The Ministry of Justice confirmed that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill entered Parliament on 7 January 2020. The Bill seeks to introduce a 'no fault divorce' in England and Wales, whereby couples can get divorced without blaming the other party. Our Family Law Team look at this new law and what it means for separating couples.This...
The planned reform to the divorce process in England and Wales to introduce a way to get divorced without blaming the other party has been halted due to the prorogation of Parliament. This has left many professionals who work in this field and those who have campaigned for change, disappointed. Currently, if a married couple decide mutually that th...
The Supreme Court, the highest appeal court in England and Wales, has recently dismissed an appeal of Mrs Owens, who wants a divorce, on the basis that she has failed to prove that the marriage had broken down irretrievably. The court upheld previous decisions by the original trial judge and the Court of Appeal that Mrs Owens must remain married to...
The impending divorce of Mrs Tini Owens and her husband Mr Hugh Owens is in the limelight once again following an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Since her initial case for divorce was dismissed by senior judges, Mrs Owens has been given permission to appeal her case to the Supreme Court, the highest appeal court in our jurisdiction. The decision they make should now be able to put an end to the much debated contentious divorce proceedings within the UK.
Mrs Owens originally petitioned for divorce against her husband of 37 years on the basis of his unreasonable behaviour. Under the law in England and Wales, a petition on this basis is one of only two ways separating couples can commence divorce proceedings immediately. Mr Owens defended the proceedings which in itself is somewhat unusual.
Multiple court hearings have since followed and the court have found, to date, that the examples of unreasonable behaviour Mrs Owens included within her divorce petition are not enough to satisfy the threshold, trapping her in what she calls “a loveless marriage”. The Court of Appeal found that "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."
There is current debate surrounding whether there should be legislation to allow separating couples to divorce immediately on a ‘no fault basis’. The idea is that this would enable couples to engage in the divorce process on a more amicable, less confrontational basis and would hopefully avoid the type of litigation Mr & Mrs Owens have had to endure.
The case demonstrates that it is vital to seek legal advice at the outset of separation to ensure that unnecessary, costly and stressful litigation can be avoided.
For more information relating to divorce law, finances and how Pinney Talfourd can help, please contact our Family Law department - call on 01708 229444 or email us using the form to the right to arrange a free initial consultation.
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of July 2017.