What does ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’ mean in divorce?

‘Unreasonable Behaviour’ is one of five statements of fact (four in same sex marriages) used in divorce cases to show a court that a marriage has irretrievably broken down.

It refers to your spouse behaving in such a way that you could no longer be reasonably expected to continue living with them. You are therefore seeking a divorce or in civil partnerships, a dissolution.

How much does a divorce cost?

To apply for a divorce, the court fees are £593. On top of this you will have to pay any solicitor’s fees. There may also be costs for mediation and asking the court to approve a Financial Consent Order. On applying, the petitioner pays the court fee but the court may later make an order for those costs to be covered in whole or in part by the respondent.

How long does a divorce take?

An uncontested divorce, that is where you both agree to divorce, might typically take between four and six months to be finalised. Delays might occur where there are disagreements over finances and child arrangements. These are separate to divorce.

By law, you have to wait six weeks and one day between getting the Decree Nisi and applying for the Decree Absolute.

If a divorce is challenged or the respondent doesn’t apply, a divorce will take much longer.

Is a wife entitled to half of everything?

Dividing matrimonial assets during a divorce is done on a case by case basis. Each situation is different and the financial settlement depends on both spouses’ individual circumstances (if there are children for example,) and what they require.

What rights do I have in a same sex marriage?

You have the same rights as with a Heterosexual Marriage (save for the grounds for Divorce are slightly different). Matters are dealt with on a case by case basis and are very case specific and therefore it is important that you obtain specialist legal advice.

What are the grounds for divorce in a same sex marriage?

The ground for all Divorces in the UK is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To demonstrate this you have to rely on one of the applicable Facts. Those facts for same sex marriage are:

  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • 2 years separation with consent
  • 5 years separation without consent
  • Desertion

You cannot rely on the fact of Adultery in same sex marriage.

The no fault divorce which is due to come into force will apply to same sex marriages.

How do I end my civil partnership?

In order to end your Civil Partnership, you must begin Dissolution proceedings.

How do I establish parental responsibility?

Parental Responsibility can be achieved in several ways. For example, by agreement of the parents and entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement. It can be ordered by the Court, or by being named on the Child’s birth certificate. Parental Responsibility is a very complex area and it is therefore imperative that you seek legal advice if you are unsure as to your rights.

What happens when we use an egg or sperm donor?

This is a very complex area of law and is very fact specific. Therefore if you are unsure as to your rights you should not hesitate in contacting a member of our team who specialise in this area of law.

Deciding to Divorce is never easy and may take a lot time for you to reach that decision. When you are working through that decision you will be able to think about your feelings which will help you learn how to handle those emotions which will then allow you to make better decisions for your future.

BTMK Family and Matrimonial team

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