Owens v Owens
27th Jul 2018
When Mr & Mrs Owens said I do little did Mrs Owens know if she wanted to divorce it would break her emotionally and financially. Even with financial assistance from Resolution (the organisation who quality assure family lawyers) and a visit to the Supreme Court she cannot escape the previous Judgment handed down that she simply does not satisfy the grounds for divorce based on Mr Owens ‘unreasonable behaviour’.
It seems unconscionable that in the 21st century the law still prevents an amicable divorce by mutual consent or at the will of one party to the marriage who no longer wishes to be party to it. Family lawyers agree that it should not be for any husband or wife to prove blame which results in conflict and acrimony. Especially in marriages involving children.
Since we last attempted a change in divorce law through the Family Law Act 1996 1,720,000 people cited adultery or unreasonable behaviour as grounds for divorce in their petition.
Mrs Owens is now aged 68, she has given her marriage 40 years but simply because her husband refuses to divorce she will have to wait until 2020 (5 years separation) to divorce him without his consent. Mr Owens says the only reason she wants to divorce him is through boredom or because she has had an affair. Mr Owens does not believe he should be criticised for trying to save his marriage. It is clear in this marriage listening was not one of Mr Owen’s strong points if he believes that his marriage is reconcilable.
In answer to this Dame Butler-Sloss, the first female Lord Justice of Appeal (Appeal Court Judge) as tabled a private members bill to change the law to ‘no fault’ as in the US, Australia and Scotland (yes Scotland has different laws!) However, it continues to be very difficult to convince parliament to have any enthusiasm for this subject.
With divorce soon to go on line and more people self representing it is concerning that many may fall prey to this recent case law with spouses who do not wish to divorce choosing to defend the divorce proceedings. If you need help or advice with your divorce contact me on 01603 675666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.