This week the Supreme Court has delivered its long-awaited Judgment in relation to the divorce proceedings of Mrs Tini Owens. This case has drawn attention on the issue of no-fault divorce and the problem with the current law which insists that someone must be to blame rather than accepting that there doesn’t have to be someone at fault, as is often the case.

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed Mrs Owens appeal in this week’s decision, leaving her married to her estranged husband.

The issue the courts have faced is deciding what is meant by the current law requiring someone to satisfy to the court that their marriage has broken down irretrievably because his/her spouse “has behaved in such a way that he/she cannot reasonably be expected to live with her/him”.

In other words, the Court finds that her husband’s behaviour isn’t unreasonable enough. It appears that Mrs Owens opinion is not decisive when deciding what is unreasonable behaviour but the view that the Judge reaches. This seems extremely unfair in leaving people trapped in unhappy marriages needing the approval of the court for a divorce when it is not needed for the same couple to have got married in the first place.

This week’s decision will be upsetting news for many who have supported Mrs Owens in her challenge and for the many more that may be trapped in similar circumstances. It remains clear the current divorce process needs to be reformed to reflect the realities of today’s society, and hope remains for politicians to take action for change.

 

If you require advice or assistance in relation to any of these issues or other family law matters at Jordans Solicitors we have a dedicated family law team who can help. Please dial 01924 387 110 and ask to speak with a member of the family law team or request a call back.


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