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Unreasonable Behaviour in the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey Divorce’

Friday, 14 December 2012

There have been many types of normally private interaction that have been cited as unreasonable behaviour for the purposes of divorce. It is perhaps not surprising then that elements of the biggest phenomenon in recent pop culture have made their way into the divorce courts with the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey Divorce’.

Although there are plenty of people who might not have read the book itself, it will have been hard to have avoided entirely the nature of its contents – sadomasochistic eroticism. So, what exactly has constituted unreasonable behaviour in the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey Divorce’?

Unreasonable Behaviour

First of all, it is helpful to understand the legal perspective on unreasonable behaviour. When a couple proceeds to divorce in the UK they must be able to show that there has been an ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of their marriage evidenced by one of five different factors. The five factors are:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years separation with consent
  • Five years separation without consent

Unreasonable behaviour is by far the most commonly cited factor for irretrievable breakdown. As well as showing that the marriage has broken down, there must also be evidence that one of the parties in the marriage has behaved in such an unreasonable manner that the other finds it intolerable to live with them.

Unreasonable Behaviour in the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey Divorce’

With the somewhat notorious content of Fifty Shades of Grey being at least known about even by many non readers, there is perhaps a mine of potentially unreasonable behaviour that could be grounds for divorce within its pages. For the uninitiated; the book details activities of a wealthy man who attempts to persuade an inexperienced younger woman into a submissive sadomasochistic relationship. The actual facts of the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey Divorce’ might surprise many however.

A 41 year old female banker has decided that her husband’s reluctance to participate in activities outlined in the book is evidence of his unreasonable behaviour. Having read the book herself and attempted to improve his reportedly ‘boring attitude’ to sex to no avail, she has decided to petition for a divorce.

Perhaps understandably, the husband is not contesting the divorce petition to avoid having, excruciating details of the couple’s sexual relationship discussed in a court room.

If you would like to discuss the implications of this case or other you need advice in relation to other family law issues please contact Melanie Bataillard-Samuel via e-mail or by telephone on 0207 611 4848.

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