Family Law

Woman refused divorce will take her battle to the Supreme Court

August 24, 2017

In a recent news article a woman refused a divorce will tell the Supreme Court she should not have to prove 'unreasonable behaviour'.

Family Law Unreasonable Behaviour Burrougsh Day

It has been revealed that the wife who was refused permission to divorce her husband on the basis that his behaviour could not be classed as unreasonable is going to be arguing her case in the Supreme Court later this year.

Mrs Owens issued divorce proceedings citing her husband’s unreasonable behaviour however her husband disagreed that the marriage had broken down and denied that his behaviour towards her had been unreasonable.

Mrs Owens’ divorce petition has already been rejected by the High Court and the Court of Appeal with Sir James Munby, the president of the Family Division, ruling last year that the marriage had not by law irretrievably broken down and adding that “it is not a ground for divorce that you find yourself in a wretchedly unhappy marriage”.

Mrs Owens’ legal team are now arguing that she does not have to prove that her husband has behaved unreasonably and that the law only requires her to demonstrate that her husband’s behaviour is such that she cannot be reasonably expected to live with him.

This case is highly unusual and should not cause concern for couples contemplating divorce with less than 1% of divorce petitions in England and Wales generally being contested. It does however highlight the need for the reform of the law at parliamentary level with campaigners and  practitioners calling for the introduction of a ‘no-fault divorce’ to prevent the situation where a party may have to remain in an unhappy marriage for up to 5 years.

It also underlines the need for proper legal advice on the drafting of the divorce petition at an early stage, which is something the Family Team at Burroughs Day have specialist experience in. 

Our specialist lawyers are here to help. Please pick up the telephone and contact us if you need any help and advice regarding divorce & separation– or any other legal issue on 0117 929 0333 or email.

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