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Woman 'trapped in loveless marriage' after judges refuse divorce

(74 Posts)
NameChange10001 Fri 24-Mar-17 21:46:02

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/mar/24/tini-owens-trapped-loveless-marriage-judges-refuse-divorce
If she is unhappily married and has had an affair and wants a divorce, FFS why can't she have one?!? AIBU?

"...the effect of Judge Tolson’s judgement 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.”

Surely this will just frighten even more people off the idea of marriage?

HelenaDove Fri 24-Mar-17 21:48:19

Id bet a penny to a pinch of shit this is also a sexless marriage. And if the genders were reversed the divorce would have been granted.

BillSykesDog Fri 24-Mar-17 21:53:40

The law is the law at the moment. The judge concerned made the point of raising the possibility of no fault divorces which seems like a good idea.

It appears that what's happened in this case is that the wife has got fed up of the marriage, had an affair and decided she wanted a divorce. She's gone for a divorce on the grounds of his unreasonable behaviour, but apparently he hasn't behaved unreasonably so it's been turned down. The judges can't be in the position of branding someone unreasonable when they're not, just because their spouse has asked them to. Especially when it appears in this case that much of the bad behaviour appears to have been on the part of the wife.

PickAChew Fri 24-Mar-17 22:04:00

The problem with "no fault" divorces is that, if he isn't willing to divorce her, then it's a whole 5 years before she is able to end the marriage legally.

I don't know how mant times this sort of situation has arisen before, but one so public as this is, now, does set a somewhat sinister precedent for women wanting to get away from low level abuse - the insidious sort where her self worth is slowly eroded by being made to believe she is useless, too fat, too ugly etc etc.

FelixtheMouse Fri 24-Mar-17 22:05:44

What Bill says. The law says he has to have behaved "unreasonably" not her. All she can do is wait 5 years.

OnionKnight Fri 24-Mar-17 22:07:50

Why is she saying that his behaviour is unreasonable? She had the affair.

JigglyTuff Fri 24-Mar-17 22:11:55

Because she can't divorce him any other way OnionKnight. Here's an idea - why don't you read the article linked to in the OP.

MrsTwix Fri 24-Mar-17 22:12:54

If he hasn't had an affair and he doesn't want a divorce it's the only way she can get a divorce.

Muffintop101 Fri 24-Mar-17 22:15:02

She can't plead her own adultery. He could ask the court to consider her adultery, but he says the marriage hasn't irretrievably broken down.

OnionKnight Fri 24-Mar-17 22:16:03

Fair enough, to be fair I didn't realise that she'd had an affair.

Muffintop101 Fri 24-Mar-17 22:16:24

www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/owens-v-owens.pdf

OnionKnight Fri 24-Mar-17 22:17:39

Thanks Muffin, you learn something new every day.

CharlotteCollins Fri 24-Mar-17 22:19:55

Isn't it unreasonable behaviour to refuse to allow your wife a divorce when even the judge agrees the relationship has broken down irretrievably? confused

HelenaDove Fri 24-Mar-17 22:20:23

Apparently they dont even live in the same house.

PurpleMinionMummy Fri 24-Mar-17 22:21:55

Hopefully it will encourage an amendment in the law before it puts people off marriage. It looks like they simply can't grant it under current law rather than they just don't want too.

CharlotteCollins Fri 24-Mar-17 22:24:13

She's not really trapped, though, is she? She can still separate from him.

CointreauVersial Fri 24-Mar-17 22:24:25

Wow, I didn't realise this. It seems quite archaic in this day and age, to have to wait five years.

(luckily no immediate plans to divorce DH)

CharlotteCollins Fri 24-Mar-17 22:24:50

Or in fact has separated from him...

BillSykesDog Fri 24-Mar-17 22:27:14

Isn't it unreasonable behaviour to refuse to allow your wife a divorce when even the judge agrees the relationship has broken down irretrievably?

They can't view the law in that way because it would discriminate against the defendant by automatically making them guilty of the accusation even if they had never been unreasonable before.

Jaxhog Fri 24-Mar-17 22:29:58

I bet she wants his money, which she can't get unless she divorces him!

PollyPerky Fri 24-Mar-17 22:30:17

I expect the real reason for his refusal is financial- he won't want to give away half his assets.
They can have a legal separation however (I think) meanwhile.

I have known couples where one party has refused to agree to divorce to make the other partner wait, when they didn't want to be divorced.

It's not as uncommon as you might imagine.

yellow6 Fri 24-Mar-17 22:32:30

reading between the lines the judge wanted to but felt she couldnt with the law the way it is written at the moment?

PurpleMinionMummy Fri 24-Mar-17 22:34:47

Yes that's how I read it too yellow.

WormwoodScrubbed Fri 24-Mar-17 22:36:28

I've read hundreds of times that defended divorces very rarely succeed because there is no point claiming your marriage hasn't broken down if the other person is saying it has, so it's an expensive waste of time. So was quite surprised to see this case

2rebecca Fri 24-Mar-17 22:37:10

They are separated and have been for 2 years. She just has to wait 5 years if only she wants a divorce like other married couples in England. She is only a special case because she's married to a millionaire so can afford to take this to the courts.
No one is forcing her to live with the guy.

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