Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

UK: Unhappy marriage not grounds for divorce, supreme court rules

UK: Unhappy marriage not grounds for divorce, supreme court rules

A woman who says her marriage is unhappy has lost a Supreme Court appeal to be granted a divorce. Per the BBC, UK law decrees a divorce can only be granted without a spouse's OK in cases of adultery, desertion, or "unreasonable behavior"; if those aren't the case, a divorce will be granted only after the spouses live apart for five years.

Judges raised concerns that previous rulings had not taken into account the cumulative effect of Mr Owens' behaviour on his wife, but in a decision that "deals a blow to campaigners' hopes for reforming the divorce laws", says The Times, all five justices said that it was not for them to intervene in the decision made by earlier courts.

In May of that year, Tini petitioned for divorce, alleging that her husband had prioritised his work over their home life, his treatment of her lacked love and affection, he was often moody and argumentative, he had disparaged her in front of others, and that she had grown apart from him.

Solicitor Simon Beccle said: "Mrs Owens is devastated by this decision which means she can not move forward with her life and obtain her independence from Mr Owens".

Attorneys suggest lawmakers will now consider "no fault" divorce. They said she had failed to establish in the legal sense that her marriage had broken down irretrievably.

A cooling-off period is seen as a countermechanism against recklessness and impulsiveness among some irresponsible couples, she said.

On Thursday 25 July, the Supreme Court refused Mrs Owen's appeal.

The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the appeal, meaning she must remain married until 2020.

A WIFE who says she's trapped in a loveless marriage has been denied a divorce - prompting calls for a change in the law.

He summarised the current position, which blends objective and subjective elements: a petitioner must demonstrate that a reasonable person would conclude that this particular respondent has behaved in a way that this particular petitioner can not reasonably be expected to live with the respondent, taking into account all of the circumstances and the history of the marriage.

Freedom to marry and divorce are both guaranteed by the law, but partners must uphold the "dignity of marriage", Li said.

The couple married in 1978 and live in Broadway, Worcestershire, staying in neighbouring properties since 2015 when she petitioned for divorce.

Resolution said the case was "troubling".

The case has sparked a debate about whether divorce laws in England and Wales need to change.

Barrister Philip Marshall, for Ms Owens, told Supreme Court justices a "modest shift" of focus in interpretation of legislation was required. "The clamour in the legal profession for reform of our arcane divorce laws and the introduction of no-fault divorces is now deafening".

And with the case still dismissed by the Supreme Court justices, Tini had left without a recourse.

Supreme Court justices have now also ruled against her.

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