Senior judges have refused to allow a divorce in the case of Tini Owens on the grounds that she is unhappy. Mrs Owens has been married for over 40 years and has two adult children from her marriage. Her husband opposed the divorce.

Under England and Wales law, a divorce can only be obtained without a spouses’ consent by proving that the marriage has broken down due to unreasonable behaviour, adultery or desertion. The only other alternative is to be separated for 5 years and so this ruling will mean therefore that Mrs Owens will now have to wait until 2020 to get divorced.

The case has bought into question whether divorce laws need to be changed and whether a ‘no-fault’ divorce should be called for. At present there is a concern that couples may have to exaggerate allegations to justify their marital breakdown.

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