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Wife being forced to stay in an Unhappy Marriage’ Supreme Court Rules

Divorce rings

Mrs. Owens, aged 68 married in 1978 with two adult children applies for a Divorce on the grounds of her husbands unreasonable behaviour, however, her husband is refusing to split.

The original Judge who heard the case found the marriage to be broken down, but that Mrs. Owens examples were “flimsy and exaggerated”.

Mr. Owens, aged 80 refused to agree to a divorce and denied Mrs. Owens’ allegations about his behaviour.

The Case proceeded to the Supreme Court who dismissed the appeal, meaning the wife must remain married until 2020, once the parties have lived apart for five years.
Grounds for Divorce in England and Wales are that you must prove your marriage has broken down irretrievably and give one of the following five reasons:-

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • You have lived apart for more then 2 years and both agree to the divorce
  • You have lived apart for at least five years, even if your husband or wife disagrees

The appeal Judge said she reached her conclusion with “no enthusiasm whatsoever” but that Parliament would have to decide whether to introduce “no fault” divorce on demand.

This case highlights the need for change in the Divorce law.

Morecrofts family solicitors are members of Resolution who have been campaigning on divorce law reform for a no fault Divorce for the government to take urgent action to address it.

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