Tini Owens loses Supreme Court divorce fight

Tini Owens loses Supreme Court divorce fight

Five Supreme Court judges today waved away Mrs Owens' pleas to let her end the union and ruled she must stay married.

But the Supreme Court refused to grant a divorce to the 68-year-old, saying they are not able to "change the law".

He added: "Mrs Owens is devastated by this decision, which means that she can not move forward with her life and obtain her independence from Mr Owens".

Neither Tini nor Hugh was in court to hear the ruling delivered.

He added: "Mrs Owens is devastated by this decision which means that she can not move forward with her life and obtain her independence from Mr Owens". Politicians can no longer justify inaction on their part and must introduce no-fault divorce without delay.

He summarised the current position, which blends objective and subjective elements: a petitioner must demonstrate that a reasonable person would conclude that this particular respondent has behaved in a way that this particular petitioner can not reasonably be expected to live with the respondent, taking into account all of the circumstances and the history of the marriage.

But Mr Owens refuses to agree to a divorce and denies Mrs Owens' allegations about his behaviour. He says that if their marriage has irretrievably broken down it is because she had an affair, or because she is "bored".

Judge Robin Tolson described her complaints about Mr Owens as "flimsy and exaggerated".




The couple married in 1978 and live in Broadway, Worcestershire, staying in neighbouring properties since 2015 when she petitioned for divorce.

Lord Wilson said the case was dismissed "with reluctance" and that it is a question for Parliament.

The judges said it would be up to parliament to decide if the law should be changed.

Ms Owens had already lost two rounds of the battle.

Barrister Hamish Dunlop said: "In bringing her appeal, she was essentially advocating divorce by unilateral demand of the petitioner; ignoring the court's duty to have some objective regard to the respondent's behaviour".

The Supreme Court justices have upheld earlier rulings by judges in both the Family Court in 2016 and Court of Appeals in 2017.

Another specialist lawyer, Caroline Elliott, said England and Wales "currently lag far behind other countries with their divorce laws and there is a strong mood for reform, which includes the introduction of "no-fault" divorces".

"The simple fact is that I have been desperately unhappy in our marriage for many years", she said in court documents. In particular, she felt that "this was a case which depended upon the cumulative effect of a great many small incidents said to be indicative of authoritarian, demeaning and humiliating conduct over a period of time" (paragraph 50), and that the hearing "was not set up or conducted in a way which would enable the full flavour of such conduct to be properly evaluated".

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