Number of “unreasonable wives” tripled since 1980, report shows

The number of divorces granted to husbands for unreasonable behaviour by their wives has tripled since 1980, figures have revealed.

The report, published by the National Office for Statistics (NAO), shows that 47 per cent of 111,169 divorces in England and Wales in 2014 were attributed to unreasonable behaviour.

Around 15,630 were because of wives’ unreasonable behaviour, while 36,908 were from husbands’.

Comparatively, there were just 4,000 complaints about wives in 1980, and 10,000 in 1993.

Experts added that as many as one in seven of these cases may be as a result of increased alcohol and drugs abuse in recent years.

Unreasonable behaviour is the most common ground for divorce in the UK. In order to pursue a divorce under this ground, one of the parties must show that the other has behaved in an unreasonable manner so much so that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Such behaviour can include antisocial tendencies and refusing to contribute financially, to more serious allegations of drug and drink abuse.

There are only two other grounds for hurried divorce – adultery and desertion.

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell Turner Garrett in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010.