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Divorcing and the 'unreasonable' transexual

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  • I am being petitioned by my wife for a divorce on the grounds that our marriage has broken down irretrievably now that I have revealed I am transgender.

    She does not wish to wait for the two years required for a no-fault divorce to be granted or the two years needed to have the marriage annulled through the GRC process. She has instead chosen to argue that our divorce should be granted on the basis of my 'unreasonable behaviour'; given that it would now be 'unreasonable' for her to be expected to remain married to me since she originally married a man, and that she is heterosexual and does not wish to be married to a woman, and also that since we separated I have 'behaved unreasonably' by living full-time as a woman.

    I am completely sympathetic to her position and recognise that our marriage is now over. I also realise that the breakdown of our marriage was completely down to me revealing to her that I was transsexual. However, is it right for the Courts to consider this revelation to my wife and also the wish to seek medical treatment in itself grounds for 'unreasonable behaviour'? Is being a transsexual seeking medical treatment, which is a protected characteristic of the Equalities Act (2010), a valid reason for a quicker 'fault-based' divorce to be granted; potentially making me liable to pay all costs?  

    I have no real problem in divorcing quickly. I really want to cause the least amount of anguish as possible. However, I'm really offended that the revelation about my Gender Identity to my wife and also that I wanted to see my doctor about it can be considered 'unreasonable behaviour' and so used against me in the courts. It seems unfair that divorces can be fast-tracked through the court system on this basis, given that it would take at least two years to do if no fault could be proved. This appears to me as direct discrimination against transsexuals and unfair. I would be happier if divorce would be permitted on a no-fault basis once a partner has revealed their intention of changing gender. 

    My Solicitor has advised me to submit a counter petition if I feel aggrieved about the grounds used for divorce. She thinks this would counter the origonal petition and allow the courts to grant the divorce anyway, and in most cases the costs are then paid seperately. But my solicitor has warned me that if my counter petition fails, then I may have to pay all the costs myself. 

    I have spoken to many people about this. Most seem to say I should just agree to the petition and get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible, even though the whole thing seems unfair. There seems very little on the Internet about this, and it’s difficult for me to decide what to do. I can't be the only one this has happened to, can I?

    This post was edited by Alexandra Stone at September 3, 2015 3:16 AM BST
      September 3, 2015 3:12 AM BST
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  • No you are not the only one, not by a long way! My very dear friend had this happen to her, and it wasn't pretty, having read some of the accusations made by the ex-wife. But that's how the courts work; it's often not pretty.

    On the one hand, "unreasonable behaviour" seems very harsh. On the other hand one can understand a woman not wanting to stick around; this isn't what she signed up for, though personally I just think that is small-minded. So the courts will likely take the view that your "behaviour" is unreasonable in the sense that it is not conducive to a regular, healthy marriage.

    However you are not at fault simply by being transgender, and if these particular grounds are considered an "at fault divorce" then it is indeed discrimination against transsexuals. We can't help the way we are, we are born like this, and if a husband were to suffer some freak accident or health problem that meant he could no longer fulfill his "marital duties", it wouldn't be considered unreasonable behaviour. In both cases, the husband can't help their circumstances. 

    But the court could take the view that it was unreasonable to go ahead with the marriage without telling the future wife about your transgenderness. Although I'm sure there's no such word...

    Having seen the dismal way in which my friend was apparently regarded by the court, cast aside with disdain by her wife, restricted access to her children and eventually having them turn against her - I'd really like to see someone challenge these grounds for divorce in court. It could be a landmark case, but I have little confidence at this time that such a challenge would be succesful; one would need a very good solicitor au fait with TG issues and rights, and money with which to gamble.

    If it was me I'd just want it over quickly and wouldn't fight it. Whilst ashamed of my own cowardness, I also know there is a lot for a newly out TG to be getting on with. So perhaps your energies could be better spent elsewhere, rather than fighting your wife and the system in general.

    But good luck with whatever you do, this is bound to be a difficult time and I really feel for you.

    xx

    <p><span style="font-family: 'book antiqua', palatino; font-size: medium; color: #000080;">"Stop aspiring to be other people and start being you."</span></p> <p>Gok Wan</p>
      September 3, 2015 1:33 PM BST
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  • Thank you so much for your reply. I've been thinking about this for months now, and you've pretty much summed up everything that I been feeling...wow!

    After a LOT of thought, I've decided to contest the divorce, if only so that I can have my say. I think this would upset me for the rest of my life if I didn't stand up for myself on this issue. As the Law stands, there is no shortcut to divorce on the grounds of being transgender. I think if there was, and given how much I love my wife, how much she and our family are hurting, and also how important this is for her to have the marriage recognised to have broken down irretrievably in Law, I would readily agree to a quick divorce on those grounds; and perhaps the English Marriage Laws need to be updated to reflect this. But unfortunately, there are no such grounds, and it just feels unreasonable in itself and actually a very Lazy way out to accept that by seeking medical help and revealing that I am transexual to my family and friends that this could in itself be construed by the courts as demonstrating 'unreasonable behaviour'.

    I think I just want to be treated fairly under the law and for the law to protect me if necessessary as I transition. 

    After some searching (and a trip to Sparkle!) I found a Solicitor who has an interest in LGBT issues and Family Law. Her Name is Beveley Jones and she is a partner of dwf Solicitors in Liverpool (www.dwf.co.uk 0151 907 3372) and has agreed to act on my behalf (Once I started asking my previous high street solicitor about issues around Equality Law, she quickly recommeded that I find someone else).

    At Pride this week I also had a chat with Slater and Gordon Lawyers, who had a stand at the Expo. They also have an interest in LGBT family Law (http://www.slatergordon.co.uk 0808 175 8105).

    My main problem I think is of course financial. Fundementally I would like the divorce to ended on a no-fault basis, and not on the grounds of my unreasonable behaviour. If this outcome is not possible then I would be prepared to take the matter further. I can just about afford to pay Solicitors to help prepare my legal documents and provide me with initial advice. But when it goes to court I will have to represent myself. If it goes any further I would not have the funds to pay for specialist advice around Equalities Law and cannot afford a Barrister. I have thought about joining my local university library and having a look into applicable case law etc, but I think what I really need to do is to find is an academic who has an interest in Equality and Family Law who could point me in the right direction. 

    I have contacted Stonewall, who have just started to become interested in Gender Identity issues, but so far had no reply, although I get the feeling that they themselves feel very inexperienced in this area, but may be looking at possible campaigning issues for the future.

    Beaumont are brill, but any questions are passed onto their region (volunteer reps). I already know my regional rep very well through the Machester Concord (Rach is lovely:), but as a volunteer her knowledge on this area is understandably very limited.

    Any other suggestions would be gratefully recieved, and thanks again!

    A :)

      September 3, 2015 3:10 PM BST
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  •  

    I would tend to agree with Lucy, unfair as it might seem, no contest.    I am actually in my 3rd year reading law, The GRA and the EHRC relevant to trangender issues.   2013 marriage act  spouses veto was introduced, in that spouses, could oppose an annulment of a marriage regarding the issue of a GRC, whilst other aspects of this act are under review, the actual veto is not currently up for discussion. therebye forcing matters to proceed to divorce. it might be argued under the equal opportunities act and the relevant acts of the EHRC that the veto might be applied from your perspective, but this would be argued by your wife's legal team, that a continuance of the marriage, would be unacceptable 'due to unreasonable behaviour'

    If you could establish a history of GID and have been diagnosed, one could argue, that this condition is not unreasonable, but a recognised medical condition, but this disclosure would have it's own problems in that you entered into a marriage, by deception. and that was unreasonable.

    There are no winners, I would suggest you just go with whats on the table, quietly and get on with your life, what does the law mean as to constitute  unreasonable behaviour.

    petitioner/partner (wife)

    You can get a divorce on the basis that your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her. This is usually referred to as an unreasonable behaviour petition. If you want to rely on this ground for divorce, your petition must contain sufficient allegations of unreasonable behaviour by your spouse to persuade the court that you are entitled to a divorce on that basis. You cannot seek a divorce by citing your own unreasonable behaviour.

     

     If it is likely that her petition will be defended by you, then it would need to include all possible allegations of unreasonable behaviour to maximise the chance of her getting a divorce.  (In this particular instance any counter action would seem petty and irrelevant)

     The Allegations of Unreasonable Behaviour relevant to your spouse

    Once you are sure that your petition will not be defended, it should not be necessary to set out all possible allegations of unreasonable behaviour. This is because the court is unlikely to raise any objections to the petition if your spouse consents to a divorce on this ground. The allegations of unreasonable behaviour can then be watered down to reduce the possibility of causing offence to your spouse and ensuring his/her cooperation. However, your petition still needs to contain enough allegations to satisfy the court that you are legally entitled to a divorce on the basis of unreasonable behaviour. Usually, about five or six fairly mild allegations should be sufficient to convince the court,

    REASONS FOR DIVORCE - UNREASONABLE BEHAVIOUR

    As one of the reasons for divorce in UK divorce law unreasonable behaviour is by far the most common. The main reason for this is that it allows quick divorce. Three of the other grounds involve delays of between 2 and 5 years and the other, adultery, may not apply in every case. Divorce advice for men does often involve explaining that you do not need wait for your wife to issue a divorce petition. Almost all spouses can in practice rely upon unreasonable behaviour as a ground for divorce.

    Do bear in mind that divorce is private. Details of unreasonable behaviour in an undefended divorce petition are not divulged to the general public and so no-one but the parties themselves need ever know what was in the petition. Divorce proceedings and the divorce reasons are private. Indeed, it is quite common for the Respondent (the person who receives the petition as opposed to the person who issues it) to agree not to defend the divorce on condition that no use is made of the lack of defence to allegations of unreasonable behaviour in any other proceedings (such, for instance, as those relating to children or the matrimonial property).

    The Respondent might also want to make it a condition of not defending that there is some agreement as to who bears the cost or the division of costs.

    Very often clients ask what constitutes "unreasonable behaviour". Obviously, it covers extreme types of behaviour such as habitual drunkenness or violence but it is by no means necessary to allege anything near as serious in a divorce petition. In fact, because no-one likes receiving a petition based on their unreasonable behaviour, it is very often sensible to keep the allegations to the bare minimum that will suffice to obtain the divorce even in circumstances where very much more could be added. A few paragraphs are normally sufficient and in a case where a marriage has in fact irretrievably broken down it is unusual not to be able to find some instances of unreasonable behaviour which will suffice for the purposes of obtaining decree nisi. It is important to understand that the courts are not too demanding about this - particularly where both spouses want a divorce.

    Naturally, if the parties are not agreed on divorce the requirements of the courts are stricter because the allegations will be subject to scrutiny but in the overwhelming majority of cases the allegations are unchallenged because very few divorces are ever defended in fact.

     

    People often think they can get a divorce based simply upon "irreconcilable differences". The truth of the matter is that this usually means "unreasonable behaviour" and in order to obtain a divorce on the ground of unreasonable behaviour one has to comply with the rules applicable to that particular ground including any time limits.

    Examples of unreasonable behaviour given to lawyers with successful outcomes  for divorce include:

    A husband hiding a tape recorder in the bedroom and his wife’s handbag to record her conversations
    Irresponsibility with money
    An unsociable husband making his wife feel guilty when she wanted to go out with her friends
    A cross dressing husband after he decided to have a sex change
    Withdrawing all of the family savings (£40,000) from the bank and burning it in the bedroom
    A husband who was so work obsessed that he filled the bedroom with so many files that his wife couldn’t get into the room

     Divorce in England & Wales is based on a marriage having "broken down irretrievably ". But there is a complication. This breakdown must be proved by evidencing only one of five "facts" laid down by the law. They are Adultery, Unreasonable Behaviour, Desertion, Two years’ separation with consent and  

    **Five years’ separation without consent.   (if the wife/spouse becomes embittered)  if she withdraws her own petition**

     

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at March 27, 2020 9:31 PM GMT
      September 3, 2015 7:35 PM BST
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  • What you could do, if your wife is ameniable, is enter into a collaborative engagement procedure, you both sit down with your solicitors and discuss the innapropriate unreasonable behaviour aspect presentation, you both agree a format to be adhered to, that will under advice, be acceptable to a ruling judge, to grant a divorce. sharing costs and avoiding protracted arguments and soaring litigation costs.

     

    Despite the apparent fault based divorce process, the approach of collaborative law enables a divorcing couple to meet their goal and achieve an amicable divorce.

     

    Regarding trans issues and marriage and subsequent divorce, I think in future with more self awareness and education, we will see less of these sad incidents, with the ''If I ignore it, it will go away syndrome'

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at September 4, 2015 1:05 AM BST
      September 4, 2015 12:24 AM BST
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  • Thinking of a counter argument,  medical conditions should not be considered as unreasonable behavour but rather"irreconcilable differences" I think a precedent was set with a diganosis of bi-polar.which could be submitted at a collaborative engagement procedure, you would realy need a more experienced divorce/ family matters solicitor to give a view on that aspect, divorce is not my specialist subject, barristers are very expensive if it was refered to the crown court, for a legal ruling..  It also depends on a Judges view of what the petitioner regards as unreasonable behaviour.

    This has got me going, been up half the night buried in books, making phone calls, firstly I am advised I cannot give you direction, divorce not being my forte, and a one master loyalty clause in my contract.   What I have stated so far is a matter of record.    If you send me an IM with you email address I will give you my contact details, your solicitor, or the solicitor you mentioned can contact me, I can give details of medical conditions both inherited and genetic that can cause a person to be transgendered, I was born with such a condition and have done vast amounts of research, in law, the GRA you do not have to demonstrate you suffer any of these conditions only that such causes exist as a maybe, that your behavour to you is natural and not unreasonable.   Direction is for your solicitor to advise you on if this would be a viable course of action. perhaps setting a legal precedent

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at September 4, 2015 7:00 AM BST
      September 4, 2015 1:35 AM BST
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  • Thank you so much for all this advice. It's all very much appreciated.

    I am hopeful that by putting in a cross-petition arguing that in my view it is unreasonable for the protected characteristic of gender reasignment to be used as grounds for 'unreasonable behaviour', and that therefore my wife is acting unreasonably in asking for a divorce based on these grounds.

    Hopefully, it may encourage my wife to agree on cross decrees, effectivley divorcing each other, based on our respective Petitions, and then each pay our own costs. It's still based on the recognition that our marriage has broken down irretrievably on the grounds of (each others) unreasonable behaviour, but it feels slightly better than being blamed simply for admitting to being transgender.

    I still wish that she would wait until we could divorce on a no fault basis, but this isn't going to happen. 

     

    Fingers crossed x 

     

      September 5, 2015 1:38 AM BST
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  • I've recieved and acknowleged my wife's divorce petition, indicating that I wish to defend her petition on the grounds that I don't think it's reasonable for a divorce to be granted on a fault-basis (i.e. quicker) simply because I am transexual and seeking medical treatment. 

    After a lot of thought, I have decided to post my wifes Statement of Case, my answer to this petition and my cross petiton on this forumhere, so that others within the transgender community can consider my arguments and (hopefully?) offer me some support. Obviously I feel quite alone, very saddened by the whole thing and a bit vulnerable at the moment. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether you think my petition and answer can be improved, or whether you think what I am doing is right or a waste of time and money. For the time being, I feel that although the end result will be the same - that the courts will agree to the divorce, at least I feel slightly more in control of my divorce, and that I have had a right of reply. I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't, and for me, I think this is a very important part of my personal transition. Here goes.....

    (p.s. and thanks very much to my Solicitor Beverley for helping me draft my answer and cross-petition :)

     

    My Wife's Petition - Statement of Case

    ===========================

    In August 2013 the Respondent informed the Petitioner that he felt he was the wrong sex. Over time, this led to the separation of the parties and subsequently the Petitioner moved out of the family home.

    Since the separation of the parties the Respondent has changed his name via deed poll to reflect his wish of a gender change and wears female clothing to work. The Respondent has informed the Petitioner that he is undergoing hormone treatment. The Respondent has also undergone cosmetic treatment and has had voice coaching.

    Since separation the parties have argued a lot and the Petitioner feels the Respondent will not discuss matters amicably with her. The Respondent has stated on numerous occasions the he feels the Petitioner has been unfair in ending the relationship because of his gender change. However, the Petitioner feels that the pressure from the Respondent to continue with the marriage is unfair and it is unreasonable for the Respondent to expect the Petitioner to continue with the marriage when she is heterosexual and she married the Respondent when he was a male.

    The Petitioner finds the Respondent’s behaviour intolerable and cannot carry on with the marriage. The Petitioner therefore believes the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

     

    My Draft Answer

    ===========

    Part 3 –Statement of case

     

    THE RESPONDENT WILL TAKE EACH OF THE PETITIONER’S ALLEGATIONS IN TURN AND STATE HER REASONS FOR DEFENDING HERSELF AGAINST SUCH ALLEGATIONS:-

    THE RESPONDENT ACCEPTS THAT SHE DISCUSSED WITH THE PETITIONER REGARDING HER FEELINGS SURROUNDING GENDER DYSPHORIA AND SOUGHT HER SUPPORT IN SEEKING MEDICAL ADVICE/ASSISTANCE. THE PETITIONER REFUSED TO SUPPORT THE RESPONDENT AND THREATENED THAT IF SHE SOUGHT TO TRANSITION, SHE WOULD BRING THE RELATIONSHIP TO AN END, A THREAT WHICH THE PETITIONER SUBSEQUENTLY CARRIED OUT.

    THE RESPONDENT DENIES THAT THE CONVERSATION IN AUGUST 2013 LED TO THE SEPARATION OF THE PARTIES, BUT RATHER THAT IT WAS THE PETITIONER’S REFUSAL TO SUPPORT THE RESPONDENT AS ABOVE, THE PETITIONER CARRIED OUT HER THREAT TO END THE MARRIAGE IN JUNE 2014.

    THE RESPONDENT ASSERTS THAT THE PETITIONER SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN LEFT FEELING ISOLATED, AS IN HER OWN PETITION IT IS APPARENT THAT THE RESPONDENT SOUGHT TO DISCUSS AND INVOLVE THE PETITIONER WITH HER TRANSITION FROM AUGUST 2013. THE MARRIAGE CONTINUED FOR A FURTHER TEN MONTHS AFTER THESE DISCUSSIONS.

    IT IS NOT DISPUTED THAT THE RESPONDENT HAS CHANGED HER NAME IN JANUARY 2014. THE RESPONDENT REFUTES THAT THIS BEHAVIOUR CAN ITSELF BE CONSIDERED AS UNREASONABLE, GIVEN THAT IT WAS CARRIED OUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF REASSIGNING THE RESPONDENTS SEX BY CHANGING AN ATTRIBUTE OF HER SEX. THE APPLICANT REFUSED TO INVOLVE HERSELF WITH THIS PROCESS, LEAVING THE RESPONDENT FEELING INCREASINGLY ISOLATED AND SOLELY RELIANT ON THE EXPERTISE OF MEDICAL EXPERTS AND COUNSELLORS THAT SPECIALISE WITHIN THE FIELD OF GENDER DYSPHORIA AND GENDER IDENTITY. THE PETITIONER HAD REQUESTED THAT THE RESPONDENT NOT SEEK TO LIVE FULL-TIME IN ROLE AS A WOMEN UNTIL THEIR SON HAD BEEN TOLD. IT WAS MUTUALLY AGREED THAT THIS WOULD BE DONE AFTER THEIR SON HAD COMPLETED HIS A’LEVEL EXAMS IN JUNE 2014. THE RESPONDENT ONLY BEGAN LIVING FULL-TIME IN ROLE AS FEMALE, WHICH IS A CONDITION THAT MUST BE SATISFIED IF THE RESPONDENT IS EVER TO SEEK A GENDER RECOGNITION CERTIFICATE OR UNDERGO SEX REASSIGNMENT SURGERY, AFTER THE PETITIONER HAD VACATED THE MATRIMONIAL HOME AND BROUGHT THE MARRIAGE TO AN END IN JUNE 2014.

    IT IS NOT DENIED THAT THE RESPONDENT HAS INFORMED THE PETITIONER THAT SHE IS UNDERGOING HORMONE TREATMENT, COSMETIC CHANGES, HAS HAD VOICE COACHING AND WEARS CLOTHING THAT IDENTIFIES HER AS FEMALE. THE RESPONDENT HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH GENDER DYSPHORIA AND IS PRESENTLY UNDER THE CARE OF THE NHS AT THE CHARING CROSS GENDER IDENTITY CLINIC IN LONDON.  THE PETITIONER HAS REFUSED TO SUPPORT OR DISCUSS THESE MATTERS WITH THE RESPONDENT.

    THE PETITIONER VACATED THE MATRIMONIAL HOME IN JUNE 2014 AND BROUGHT THE MARRIAGE TO AN END. THE RESPONDENT DENIES THAT THE PARTIES HAVE ARGUED A LOT SINCE SEPARATION, BUT INSTEAD FEELS LIKE THE PETITIONER REFUSES TO WORK AT THE MARRIAGE AND WILL NOT DISCUSS AT ALL THE RESPONDENT’S TRANSITION.

    THE RESPONDENT HAS SOUGHT TO WORK AT THE MARRIAGE AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HER PREFERENCE TO REMAIN IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PETITIONER. IT IS NOT ACCEPTED THAT IT IS UNREASONABLE FOR THE RESPONDENT TO EXPECT THE PETITIONER TO CONTINUE WITH THE MARRIAGE. THE RESPONDENT HAS SIMPLY SOUGHT THE PETITIONER’S SUPPORT AFTER A LONG MARRIAGE, WITH HER DIAGNOSIS OF GENDER DYSPHORIA AND THE PETITIONER HAS REFUSED TO CONSIDER THIS.

    IT IS ACCEPTED THAT THE PETITIONER MARRIED THE RESPONDENT WHEN SHE WAS IDENTIFYING AS MALE, BUT IT IS NOT ACCEPTED THAT IDENTIFYING AS TRANSGENDER IS CONSIDERED SUCH UNREASONABLE BEHAVIOUR AS TO ALLOW A FAULT BASED DIVORCE TO PROCEED.

    THE RESPONDENT REFERS TO SECTION 7 OF THE EQUALITY ACT AND PARTICULARLY, THAT AS A PERSON WITH THE PROTECTED CHARACTERISTIC OF GENDER REASSIGNMENT, SHE SHOULD NOT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST

    THE RESPONDENT HAS REQUESTED THAT THE PARTIES WORK AT THE MARRIAGE AND FURTHER SOUGHT THE PETITIONER’S SUPPORT IN HER TRANSITION. THIS HAS BEEN REFUSED.

    THE RESPONDENT HAD INVITED THE PETITIONER TO DELAY APPLYING FOR A DIVORCE UNTIL THE PARTIES HAD BEEN SEPARATED FOR TWO YEARS TO ENSURE A NO FAULT BASED DIVORCE. THE PETITIONER HAS UNREASONABLY REFUSED THIS REQUEST

    THE RESPONDENT NOW ACCEPTS THAT THE MARRIAGE HAS IRRETRIEVABLY BROKEN DOWN, BUT BELIEVES THAT IT IS AS A RESULT OF THE PETITIONER’S REFUSAL TO SUPPORT AND ACCEPT HER TRANSITION AND HER VACATING THE MATRIMONIAL HOME, THAT HAS LED TO THE BREAKDOWN OF THE MARRIAGE.  THE RESPONDENT REFERS TO HER CROSS PETITION IN THIS REGARD.

     

    My Draft Cross Petition

    =================

    PART 6 STATEMENT OF CASE

     

    THE GENERAL AND ABIDING NATURE OF THE PETITIONER’S COMPLAINT AGAINST THE RESPONDENT IS THAT SHE HAS FAILED TO SUPPORT AND/OR EVEN ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND THE PETITIONER’S TRANSITION.

    IN AUGUST 2013 THE PETITIONER SOUGHT TO DISCUSS WITH THE RESPONDENT HOW SHE FELT ABOUT HER GENDER IDENTITY AND THE DIFFICULTIES SHE WAS FACING IDENTIFYING AS MALE. THE RESPONDENT EFFECTIVELY DISMISSED THE PETITIONER’S UPSET AND DIFFICULTIES IN THIS REGARD AND THREATENED THAT IF SHE SOUGHT TO SEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANCE OR TRANSITION, SHE WOULD BRING THE MARRIAGE TO AN END. THIS LEFT THE PETITIONER DEVASTATED AS SHE HAD TRUSTED THE RESPONDENT AND DESPERATELY CRAVED HER SUPPORT.

    THE PETITIONER IS NOW UNDER THE CARE OF THE GENDER IDENTITY CLINIC AT THE CHARING CROSS HOSPITAL IN LONDON FOR HER TRANSEXUALISM AND HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED AS HAVING GENDER DYSPHORIA. THE PETITIONER IS UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT THE CHARING CROSS CLINIC WITH THE PURPOSE OF REASSIGNING HER SEX PERMANENTLY FROM MALE TO FEMALE. THE RESPONDENT REFUSES TO SUPPORT THIS AND/OR ATTEND ANY CLINIC APPOINTMENTS WITH HER.

    THE RESPONDENT CARRIED OUT HER THREAT TO BRING THE MARRIAGE TO AN END IN JUNE 2014 WHEN SHE VACATED THE MATRIMONIAL HOME, TAKING THE PARTIES’ SON WITH HER. SHE HAS REFUSED TO MEET WITH THE PETITIONER FACE TO FACE SINCE THIS TIME TO DISCUSS THE RELATIONSHIP AND/OR TRY TO SAVE THE MARRIAGE. THE PETITIONER IS DEVASTATED THAT SHE IS NOT BEING SUPPORTED BY THE RESPONDENT DURING HER TRANSITION, WHICH HAS MADE HER FEEL ALONE AND UNLOVED DURING A PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TIME.

    FURTHER TO SEPARATION THE PETITIONER HAS REQUESTED THAT THE RESPONDENT WAIT TWO YEARS TO PETITION, ON THE BASIS OF TWO YEARS SEPARATION WITH CONSENT, OR ALTERNATIVELY, WAIT UNTIL SHE OBTAINS HER INTERIM GENDER RECOGNITION CERTIFICATE, TO ALLOW THE MARRIAGE TO BE VOID. THE RESPONDENT HAS REFUSED TO DO THIS, INSTEAD SEEKING TO BLAME THE PETITIONER FOR THE BREAKDOWN OF THE MARRIAGE.

    THE RESPONDENT HAS BEEN REQUESTED TO WITHDRAW HER DIVORCE PETITION AS IT IS UNREASONABLY SEEKING TO RELY ON A PROTECTED CHARACTERISTIC UNDER THE EQUALITY ACT (2010) AS GROUNDS FOR UNREASONABLE BEHAVIOUR. THE RESPONDENT TO DATE HAS REFUSED TO DO SO.

    THE RESPONDENT STEADFASTLY REFUSES TO ACCEPT THE PETITIONER’S TRANSITION OR EVEN DISCUSS THE POSSIBILITY OF RECONCILIATION AND AS SUCH, THE PETITIONER HAS COME TO THE EXTREMELY SAD CONCLUSION THAT THE MARRIAGE HAS BROKEN DOWN.

    THE PETITIONER HOWEVER PRAYS FOR THE MARRIAGE TO BE BROUGHT TO AN END ON THE BASIS OF THE RESPONDENT’S UNREASONABLE BEHAVIOUR IN REFUSING TO SUPPORT HER DURING SUCH AN EMOTIONAL AND VULNERABLE PERIOD IN HER LIFE.

    This post was edited by Alexandra Stone at September 7, 2015 1:16 PM BST
      September 7, 2015 1:12 PM BST
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  • A well crafted argument but flawed in that the legal marriage you both entered into (not same sex marriage) was that recognised in law as between a man and woman, it is my considered opinion, that the petitioner is not being unreasonable, not wanting to support you in your transition, its not what she signed up for, to me its a typical it's not me its you scenario.   She feels let down, somewhat betrayed, and your saying she is being unreasonable in not supporting you.  

     

    did you ask your solicitor about collaborative engagement procedure.    Don't forget the more protracted it gets the more the solicitors make and the fees involved.

     

     

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      September 7, 2015 1:59 PM BST
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  • Thanks Cristine, I really appreciate your opinion. My solicitor has contacted my wife today outlining that I intend to contest the divorce asking her if she would consider withdrawing the petition. And now that she knows that I intend to defend myself if she decides to argue that my behaviour is unreasonable, the hope is that she will either wait for a divorce on a no-fault basis in about 10 months from now or enter into  a process of collaborative engagement. I don't really want this to get to court, and would like to resolve it all amicably - which is why I want to wait for a no-fault divorce. The sad thing is that the marriage IS over regardless of what happens in the courts  :(

     

    Also, I don't want my marriage to become some sort of campainging issue, as this would be both hurtful to the both of us, but I would like the transgender community not to be discriminated against in this way. It feels so unfair to be divorced on the basis of seeking medical treatment for gender dysphoria. There has to be a way in encouraging the lawmakers to update existing divorce laws to permit a no-fault divorce on the basis of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage given these type of circumstances. Any suggestions on how to go about this? 

    This post was edited by Alexandra Stone at September 7, 2015 2:41 PM BST
      September 7, 2015 2:39 PM BST
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  • As well... I suppose the argument I'm making is that I don't believe a persons' gender should be considered a 'behaviour' and in itself 'unreasonable'. Perhaps it would be better to ask for an annulment, given I always considered myself female, and the law at the time did not permit single sex marriage? This post was edited by Alexandra Stone at September 7, 2015 3:52 PM BST
      September 7, 2015 3:51 PM BST
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  • I know, thats why we need a precedent, case law, if not apealed would be an ammendment to the marriage act and the GRA.if you push for the collaborative engagement, with with a no fault basis.   There is already an ammendment that by mutual consent an existing marriage can now be converted in the records as a same sex marriage, doing away with the temporary GRC and annulment.   But a spouses veto was introduced,allowing the plaintif/petitioner to object to an anulment during the tempory GRC when the parties do not whish to remain together, forcing a divorce. in that case the petitioner then becomes the respondant.   It's is my opinion that this contravenes article 10 of the EHRC the power of one human rights over another and against UK equlities act, so in the case of transgendered people, there should be a mutal annulment procedure based on incompatabilty, as soon as both parties request it. on a no fault basis.  

    GIRES is an excellent organisation, you could make a submission to them over this and see if they would campaign for the change, they have been succesfull in quite a few amendments to the original GRA.

    Have a quick read of this, perhaps your solicitor could use it, whilst not suggesting you suffer any of the quoted instances, it gives an underlying implication, why our behavour is normal to us.   unreasonable behavour does not enter into it.   People, need educating, society dictates, how other people see us.   This includes Judges, the marriage divorce laws to me look set in stone, what constitutes unreasonable behaviour in law. instances given above, yes they are unreasonable, and what your doing is unreasonable by definition and existing examples of case law (the five rules for divorce) but in the case of people with GID it's enforced normality, it cannot be classed with, say continuous drunken behaviour, abuse, burning 40 grand on the bedroom carpet, whatever.    Do you see where I'm going with this?

    http://gendersociety.com/forums/topic/7790/synopsis-of-the-etiology-of-gender

     

    and the other link is based on what society expects and the counter arguments agains social expectation regarding transexuals and transgendered people.

    http://gendersociety.com/forums/topic/7805/heteronormativity

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at October 2, 2017 7:27 PM BST
      September 7, 2015 6:00 PM BST
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  • Gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition, in the opinion of eminent therapists and specialist researchers, there is no cure, the urgess are uncontrollable, aversion therapy has been proved to be a failure in the past, so a medical condition should not be labled unreasonable behaviour, is it a volountary aspect of behaviour? who can say which individual can control this aspect of their behavour, perhaps some control it for a number of years, suffering in silence and ignorance, unhappy, finally having to succumb to the urges to be normal per se, inner happiness is a right under the human rights act.   being deemed in a divorce as being a person of unreasonable behaviour, is in my opinion being classed as found guilty of the allegations put forward against a person, of course in law in this country there is no actual decision based on ireconsilable differences in divorce as mentioned above in the basic rules of five.

    BUT there is the option of Matter of first impression

    First impression (known as primae impressionis in Latin) is a legal case in which there is no binding authority on the matter presented. Such a case can set forth a completely original issue of law for decision by the courts, which will then set a precedent for similar cases if a judge so rules..

    Ratio decidendi (Latin plural rationes decidendi) is a Latin phrase meaning "the reason" or "the rationale for the decision". The ratio decidendi is "the point in a case that determines the judgment" or "the principle that the case establishes"

    In other words, ratio decidendi is a legal rule derived from, and consistent with, those parts of legal reasoning within a judgment on which the outcome of the case depends.

    Rule of Inference.
    Base conclusions on what is already known and proven or can be reasonably implied from all known facts.

    Do not forget that annulment on recieving your temporary GRC is not automatic, a spouse has the power of veto as explained above, an embittered spouse can insist that the issue proceeds to divorce. an ammendment to the marriage act regarding transexuals 2013 regarding the issue of a full GRC.

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at October 2, 2017 7:25 PM BST
      September 8, 2015 2:08 PM BST
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  • Alexandra,

    After reading through this thread I can see two options open to you for this;

     

    1. You agree to the grounds for divorce with your wife because it would get everything over and done with because you both can agree that your marriage is over but..... In doing this though would you give most of the leverage to your wife to claim most if not all of the estate that was accrued during your time together?

    2. You submit your counter claim & you both pay soliciters to reach a somewhat amicable settlement but you both spend lump sums to achieve this.

     

    I can see this as a very difficult choice for you to undertake & that it looks to be a lose-lose situation for you.

    If this comes accross callous or uncaring it was not my attention, this is just my opionion on what I have seen here

    Not to borrow the strength of another, nor to rely on one's own strength; to cut off past and future thoughts, and not to live within the everyday mind... then the Great Way is right before your eyes. - Yamamoto Tsunetomo
      September 8, 2015 11:49 PM BST
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  • What I am suggesting, is that instead of a counter petition with your wife being unreasonable, in not supporting you and your other reasons, which I think would appear petty and counter productive, you basically are appealing to the judge with valid arguments that being transgendered does not constitute unreasonable behaviour.   He would then have to decide an existing anomily exists in divorce law and make a ruling of irreconsilable issues.

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      September 9, 2015 12:46 AM BST
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  • Thanks Christine, I think my solicitor believes that my answer defends my wife's petition, and that I then need to submit my own cross-petition declaring that the marriage has ended and broken down irretrievably to protect myself against having all the costs necessarily awarded against me. My solicitor believes the risks of not submitting a cross-petition are that that the courts will simply list the matter for a hearing. I'm not sure exactly what the best solution is to this. Would it be best to force the issue to a full hearing anyway? Is this going to happen in any case if I choose to defend my wife's original petition?

    Hopefully both petitions effectivly cancel out each other and the judge awards costs shared between both parties, rather than the person being blamed (i.e. me) - it seems the only way of arguing that is by submitting petty arguments to the court that actually my wife is the one behaving unreasonably. The whole process feels petty to me. I work as a nurse, and I have to deal with the reality of situations all the time; my marriage is already dead, resucitation has failed. I personally don't require legal recognition of this in the courts to tell me something I already recognise and then pay for the privilege!.

    I've had a look into collaborative engagments, they sound good. I don't think we could agree to this since, someone still has to take the blame (i.e. be the one at fault)....I would feel agrieved for the rest of my life if it had to be me based on the 'behaviour' of revealing I was transexual. But is this your point? i.e. to argue that there is no way in law to come to an amicable divorce given our situation, and so the courts should consider ammending existing law?

    My preference is an no-fault divorce. UK divorce law doesn't allow this for two years. My wife doesn't want to wait, and so has filed a petition blaming me for my behaviour, which I find very upsetting. To me it feels as if she is trying to short-cut the whole process in a way that discriminates against transexauls in general, and so should not be permissible by the courts. That said, our marraige is most definately over. I just wish there was a way in law to have the marraige voided or a divorce granted in the timescales my wife wants, without blaming anyone. Then we would both be happier. 

     

    This post was edited by Alexandra Stone at September 9, 2015 2:12 PM BST
      September 9, 2015 1:50 PM BST
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  • ,Unreasonable behaviour most commonly cited

    The most recent data from the Office for National Statistics shows the most commonly cited fact for divorce in the UK is unreasonable behaviour. The reason for this is because currently there is no such thing as a no fault divorce in the UK. Thus, if a couple want to separate based on irreconcilable differences, one party will need to plead unreasonable behaviour or adultery or else wait two years or more for a divorce *from the date of the first petition*. Understandably most people find allegations of unreasonable behaviour far less objectionable than adultery. It is also far easier to prove.

     

    *needs clarification.

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at September 9, 2015 4:08 PM BST
      September 9, 2015 2:19 PM BST
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  • I've recieved an answer to my Answer and Cross Petiton. My wife has decided to defend my cross-petition. Both petitions were considered by the Family Court and have now been passed over to the County Courts to schedule a directions appointment with a County Court Judge. I'm awaiting a date for this hearing.

    I'm disappointed really, given how much pressure I felt I was placed under to just 'sign the forms' and agree to the allegations that I was the one whose behaviour was unreasonable. Now that my wife has been confronted with the same decision, and has decided to defend my cross petition makes me think that it was never really about getting a 'quick divorce', and more about me being blamed for the breakdown of our marriage. On reflection, I feel that from the time I admitted to my wife that I was transgender it was clear that my wife no longer wanted to be married to me, so in this respect I feel we are both to 'blame'. I'm simply uncomfortable with the argument that I am at fault because my intention was to seek medical help transitioning, and that this can be considered grounds for me behaving unreasonably. I guess it was money well spent just to establish this hard truth.

    Regardless, our marriage is over. I'm glad to have had my say, disapointed that my wife didn't agree to ending the whole thing there and then, but hopeful it will all soon be over.

    I've transcribed my Wifes response to my cross-petition below. I want to share my experience with the T-Community, as I can't be the only one who's ever been in this position, or who ever will be?? and I would be grateful for any advice on how best to proceed....I guess I'll be reperesenting myself when it gets to County Court, as I don't really want to bankrupt myself over this. 

     

    Statement of Case

    =============

    The Petitioner will take each of the Respondent’s allegations as stated in the cross petition and state her reasons for defending the cross petition:

    1. The petitioner states that she has spent a lot of time attempting to understand the Respondent’s transition. Since August 2013 until June 2014 numerous discussions between the parties took place about the possible effects on the marriage and on the parties’ son due to the Respondent’s transition. The discussions were extremely upsetting and distressing for both parties.

    Furthermore, the petitioner has read extensively on the subject namely, academic literature, blogs etc and even sought counselling to help understand and provide her with the skills to assist the respondent and the parties’ son through the difficult time. The Petitioner denies the Respondent’s allegation and would stress that she understands and accepts the Respondent’s transition however, difficulties arose when the Respondent would not acknowledge that his transition fundamentally changed the basis of the parties’ marriage.

    1. The Petitioner denies this allegation in its entirety and as stated above has only attempted to support the Respondent hence the Petitioner did not move out the family home straight after separating.
    2. The Petitioner confirms that the Respondent has never requested for her to attend any clinic appointments, so she has not been provided an opportunity to refuse or to agree in attending them. The Petitioner denies any allegation of refusing support to the Respondent in relation to the gender change.
    3. The Petitioner confirms that since August 2013 the marriage over time gradually broke down. The parties by mutual agreement spent very little time under the same roof, with a few exceptions during school holidays, or weekends when the parties’ son was at home. In order to be supportive to the Respondent, the Petitioner even attended social events as a couple. The Petitioner wishes the Respondent good luck in her new identity.

    The Petitioner denies ‘taking the parties son with her’ and highlights their son in June 2014 was 18 years of age, extremely distressed and did not want to remain in the house and therefore left of his own accord. The Petitioner denies refusing to meet the Respondent since their separation and does not recall the Respondent asking for the parties to meet. As stated above the parties discussed the issues in their marriage for a while, which only made matters worse. The Respondent did not provide support to the Petitioner who attempted to discuss matters and instead received disgusting and very sexually offensive remarks from the Respondent.

    1. The Petitioner is confused by the Respondent’s approach to the divorce matter. The Respondent is aware that the Petitioner would like the financial matters to be resolved in particular in relation to the former matrimonial home and despite several attempts to start negotiating the financial matters the Respondent has only delayed matters further. The Petitioner therefore could not wait the two years separation to occur before having to potentially issue proceedings at court dealing with outstanding matters.

    In any event the Respondent agrees in the cross petition that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and now seeks to blame the Petitioner for the breakdown of the marriage. The Petitioner is extremely upset by the Respondent’s approach.

    1. The Petitioner does not agree with the Respondent that she is discriminating against the Respondent in relation to a protected characteristic. As stated in the Petitioner’s divorce petition the pressure that the Respondent has placed upon the Petitioner to continue with the marriage is unfair when the Petitioner feels the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is the subjective opinion of the Petitioner.
    2. The Petitioner denies that the Respondent has asked for a reconciliation. The Petitioner has accepted the Respondent’s transition.
    3. The Petitioner denies that she has been unsupportive towards the Respondent as stated above.

     

    Reply to answer filed by the Respondent:

    No admissions are made with regards to the answer. The Petitioner asserts that the marriage broke down over time since August 2013.

      October 29, 2015 9:26 PM GMT
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  • Happy that my personal experiences have been accepted as evidence for the House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee :)

    http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/transgender-equality/publications/

    Written evidence submitted by Alex Stone to the Transgender Equality Inquiry

    I am a 44year old transsexual female, presently undergoing treatment to transition from Male to Female.

    After telling my wife of twenty years that I intended to seek medical treatment, it was made clear to me that our marriage was effectively over and that she wished to divorce.

    Understandably, my wife believes that it is unreasonable for her to continue to live with me as a woman and now wants a divorce. She does not want to wait two years. Under current divorce laws, the only option she has is to divorce me is on the grounds of ‘unreasonable behaviour’; given that it would be ‘unreasonable’ for the courts to expect her to live with me in a lesbian relationship now that I have revealed to her that I have always considered myself to have been female.

    By accepting this argument, the legal system would appear to tacitly accept that being transgender is ‘unreasonable’, and that seeking medical treatment for transexualism in itself constitutes ‘unreasonable behaviour’, which I personally find offensive. This is despite transexualism being a ‘protected characteristic’ of the Equalities Act (2010).

    I believe that the grounds for a no-fault based divorce should be extended to include when a marriage or civil partnerships has broken down irretrievably due to the revelation of a protected characteristic as contained within the Equalities Act (2010), so that the marriage can be dissolved on a ‘no-fault basis’ if both parties are in agreement.

    My personal experience as a user of NHS gender identity services has been quite upsetting. After being referred by my GP for expert opinion within the NHS for the treatment of transexualism, I experienced an eighteen month wait before my initial NHS assessment at the Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross London. I then had a six month wait before my second assessment. I was due to wait a further six months before my third assessment, which has been subsequently delayed by a further three months due to staff shortages and training issues. I am hopeful that following this third assessment I will then be referred for surgical reassignment. I understand that there is a further two year wait for surgery once a referral by the Gender Identity Clinic has been made. The length of time from the time I approached my GP to the time I was seen and treated by the NHS has been very distressing. For over two years I have felt very alone and vulnerable. Without the expert advice forthcoming from the GIC, my GP has felt unable to commence treatment. I have been very fortunate enough to be able to access private treatment during this period. In my experience, most women in similar positions have not been able to do this and have just had to wait.

    Also I have just received a date for my first Speech Therapy Session from the NHS, scheduled for November this year, which has taken me over two years to receive. There are apparently no services available locally for this specialised form of treatment. I have to travel to London at my own expense to receive this treatment.

    5 August 2015

      October 29, 2015 10:06 PM GMT
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  • Alexandra said ''I've had a look into collaborative engagments, they sound good. I don't think we could agree to this since, someone still has to take the blame (i.e. be the one at fault)....I would feel agrieved for the rest of my life if it had to be me based on the 'behaviour' of revealing I was transexual. But is this your point? i.e. to argue that there is no way in law to come to an amicable divorce given our situation, and so the courts should consider ammending existing law?''

     

    Cristine Shye

    there is the option of Matter of first impression

    First impression (known as primae impressionis in Latin) is a legal case in which there is no binding authority on the matter presented. Such a case can set forth a completely original issue of law for decision by the courts, which will then set a precedent for similar cases if a judge so rules..

    Ratio decidendi (Latin plural rationes decidendi) is a Latin phrase meaning "the reason" or "the rationale for the decision". The ratio decidendi is "the point in a case that determines the judgment" or "the principle that the case establishes"

    In other words, ratio decidendi is a legal rule derived from, and consistent with, those parts of legal reasoning within a judgment on which the outcome of the case depends.

    Rule of Inference.
    Base conclusions on what is already known and proven or can be reasonably implied from all known facts.

    You basically are appealing to the judge with valid arguments that being transgendered does not constitute unreasonable behaviour it is a recognised medical condition, He would then have to decide an existing anomily exists in divorce law and make a ruling of irreconsilable issues.   This should have been raised at a collaborative engagement procedure, making your wifes legal representative aware of a valid counter arguement, not responding by ''her behaviour is also unreasonable''. which in law your's is considered unreasonable as you have now found out.   Her's is not! the fact she does not understand the condition and neither do most people, is of no use in your defence arguement, as stated above, it is stated in court records as ''unreasonable behavour''.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at October 2, 2017 7:37 PM BST
      October 30, 2015 1:42 PM GMT
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  • Cristine is hugely more expert than me in these sort of matters, but I think I'm thinking the same thing. Your wife's defence of your cross-petition does not read well, and no, I do not think they necessarily cancel each other out, but without seeing your cross petition in the first place, it's hard to give a balanced opinion.

    Cris is right though in her last sentance, and it looks to me like any attempt to defend the accusation that you have behaved unreasonably by claiming that it was your wife who has behaved unreasonably is doomed to failure.

    From the court's point of view: your wife files a divorce because you announced you wish to be a woman from now on, and you claim that she is being unreasonable about it?

    Your best bet in that scenario would be to hope for a TS judge who might rule in your favour! 

    What I think you really want though, is not to apportion blame upon your wife (as her defence suggests you have done), but to show that neither party was to blame. The traditional divorce court is probably not equipped to deal with what could basically amount to a change in the law; and this may be the only way to adequately defend your case, which I do think is sound if approached in the right way.

    But as I said, your wife's defence to your cross petition does not read well, I can't see a regular divorce court deciding in your favour, or even ruling an "equal blame" situation.

    I'm no expert, but I've been to court and it's not pretty. Did you suggest your wife was partly to blame in your cross petition? I think this is the crux of the matter. She wasn't to blame, and neither were you, but it appears she is now defending herself against your accusations that it was partly her fault. She'll probably win that argument in a regular divorce court.

    <p><span style="font-family: 'book antiqua', palatino; font-size: medium; color: #000080;">"Stop aspiring to be other people and start being you."</span></p> <p>Gok Wan</p>
      October 31, 2015 1:01 AM GMT
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  • Thankyou Lucy, Transexualism, Homosexuality, are actually written  in law as examples of unreasonable behaviour and used.   As written above, there are only 5 reasons/results for cause of divorce in English law.   It is my understanding that a two year period from the first submission of a petition for divorce is required if both parties are in agreement, if one disputes the petition or one withdraws a petition the wait for a no fault divorce is five years.  

    What I am suggesting, is to make a case that  being transgendered is an anomily under the divorce act regarding the 5 outcomes,and the entered examples that coming out as transgender is quoted and used as unreasonable behaviour , refering to the GRA in its original form 2005 and as ammended in 2010 and the subsequent revision to the marriage act, that being transgendered, a recognised medical condition and therefor should not be used as an example of unreasonable behaviour, using 'The matter of first impression' if the case is presented with knowledge of the condition and based on medical evidence, 'Rules of inference' the judge might just make an entry for consideration to change or add to the existing 5.   Also remember that unreasonable behaviour is judged on what the petitioner considers unreasonable in their own mind, unacceptable practices.

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at October 31, 2015 1:13 PM GMT
      October 31, 2015 11:59 AM GMT
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  • Thanks Christine and Lucy. This is helping me to understand and clarify my position.

    My solicitor took the view that by submitting only an answer to my wife's original position (see above) that it would risk the matter being settled by the magistrates court without a hearing. Given that we both are arguing that the marriage is over irreconcilably, my solicitor was of the opinion that a ruling would probably be made that our marraige was indeed over and that I was entirely to blame, without fully considering the matter of whether seeking treatment for transexualism demonstrates 'unreasonable behaviour'.

    Submitting a cross petition (on the grounds that that my wife is now behaving unreasonably in asking the courts to end a marraige before she is legally entitled to do so in law) has at least permitted me to have the case heard in front of a judge, so in this respect I feel that I have achieved something, and that I will be able to have my say.

    I am hopeful that I will be allowed to make the above arguments in court, i.e. 'to make a case that  being transgendered is an anomily under the divorce act regarding the 5 outcomes,and the entered examples that coming out as transgender is quoted and used as unreasonable behaviour , refering to the GRA in its original form 2005 and as ammended in 2010 and the subsequent revision to the marriage act, that being transgendered, a recognised medical condition and therefor should not be used as an example of unreasonable behaviour' ..... thank you so much for this. It's really useful.

    Also, I been reading the Law Society guidelines on self-representation at court and they mention the use of McKenzie friends in court. Christine, is this something you would be interested in helping me with? I am presently waiting for the time and date of my hearing at Northampton Family Court. I would love a bit of support...and to be honest I'm a bit nervous about going alone, so please let me know if you are interested :)

      October 31, 2015 1:30 PM GMT
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  • I have appeared as a Mckenzie friend in Southwark Crown court and a couple of magistrates courts, A Mckenzie friend cannot speak directly to a bench or address or argue a case with the opposing side directly, only advising the person, who then has to argue the case themselves.   In the case in southwark Crown court, the person I was advising used my arguments and reasoning to further their defence, but the judge ruled against us saying my arguments were ill advised and a barrister should have been appointed to make representation, and more or less said to my friend that you get what you pay for.   At the appeal the new judge ruled the previous judge was wrong in his summation of the facts and the opposing law firm was censured for their presentation and notifications to the respondant with misleading information about attending what was then a scheduled hearing, my arguments were adopted by the barrister at the subsequent appeal and a precedent was set, and I did receive some credit for my reasoning.   But I was noted and warned about the loyalty and one master clause in my contract by the head of chambers where I am currently employed as a research assistant, so regretably I could not advise you in court.

    ''Submitting a cross petition (on the grounds that that my wife is now behaving unreasonably in asking the courts to end a marraige before she is legally entitled to do so in law)''

    In law your wife is entitled to petition for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, nothing in that contravenes existing divorce law. or affects her entitlement to do so, coming out as transgender is a cited example of unreasonable behaviour.  (existing divorce laws grounds for) and in my opinion your response in citing her unreasonable behavour is a misnomer from the start, based on established facts and past case law.  It is my considered opinion that your counter petition must be based on matters of first impression using the rule of inference. using an introduction to the bench using that format.

     

     

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at October 31, 2015 4:08 PM GMT
      October 31, 2015 2:14 PM GMT
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  • Many thanks. I intend to use the next few weeks preparing my 'introduction to the bench' on this basis, which I will post up for comments.

      October 31, 2015 2:30 PM GMT
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