Since the Court looks at your personality and characteristics, it may not matter that others think his or her behaviour acceptable.
For example, you may be married to someone whose culture finds kissing other women on the cheeks and hugging others acceptable, but if you, due to your personal views and upbringing, find this intolerable, you should voice your concerns to your spouse. If he or she ignores or disregards your concerns and continues these actions, this may be argued as unreasonable behaviour in your opinion.
On the flipside, you could be married to someone whom you find unreasonably conservative. Your spouse may try to restrict your behaviour or control the way you express yourself, and you may find that this upsets your relationships with other people unreasonably. This could also be argued as unreasonable behaviour in your opinion.
What are some examples of unreasonable behaviour?
As mentioned, unreasonable behaviour must be seen as unreasonable from your perspective. This makes it very subjective, and some types of behaviour may be considered unreasonable for certain people, but reasonable for others. Here are a few examples that you may be able to relate to.
You may not be able to tolerate your spouse’s drinking habits; he or she may habitually drink to excess and/or come home drunk, or may act in a way you find unacceptable.
Your spouse may also constantly insult you, discourage you or belittle you, this could also be a form of unreasonable behaviour to you.
Other examples of behaviour you may find unreasonable could be where your spouse gambles excessively, or spends lavishly beyond your means. Your spouse may also refuse to work, or refuse to take care of the children, or refuse to help out around the house. You spouse could also be physically, verbally, emotionally or mentally abusive.
Case Study 2 on what amounts to unreasonable behaviour:
Ana and Carlos were married for over 20 years. Carlos stated that Ana failed to discharge her wifely duties, showed no affection for him and had refused to have sex with him for a period of approximately 7 years leading up to the divorce. Carlos testified that he found it extremely humiliating to be denied a normal married life, and this caused him much emotional and mental trauma. He also stated that Ana was hot-tempered and extravagant, and was very cold and unfriendly towards him.
Ana was found to be aware that Carlos felt deprived by her refusal to have sexual relations with him, yet she continued to behave in a way she knew would adversely affect Carlos. Ana continued demanding maintenance of $7,000.00 per month and made Carlos leave the master bedroom although he was the one paying rent for the house, all while refusing to have conjugal relations with him even though she knew that it would affect him adversely. All in all, the Court found Ana’s behavior unreasonable, found that Carlos could not reasonably be expected to live with her, and granted Carlos a divorce.
If you are stuck in an unhappy marriage and are considering filing for divorce because of your spouse’s unreasonable behavior, you should be mindful of the requirement that the last instance of such unreasonable behavior must have occurred within the 6 months leading up to your filing the divorce application. It is advisable for you to seek the advice of an experienced and trustworthy divorce lawyer in Singapore to help you through this difficult time. Your lawyer will be able to guide you on what steps you should take in order to successfully get a divorce or effect some alternative action in order for you to move on with your life.
To learn more about other grounds for divorce in Singapore, you may read about it here.