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Owens –v- Owens: No Fault Divorce Judgment

Owens –v- Owens: No Fault Divorce Judgment

Caroline Andrews


The Supreme Court has handed down their Judgment in the Owens –v- Owens case.  Mrs Owens had applied to the Supreme Court to relook at her Petition for divorce on the basis of Mr Owen’s unreasonable behaviour and in particular the effect it had on her.  In this Judgment in denying the Appeal and in effect leaving Mr and Mrs Owen married, the Supreme Court have highlighted that they are bound by the current legal framework. 

They have rather reluctantly with some “uneasy feelings”, agreed that the law and therefore the Petition should stand.  Thus not granting a divorce, this case has generated discussions, that the Court have now urged Parliament to consider changing the law.

Currently, under the requirements for unreasonable behaviour, if that is being utilised to prove the irretrievable breakdown, then there is an element of needing to set out the blame against the other party.  Therefore, it is important to take full legal advice ahead of issuing a Petition, as to what reason is best utilise to prove the ground of irretrievable breakdown in a divorce.