce? Perhaps he's just burying his head pretending its not really happening and we're still married, just living in different houses?! He's still wearing his wedding ring, so the significance of that has obviously escaped him)

Pink I would be very tempted to put about the belt if he is planning on going for custody, so that at least you have a record of it in an official place - I know its not exactly evidence, but it at least shows that it was a big factor in your decision to leave him. If you don't mention it he can deny it and say that if it had happened you would have mentioned it.

freedombeckons Tue 02-Apr-13 08:13:08

Thank you for this thread - gong through the same kind of stuff myself - he has another woman but he has bullied me for years so I'll be glad to be out of it - I'm a writer but don't even know what to put.

BertieBotts Tue 02-Apr-13 08:25:16

I've heard of a case where one of the things cited was cooking smelly fish" grin

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