Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Tini Owens loses Supreme Court fight for divorce

Tini Owens loses Supreme Court fight for divorce

A woman who wants to divorce her husband of 40 years because she says her marriage is unhappy has lost a Supreme Court appeal.

By 2020, five years will have elapsed since they began living apart putting an end to the marriage on the grounds of separation.

"This ruling from the Supreme Court about the need to prove unreasonable behaviour under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, underlines the importance of the bill introduced by Baroness Butler-Sloss, which seeks to make the first major changes to divorce legislation in almost 50 years".

Mrs Owens' lawyer said she was "devastated by this decision, which means that she can not move forward with her life".

Attorneys suggest lawmakers will now consider "no fault" divorce.

Mrs Owens had been refused a divorce at first instance, because the judge found that the examples of her husband's behaviour which she provided were "flimsy" and could not have caused the judge to conclude that her marriage had broken down irretrievably.

"It is likely that significant numbers of married observers of non-Judeo- Christian faiths are also in a similar position to members of the Muslim community", she said.

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

The Supreme Court today, Wednesday 25 July, delivered its verdict on the application from the appellant and wife Tini Owens challenging the earlier rulings by the Court of Appeal and the original trial judge.

Freedom to marry and divorce are both guaranteed by the law, but partners must uphold the "dignity of marriage", Li said. Politicians can no longer justify inaction on their part and must introduce no-fault divorce without delay.

Image Credit Wu Jianxiong  Unsplash
Image Credit Wu Jianxiong Unsplash

She lives in a house the couple own next door to the marital home in Broadway, Worcestershire.

Supreme Court President Lady Hale admitted she found the case "very troubling", while another said she had reached her conclusion without enthusiasm. He has objected to the divorce and denied his wife's allegations about his behavior.

She said her husband behaved unreasonably and she should not be expected to stay married.

Another said Parliament had "decreed" that being in a "wretchedly unhappy marriage" was not grounds for divorce.

The case was about the proper interpretation of legislation, they said.

The court's decision angered a number of legal experts who claim the law is out of date and in desperate need of changing.

"Those calling for a so-called "no-fault divorce" regime may take comfort from Lord Wilson's view that, in moving with the times, the law nowadays sets the bar for a grant of divorce based on behaviour at a low level".

She said she had been "reluctantly persuaded" that Tini's appeal should be dismissed.

Simon Beccle said Mrs Owens had hoped the Supreme Court justices would make a decision which would be "forward-thinking and fit with the current social mores".

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