Examples of unreasonable behaviour in a divorce
I recently came across a news article in relation to a newly married couple in Iraq having hit a new record for the shortest marriage after deciding to divorce following a disagreement during their wedding celebrations. According to the local media, the bride asked for a song to be played which caused offence to the groom and his family.
The husband in this case clearly considered his wife’s behaviour to be unreasonable and he proceeded with a Divorce on that basis.
What does unreasonable behaviour mean in Scotland for a couple considering Divorce? In Scotland unreasonable behaviour means that your spouse has behaved in such a way that means you cannot be reasonably expected to reside with them.
Some examples of unreasonable behaviour when divorcing your husband or wife include but are not limited to being subjected to physical violence, verbal abuse, substance abuse including alcohol or drugs, social isolation, coercive behaviour, financial coercion, if your partner has commenced a relationship with somebody of the same sex outside of your marriage and if they refuse to contribute financially and emotionally to your shared lives. It can be wide ranging from abuse to leaving the lid off the toothpaste every night.
In Scotland, in order to end a marriage, one has to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. There are four ways to show this:
- Unreasonable behaviour.
- One years’ separation with consent.
- Two years’ separation.
Often both parties reach a decision that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and as such although not an ideal outcome they consider that they are best to separate in order to be happier in the future. For others it is the behaviour of their spouse that has caused the breakdown in the marriage. These cases can be particularly difficult to deal with for both the person who has been subjected to the behaviour and the person who has been accused of the behaviour. They have to be handled sensitively.
Sadly, many marriages in Scotland end in divorce with no sign of that trend slowing. Relationships and marriages are difficult and have been compounded by lockdowns and restrictions on our freedoms.
If you are in a situation where you believe that your marriage has broken down irretrievably because of your spouses’ unreasonable behaviour then you may be considering a separation and/or progressing divorce proceedings. It is important that you obtain the support of a specialist family lawyer as they will be able to guide you in relation to a fair settlement and will help you find closure to move on with your
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