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Topic:
How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce (26 Posts)
Started By:
Date:
09 June, 2016 08:21PM
How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 09 June, 2016 08:21PM
My new partner wants to get a divorce from his wife so that he can be legally free to be with me. However his current wife has stated that she does not want to get divorced despite him admitting that he is with me and wants his future to be with me.

The situation is slightly complicated in that in order to do his work he needs at some points to continue to live in what has been his marital home as he could not commute the distances required from my house given the restrictions he has on driving hours (coach driver by trade). He is happy to continue to support his wife in terms of keeping the house maintained etc but cannot afford to leave the property and seek alternative accommodation in that area due to the high costs so moving out is not an option.

His wife could seek divorce on the grounds of adultery but her religion is such that she would prefer to forgive and try to reconcile the marriage; this is not an option for him because as far as he is concerned the marriage has been over for some time and he wants his future to be with me.

Does anyone have any possible solutions or suggestions as to how he could proceed. It seems somewhat unfair that he is trapped in a situation where he cannot find any grounds for divorcing her and she is currently adamant that she does not want to divorce him.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Andyk - 10 June, 2016 07:28AM
Well if he wants a divorce there is nothing stopping him from obtaining one, he does not need his wife's permission to do that. He should petition her on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, a good solicitor will be able to word the petition sufficiently well enough for it to satisfy a court.

You say that he cant afford to find alternative accommodation in his area, unfortunately, in a divorce there have to be compromises and it is unreasonable for him to expect to be divorced and to continue to be allowed to live in the same house as his ex wife, unless she is happy to let that happen. Whatever there is in the financial pot has to be used to house both of them, saying that, if there are any dependent children or the wife has limited earning / mortgage capacity then she may end up getting the lions share of what there is available.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 10 June, 2016 08:26AM
Andyk, thank you for your reply.
The sticking point here is I think finding suitable grounds for unreasonable behaviour as so far his current solicitor does not consider that anything she has done can be termed as 'unreasonable' that will stand up in court. If anything it is my partner who has demonstrated unreasonable behaviour by choosing to follow his life with another woman.

As far as accommodation goes I understand your point but as we are talking central London it would be extremely difficult for both to find affordable alternatives. Moving out of the area would be problematic in terms of my partners work as he is needed in central London in order to do his job and to be on call when required. As for his wife she is retired and her friends and entire social life etc is centred around where she currently lives so it would be unfair and unreasonable to expect her to relocate out of the area as she is in her latter years.

As it currently stands it appears that she is resigned to the fact that he is doing what he is and is 'happy' to continue to live in the house under the present circumstances. There are no dependent children (three children all grown up and left home), there is no mortgage on the property and both have independent incomes and pensions. He has reassured his children that he will continue to maintain the house and make sure that their mother is ok but ultimately he wants to be divorced and free to pursue his life with me.

I understand that this situation is perhaps not conventional in terms of getting separated and divorced but we just want to find a workable solution where all parties are considered.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 10 June, 2016 10:30AM
Just to add some additional information in case it helps....effectively the marriage was over long before we met....a couple of years ago his wife rejected him and said that she no longer wanted to sleep with him anymore, this was hard for him to accept and I know that he was very hurt by this. Since then they have slept in separate bedrooms and have effectively led very separate lives to the point where they no longer eat meals together and each does their own shopping.

My partner threw himself into his work and basically just worked and went back to the property to eat and sleep. They have had no joint social life together for some years as she has her own circle of friends which he has no interest in joining.

To all intents and purposes they have been separated but have remained living in the same property for at least the last two years. It is only since meeting me earlier this year that he has realised how unsatisfying his life had become and that he wanted something different.

Don't know if this puts any different slant on the situation but any suggestions would be welcomed in trying to find a solution.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Bubblegum - 10 June, 2016 04:10PM
Unless she is some sort of Saint, I'm sure they can find grounds for UB there somewhere. What date of separation would be used? If it's from 2 years ago, then he may be able to use things like the lack of intimate relations and unwillingness to socialise together etc. Is she likely to defend it?
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 10 June, 2016 05:06PM
Bubblegum Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Unless she is some sort of Saint, I'm sure they
> can find grounds for UB there somewhere. What
> date of separation would be used? If it's from 2
> years ago, then he may be able to use things like
> the lack of intimate relations and unwillingness
> to socialise together etc. Is she likely to defend
> it?

Not a saint but a member of a religious group that doesn't believe in divorce unless on the grounds of adultery....that I think is part of the sticking point in not wanting a divorce....it seems she takes more notice of what her church elders say rather than her husband or any of her family...her initial reaction was "I will have to go and speak to my church elders". It seems that there are more than two people in this marriage.

For the record, my partner has never been part of the religious group even though his wife has tried on various occasions over the years to invite him to join. The fact that he has been unable over the years to even celebrate birthdays or Christmas with his children is perhaps another factor to be considered....whether this would qualify as unreasonable behaviour was perhaps one angle he was considering but not sure how a judge would view that.

As for a date of separation he was led to believe that this would have to be in terms of moving out of the property or demonstrating that they are leading separate lives by splitting all household costs into separate names and providing some sort of evidence as to when they split.....not sure exactly what that 'evidence' would have to consist of as it seems it would just be his word against hers at the moment. His wish is to make this as amicable as possible but it is difficult given the particular circumstances where she just refuses to discuss it and where she insists on following her church's advice.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Andyk - 10 June, 2016 05:59PM
Well he can't divorce her for his adultery but you have more or less given a couple reasons he can use, wife rejected him, no intimacy. By virtue of the fact that he has moved out indicates that the marriage has broken down. It must have been a pretty poor solicitor if they couldn't make an unreasonable behaviour case out of that.

At the end of the day it's up to him if he wants to divorce her or not, she can't stop him and neither can the religious elders, if he wants it, he can have it. If he feels guilty about leaving her, then by all means he can leave her with the house, fund it for her so she maintains her lifestyle, lives near her friends and if she is happy for him to continue living there part time, well that's up to her and him.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Bubblegum - 10 June, 2016 08:09PM
Well if the solicitor has told him the grounds are weak - maybe the UB you have mentioned can't be relied upon due to the date of separation being used or that the UB has been tolerated or accepted for a length of time so it is no longer unreasonable. In the end he will still get a divorce - worst case scenario he will have to wait another 3 years, then apply as 5 years separation.

Married couples can separate and still live under the same roof. Not sure what the standard for defining 'separated' in these circumstances would be though.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2016 08:13PM by Bubblegum.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 11 June, 2016 08:08PM
Andyk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well he can't divorce her for his adultery but you
> have more or less given a couple reasons he can
> use, wife rejected him, no intimacy. By virtue of
> the fact that he has moved out indicates that the
> marriage has broken down. It must have been a
> pretty poor solicitor if they couldn't make an
> unreasonable behaviour case out of that.
>

From what I can gather the solicitors view was that the lack of intimacy and the fact that his wife refused to sleep with him anymore would be difficult to use as a reason for unreasonable behaviour given that they are the ages that they are....the solicitor seemed to imply that being in your sixties, as my partner and his wife are, that a judge would not accept this and that a breakdown in intimate relations at this stage of life was only to be expected.....seems a bit ageist to me in suggesting that people in the older age group cannot expect to have intimate relations but that was the solicitors view.

Hence he (my partner) would probably need to look for other reasons of unreasonable behaviour which there again seems difficult to prove....when claiming unreasonable behaviour what sort of evidence do you have to produce in order to prove it / what reasons are admissible ....just seems that it would be one persons word against another or do you need some hard evidence to back it up.

Also someone else mentioned the fact that he had seemed to accept and tolerate the behaviour which in a sense he did for a while as he could see no other option and separation or divorce was not a thought that had crossed his mind....then we met which has put a new slant on life so what he previously 'accepted' has now become unacceptable.....is complicated I know but that is how it is.

Would be so much easier if she just decided to divorce him on the grounds of adultery as could easily state dates and times to back that up.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Andyk - 11 June, 2016 09:51PM
I would suggest he sees a different solicitor then, under 60's do not have the monopoly on intimacy. That he has moved out and formed a relationship with someone else is enough that the marriage has broken down, it shouldn't take much for a competent solicitor to elicit some other details. He doesn't have to provide evidence of the unreasonable behaviour, it just has to be true, and the most trivial things can be worded in such a way to make them appear worse than they possibly are.

Dont take this the wrong way, but are you sure he actually wants a divorce or is he just saying that? Seems strange given his situation that a solicitor has said he can't progress an unreasonable behaviour petition. I appreciate that he doesn't want to put her out and disrupt her life but by virtue of the fact that if he divorces her he will do just that.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
IzaKol - 17 June, 2016 07:49PM
Hey!

Writing from my own perspective... There's no other option then use a method of Niccolò Machiavelli. If you are hurting somebody then do it one time, if you take step don't hesitate later, don't change your mind. Be assertive. Give all of those advices to your boyfriend and if he will use it it will be ok.

IzaKol
[paybyphonecasino.eu]
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Vabby123 - 19 June, 2016 03:40PM
The threshold for ‘unreasonable behaviour’ is deliberately low so it is easier for couples to divorce in reliance of those grounds. It will not be difficult for a solicitor to find an appropriate claim. Otherwise, he will have to wait five years to be able to divorce her (without her consent) on grounds of five-year separation.

Would your partner consider obtaining a legal separation instead of a divorce? It works very much like a divorce in that spouses lose inheritance rights under a will and matrimonial property is divided. There is no requirement to prove the marriage has broken down irretrievably (although you can rely on facts such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour) and there is only one decree pronouncing judicial separation rather than the two in divorce (decree nisi and decree absolute).

In practice, the sole advantage of a legal separation is where divorce is unconscionable for religious reasons. The only effective difference for your partner is that he will not, of course, be free to remarry, but it is a way of putting a practical end to the legal implications of his marriage in a way that might be agreeable to his wife, given her piety.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 20 June, 2016 05:01AM
In reply to the above comment about legal separation.....is this something that can be done by one party without the other parties consent or do both parties have to agree to it.....if joint consent is required this will be the sticking point....

Our problem at the moment seems to be that his wife is burying her head in the sand (or rather in her church) and totally refusing to discuss any matters relating to their relationship or potential separation or divorce...despite saying she would seek some sort of independent legal advice the only 'advice' she appears to have sought (if she has) has been from her church elders even to the point of saying to my partner that "they want to see and speak to you" (which he has absolutely no interest or intention of doing as he has told her it is her church and nothing to do with him/ he has never had any interest in becoming a Witness)......life for her just seems to be going on as normal.....seems we are currently at stalemate ....

His ultimate aim is divorce and to be free to remarry ....the question is how to get there which is proving to be the sticking point at the moment....our best policy seems to be on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour providing he can find some valid reasons to give that will be acceptable to the courts.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 20 June, 2016 05:15AM
>
> Married couples can separate and still live under
> the same roof. Not sure what the standard for
> defining 'separated' in these circumstances would
> be though.

Would be really interested to hear of any examples of where this has been the case and what the actual conditions are....plus how do you actually prove separation.
My partner and his 'wife' do live under the same roof as such but do lead almost totally separate lives....separate bedrooms / separate meals /separate shopping/ separate bank accounts and finances......she has no interest in his life / work ....he has no interest in her church.....they do not socialise together or have any social life together whatsoever .....they rarely even communicate or even speak to each other.
...to all intents and purpose they are living as two separate people in the same property (and have been for some years) other than a piece of paper that says they are "married". .....question is ....what do you have to do to prove that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20/06/2016 05:39AM by Molly.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
davidterry - 20 June, 2016 09:32AM
In the circumstances above the fact is that if your partner wants a divorce he can have one. Only he knows the answer to that but there is no doubt that he can have a divorce. No-one can be compelled to remain married to another person against their will. One ground for divorce is as good as any other. When two people live at the same address rather than torturing their circumstances into 'separation' it is almost always simpler and safer to rely upon unreasonable behaviour.

This is particularly the case if the separation relied upon is going to be less than separation for five years because separation for two years requires consent as a ground for divorce. And if a couple have been 'separated' for five years while living under the same roof the chances are high that some time during that five years something will have happened which will make that 'separation' questionable.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Andyk - 20 June, 2016 12:07PM
As David has said, if he wants a divorce he can have one, he needs to decide if he wants to get the ball rolling and set himself free or live married to her forever because he can't cope with any guilt. As they say,mouth can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Vabby123 - 22 June, 2016 09:20AM
Quote
Molly
In reply to the above comment about legal separation.....is this something that can be done by one party without the other parties consent or do both parties have to agree to it.....if joint consent is required this will be the sticking point....

Like divorce, a legal separation can be obtained with or without consent. The grounds are the same, although it is not necessary to prove that the marriage has “broken down irretrievably” in order to legally separate and there is only one decree, rather than two.

My point was that your partner's wife might be more willing to agree to a legal separation than a divorce, in which case the obstacle of her refusal to consent would be jumped over. If your partner does not intend or is indifferent to remarrying, it is worth considering if it means he and his wife will come to some sort of agreement.

Otherwise, I agree with the previous posters that he should proceed with the divorce. It might be worth stating to his wife that instead of him having to cite examples of her unreasonable behaviour, it would be easier for both parties if she just consents, either to the divorce or the judicial separation.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
davidterry - 22 June, 2016 10:25AM
>>My point was that your partner's wife might be more willing to agree to a legal separation than a divorce

This is very bad advice. Legal separations are uncommon for good reason which is that they keep the empty shell of the marriage alive and prevent either spouse moving on with their lives. It is not uncommon for one spouse to want a judicial separation. The reason for this is often precisely to prevent the other spouse remarrying any time soon. It is a form of control. That may suit the spouse who wants it but it is very rarely a good idea for the other spouse to go along with it.

What you have to remember is that once there is a judicial separation if there is later to be a divorce it will have to be on the grounds of separation. A spouse who insists upon a judicial separation is very unlikely to consent to a divorce based on two years' separation. That means the separation must last five years before a divorce can be obtained without consent. Five years is a very long time to wait.

The only circumstances I can think of where a judicial separation would be justified would be where both spouses have a religious objection to divorce. That situation is in fact extremely uncommon because typically it will only be one spouse who purports to have such an objection and if only one spouse has a religious objection then that is a not a reason to agree to it if one does not share that view.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 22 June, 2016 10:42AM
Thank you all for your advice.

Having considered the options I think that my partner will be heading down the route of divorcing his wife on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour ; we are currently collating a list of possible unreasonable behaviours that he can take to his solicitor on our return from holiday next week so that he can get the ball rolling in terms of moving this forward.

From what we have read and from some of the points that I have listed above I am sure that we can come up with some true, valid and recent reasons as to why their marriage has irretrievably broken down which it had in fact done before I came on the scene. At least this way his wife will be forced to take action rather than continuing to bury her head in the sand and carry on as if nothing has happened.

Once the divorce part is underway we can begin to consider the financial aspects of the divorce....a more proactive approach is definitely needed and that is what we are now doing.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 11 August, 2016 10:46PM
Still trying to find a solution to this one....
....my partner has recently been to see a different solicitor as the first one seemed reluctant or unwilling to pursue the divorce...he had taken the list of 'unreasonable behaviours' but she did not consider that this was an option.....unfortunately the next one was not much help either and basically said that he would have to lie and make the unreasonable behaviours far more dramatic for them to count...also said that it would cost him half of everything he had to divorce her....I found this odd as it seems no account whatsoever was made of what the wife had in terms of income, investments, savings etc....
....seems we have come to a stalemate position as 'wife' is still absolutely adamant that she does not want a divorce....communication has come to absolute rock bottom between them ....and solicitors seem reluctant to take this forward...

...on the question of finances....we have estimated the wife's income to be in the region of possibly £1000 per month in terms of state and work pensions...however my partner currently pays all household utility bills etc and no contribution to this is made by the wife....her outgoings are unknown but guess not too high as only food and personal expenses....an unknown though is what perhaps she donates to her church....adding it all up it seems that she must have some money in theory which should be brought into the equation if my partner decides to pursue the separation and ultimately divorce...

....my question is how does he proceed with sorting out the financial side of things if it seems that she is reluctant to engage in conversation about any of this.....can she be ordered to disclose her finances and outgoings by a court order ....and what if she point blank refuses to do so....seems unfair that my partner is expected to lose half of everything he owns ...

...and if it is found that she has been donating monies to her church...my partner thinks there may be some sort of covenant ...can this be used as some grounds for divorce as effectively using the 'family finances' without my partners permission....just clutching at straws here but I think it should all be taken into account....

....any suggestions are greatly appreciated as it is difficult to see a way forward out of this situation....
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Andyk - 12 August, 2016 05:00AM
Are you going to the solicitor with him or is this what he is relaying back to you?

I find it hard given the circumstances to believe that two solicitors have indicated they don't want to help or whatever.

Yes the reasons for unreasonable behaviour have to sound harsh to be accepted, event though they might actually be trivial. He needs to bite the bullet (if that's what he wants to do) and get the divorce moving and forget that the wife will be more than miffed.

I don't think that they can do anything formally about the finances until the divorce ball gets rolling, as it is part of that, and he is going to be looking at a 50/50 split at best, there is no getting away from that if its been a long marriage. As for her donations to the church, that's her problem, it will be her Income and essential expenses that would be taken into account, not fripperies like donations to a church.

I might be wrong, but reading between the lines it sounds like he doesn't actually want to divorce her, if he did there is no reason why he wouldn't be divorced, or at least well down the route to getting it finalised by now as he doesn't need her permission, she cannot stop him, no matter what the church says and as David said, legal separation is really a waste of time as you are still married and can not move on with your life.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2016 06:53AM by Andyk.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 15 January, 2017 05:55PM
Finally making some progress having been to a local solicitor and restating the facts.....her answer was much more positive and no reason why he cannot seek a divorce. The ex-wife has agreed in principle to not contest the divorce but will have to wait and see exactly what happens when the papers are served. Am hoping that we can now proceed to get to where he wants to be. Have got a few questions about the financial settlement side of things so may be back later with those but am pleased that we seem to have progressed from where we were.....
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Andyk - 16 January, 2017 04:14AM
She would be a fool to contest as she will just be wasting money because if he wants a divorce he can have one.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Molly - 30 January, 2017 12:18AM
Just adding this question on to this thread as previous answers give the background to the case.....

My partner has today spoken to his ex wife and explained that he wishes to proceed with divorce and will be doing so on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. He has shown her the grounds that he is intending to use on the petition in the hope that they can 'agree' which would be 'acceptable' to both parties so that consent can be obtained and divorce go ahead......she had previously said she would not contest the divorce.....
However she refuses to accept any of the statements made even though they are all factually correct...(they were all worded as sensitively as possible )....her stance seems still to be that the church elders would not agree to this course and hence she won't. .....a definite case of head in the sand syndrome I think...

My question is, if my partner goes ahead and she then decides to contest the grounds how would it progress from there......I assume she would need to engage a solicitor to fight her side and then ultimately it would come down to a judge in court to assess the facts of the case and determine if divorce is granted...

....what happens if she refuses to engage a solicitor....as a Wiitness they are quite specific as to who they will and will not engage with....would they both be called on to appear before court judge to argue their case....what if she won't do this....

....I am hoping that the law of the land will prevail over any religious beliefs or grounds that she may bring up or seek to rely on....any normal person (judge) must see that the relationship has irretrievably broken down...(and has been for some time even before we met and got together)....

...if it would help to know the unreasonable behaviours that my partner seeks to rely on I can share these through private message with his consent to check if they are acceptable in court but would prefer not to do so on open forum...

...any advice you can offer would be appreciated, thanks...

...to add a post script....we have discussed other grounds but based on fact that she refuses to consent then 2 years separation is not an option.....and five years separation would mean my partner would be 70 before he achieved a divorce...surely that would be seen as an unreasonable delay at their time of life to what should be a straightforward matter...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 30/01/2017 12:20AM by Molly.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
Andyk - 30 January, 2017 05:27AM
He doesn't need her consent to obtain the divorce, as long as the reasons are true he will get one and the divorce is between him and his wife not the elders of the church so it doesn't matter one jot if they like it or not.

I'm sorry but he really needs to get over this whole offending her and the church thing and just progress the divorce. She can contest all she likes but in reality he will get his divorce. If she doesn't know what she is doing in contesting she would need to see a solicitor, but they will more than likely tell her it's a waste of time and money.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 30/01/2017 09:27AM by Andyk.
Re: How do you divorce someone who doesn't want a divorce
jill_of_all_trades - 30 January, 2017 11:08AM
Practicalities first from someone who is clearing the attic in preparation for a move. Has your partner removed ALL his things from the marital home? Has he bitten the financial bullet and found a B&B to stay at when he needs to stay in his wife's area for work? Has he separated his finances from his wife's in a fair and equitable way?
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