Unreasonable behaviour most common reason for divorce

By Lenore Rice

Divorcing couples most commonly cite unreasonable behaviour to prove that their marriage has irretrievably broken down, according to the latest figures on divorce from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

There is only one ground for divorce in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which is to show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. There are 5 facts that can be used to prove this ground as follows:

1) Adultery

2) Unreasonable behaviour

3) Desertion

4) Have been separated for 2 years and both spouses consent to the divorce

5) Have been separated for 5 years (Consent not required)

Adultery can be very hard to prove, as it is necessary to produce evidence that the spouse had sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex. As such, if someone believes or knows that their spouse has had an affair with someone else, they will often cite the reason of unreasonable behaviour, rather than adultery, as the requirement to produce evidence is lesser.

Unreasonable behaviour includes a multitude of things, and essentially it is on the petitioner to show that the other party to the marriage has behaved in such a manner that it would be unreasonable to expect them to continue to live with him or her, and as a result, the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

The ONS figures show that 52 per cent of wives and 37 per cent of husband petition on the ground of irretrievable break down of the marriage based on unreasonably behaviour.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.