Supreme Court to hear Tini Owens case

No Fault Divorce Bill second reading is postponed

Tini Owens, the woman who was refused permission to divorce her husband, is to take her case to the Supreme Court, the Independent has confirmed.

Earlier this year, Ms Owens argued that her 39-year marriage with Hugh Owens had broken down following an affair she had several years ago.

She said her husband’s “continued beratement” over the affair was “unreasonable behaviour”.

But the High Court ruled and Court of Appeal agreed that there were no legal grounds for divorce. The Courts heard how Mr Owens had forgiven his wife for her infidelity and believes the pair should stay together to “enjoy 30-odd years of shared experiences”.

Just one per cent of all divorce petitions in England and Wales contested.

Judge Robin Tolson said Ms Owens’ allegations against her husband were “exaggerated” and “minor altercations of a kind to be expected in a marriage”.

The judgement led to calls for the introduction of “no-fault divorce”.

Sir James Munby, the president of the family division, told the Court of Appeal: “We cannot interfere with Judge Tolson’s decision [in the family court] and refuse the wife the decree of divorce she sought.

“Mr Marshall complains that the effect of Judge Tolson’s judgment is to leave the wife in a wretched predicament, feeling, as she put it in her witness statement, unloved, isolated and alone, and locked into a loveless and desperately unhappy marriage which, as the judge correctly found, has, in fact if not in law, irretrievably broken down.”

“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.”

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