unreasonable behaviour

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Behaviour of a respondent that may be evidence that a marriage has broken down irretrievably, entitling the petitioner to a divorce. Such conduct need not be unreasonable in itself – the real test is whether it is reasonable to expect the petitioner to continue living with the respondent, taking into account the behaviour of both parties and their particular personalities and characteristics (Livingstone-Stallard v Livingstone-Stallard [1974] Fam 47). The behaviour may be “positive” (for example, persistent drunkenness, violence, or obsessive conduct) or “negative” (for example, neglect or indifference); a petition may succeed even if the respondent is not responsible for the behaviour, due (for example) to an illness (Thurlow v Thurlow [1976] Fam 32).

Subjects: Law.

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