Unhappiness not a ground for divorce

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A 66-year-old woman has failed in her ‘extraordinarily unusual’ court appeal to divorce her husband of forty years.

Tini Owens appealed the decision after a family court refused to grant her a divorce petition last year. But the appeal judges, led by Sir James Munby who is the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, upheld the original ruling meaning Owens must remain married to her husband Hugh.

A barrister representing Mrs Owens told the appeal court that the ‘’vast majority’’ of divorces were undefended in 21st century England.Philip Marshall QC said it was “extraordinarily unusual in modern times” for a judge to dismiss a divorce petition.

Mr Marshall said Mrs Owens’ case was that her husband had behaved unreasonably and that the marriage had irretrievably broken down, leaving her feeling “unloved, isolated and alone.”

Hugh Owens contested the case, claiming they still had a “few years” to enjoy

He also claimed he had “moved on” and “forgiven” his wife for having an affair in 2012.

Barrister Nigel Dyer QC, who represented Mr Owens, said Mrs Owens had not established that the marriage was irretrievably broken.

Friday’s ruling means Mrs Owens will have to remain married, though she will be eligible for a divorce after five years of separation, even if her husband objects.

Sir James said: “Parliament has decreed that it is not a ground for divorce that you find yourself in a wretchedly unhappy marriage, though some people may say it should be.”

Source Huffington Post

To discuss whether you have grounds for a divorce call Rebecca Kershaw on 10405 813108

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