In an earlier article, we explained the process of getting a divorce. One requirement is that one of you will need to prove that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and therefore, unable to live together.

This can come in the form of your spouse displaying unreasonable behaviour, both actively or passively, and it is affecting your marriage. You may refer to section 95(3)(b) of the Womens’ Charter, or make an appointment with a divorce lawyer to better understand your legal options based on your circumstances.

What is Unreasonable Behaviour?

It is a very broad term with a wide range of meanings and can include acts, both passive and active, as well as failure to act, and includes a range of situations from adultery, to prolonged acts of humiliation, to domestic violence towards you, or even someone else.

This behaviour may be intentional or unintentional.

The main question that you will have to answer will be: Can you reasonably expect to continue living with your spouse?

If your answer is yes, the court will also take into account, both your behavioural attributes such as character and attitude, as well as how you have both been behaving throughout the duration of the marriage.

Are There Exceptions?

Since it requires just one of you to show why you can’t reasonably be expected to live together, there are also certain exceptions, also known as insufficient instances. This is why the court will take certain steps to test for unreasonable behaviour.

Unreasonable Behaviour is at the minimum, more than just a feeling or a state of mind. This means that if you are feeling bored of your spouse, or feel like you don’t love each other anymore even though both of you have not been fighting and living peacefully in the same address, then the court may rule that there is insufficient instance of showing unreasonable behaviour.

How Does The Court Determine Unreasonable Behaviour?

Depending on your circumstances, the court will look at the cumulative effect of this behaviour, how long it has been going on for and how it has been affecting you. This will apply for behaviour that may not be serious when done once, but may be considered unreasonable over a prolonged period, affecting your mental health for example.

Since this verdict only applies to your marriage, in the case of a successful divorce ruling, the evidence of unreasonable behaviour by your spouse to prove the divorce does not necessarily mean they will now be found guilty of misconduct. The focus is only on the acts related to your marriage, and if it is reasonable to expect you to continue living together.

If you are still unsure, or would like to know more about unreasonable behaviour with regards to your personal circumstances, it is highly advisable for you to speak to a divorce lawyer.

Getting a Divorce Lawyer in Singapore

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Practice has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years from domestic violence, spousal and child maintenance; family disputes to high-profile divorce; care and control and custody issues, relocation and child abduction. There is a Team of 4 experienced lawyers in the Firm. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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