Trapped In Marriage

The long awaited decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Mrs Owen has now been announced and her Appeal has been dismissed, meaning she must for the time being remain married.

Mrs Owen commenced divorce proceedings against her husband on the fact of his behavior.  The husband defended successfully and, Mrs Owen’s appealed to the Court of Appeal.  The Court of Appeal dismissed Mrs Owen’s Appeal and she appealed to the Supreme Court.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court whilst accepting that the marriage had broken down could not, on the basis of the current law and the initial Judge’s findings, find that Mr Owen’s behavior was such that Mrs Owen was entitled to a divorce.

The current law, unless you have been separated for specified periods, requires a divorce to be based on fault.  The national family law group Resolution of which our specialist Family Solicitors are members, have long lobbied for ‘no fault’ divorce and intervened in the Appeal; raising behaviour right at the outset can often cause needless conflict and inflame the situation, prejudicing an amicable resolution of the financial consequences of the breakdown of the marriage and the arrangements for children.

All our specialist Family Solicitors strive to prevent needless conflict, by trying to agree with the other party what will be in the divorce petition to prevent it being defended and, a Respondent to a divorce does not have to accept what is raised in the divorce petition to enable it to proceed undefended.

If you need advice in respect of a divorce or require advice on any other family law related issue please contact one of our specialist Family Solicitors.