Family law association Resolution has welcomed the decision to allow a wife to appeal a decision by the court to refuse her application for divorce.
As reported on this blog earlier in the month, Tini Owens has been given the go ahead to challenge a previous ruling by the Court of Appeal.
Now Nigel Shepherd, Resolution’s national chairman, has said it is pleased with the decision and expected that her case would have “significant implications” for divorce law across England and Wales.
Mrs Owens’ legal battle, which has made headlines nationwide, started when her husband Hugh had refused to consent to divorce.
A Judge subsequently ruled that there wasn’t sufficient evidence of unreasonable behaviour to grant her petition. The Court of Appeal later upheld the decision, although Judges suggested that there was widespread satisfaction in the way that the law currently had to be interpreted.
Resolution has argued that the Government must take steps to ensure that Mrs Owens’ experience – she has claimed to have been left trapped in a loveless marriage – does not happen to anyone else.
“In today’s modern society, it should not be the case that someone is being forced to stay in a marriage she does not want to be part of, and is now having to go to the highest court,” said Mr Shepherd.
“Mrs Owens’ case highlights why divorce law in the UK needs to change. We need to reduce conflict and support separating couples to resolve matters amicably, rather than forcing them to play a blame game where one or both of them thinks the marriage is over.
“The simple fact is that this case should not have been necessary, and only by implementing a no-fault divorce system can we ensure such a situation doesn’t happen again.”