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If you are desperately unhappy in your marriage, but your partner doesn't want a divorve - should you be forced to stay in the marriage?

(16 Posts)
PerspicaciaTick Thu 16-Feb-17 11:51:17

Currently a case going through court. The wife has spent years being distrusted and treated like a child and now wants to end the marriage. Her husband thinks they have a few more years to enjoy. The judge agrees with him - apparently being married to a disagreeable, controlling man is par for the course and needs to be sucked up.

This seems to highlight a massive loophole in the law. You can't get a divorce just because you are unhappy - unless your spouse agrees.

MrsDustyBusty Thu 16-Feb-17 11:52:59

No. You can't be forced to get married, it shouldn't be possible to force you to remain married.

PerspicaciaTick Thu 16-Feb-17 11:55:52

It seems you can though. I agree that it shouldn't be possible, which is why I'm so shocked at this case.

Ouriana Thu 16-Feb-17 11:58:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Thu 16-Feb-17 11:59:26

It is the length of time they have been separated.

In law she still needs his consent to divoice. In a couple of years she won't

PerspicaciaTick Thu 16-Feb-17 11:59:28

She did. He said it wasn't unreasonable and the judge agreed. So no divorce.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Thu 16-Feb-17 12:00:24

So I assumed she could file for divorce citing his behaviour as unreasonable?

Yes but he still has to agree, until they have been separated for a certain amount of time (5 years I thonk)

PigletWasPoohsFriend Thu 16-Feb-17 12:00:37


HecateAntaia Thu 16-Feb-17 12:03:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PerspicaciaTick Thu 16-Feb-17 12:05:02

I'm guessing that she must be doubting that they will ever get divorced as he is 78 years old

Spudlet Thu 16-Feb-17 12:06:45

It's awful, like something out of the dark ages. Apparently most divorces are uncontested, but this man decided to take it to court and the judge sided with him (I think that his was at least partly down to the wording of the law, which I'm going to assume is pretty archaic).

Surely this could count as coercive control though, making he husband's behaviour illegal anyway?

Aftershock15 Thu 16-Feb-17 12:26:57

Do you think she needs the divorce to get access to money? I can't see otherwise why she wouldn't just leave him and not bother with the divorce at the moment. Him wanting to stay married is probably about not splitting the assets as well.

PerspicaciaTick Thu 16-Feb-17 12:45:31

Possibly - after 40 years of marriage and being retirement aged, it must be very hard to make a fresh start without a financial settlement.

Silvertap Thu 16-Feb-17 19:05:05

I think there's way more to this than had been reported. They've been living separate lives for a few years since her affair.

He might genuinely believe they can work at the marriage.

I suspect more that she's after his fairly substantial fortune and there's children involved and inheritance concerns.

prh47bridge Thu 16-Feb-17 20:54:09

You can't get a divorce just because you are unhappy - unless your spouse agrees

No, you cannot get a divorce just because you are unhappy. That is not grounds for divorce. You need to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably by establishing unreasonable behaviour, adultery, desertion or separation (2 years with consent, 5 years without consent). In this case the wife argued unreasonable behaviour. The judge decided that the behaviour alleged was not sufficiently unreasonable to justify divorce.

It is rare for the courts to refuse a divorce. It usually needs only fairly mild allegations of unreasonable behaviour. I haven't seen the original judgement but, going on media reports, it looks like the original judge may have gone out on a limb. But equally it may be that she needed to come up with stronger examples of unreasonable behaviour.

I suspect more that she's after his fairly substantial fortune and there's children involved and inheritance concerns

None of that is relevant. These things may affect the financial settlement but they have no bearing at all on the decision as to whether or not to grant the divorce. By the way, the children are grown up so there are no young children involved in this case.

ParadiseCity Thu 16-Feb-17 20:57:13

It sounds horrendous for her on the face of it. I'd take him on a cruise and push him overboard. (But I am a horrible person.)

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