Tini Owens loses Supreme Court fight for divorce

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A woman who wants to divorce her husband of 40 years because she says their marriage is unhappy has lost a Supreme Court fight.

Five Supreme Court justices have ruled that Tini Owens must stay married to Hugh Owens.

The justices upheld rulings by a Family Court judge and Court of Appeal judges.

Mrs Owens, who is in her late 60s, wants a divorce and says her marriage to Mr Owens, who is in his 80s, is loveless and has broken down.

She says he has behaved unreasonably and that she should not reasonably be expected to stay married.

But Mr Owens refuses to agree to a divorce and denies Mrs Owens' allegations about his behaviour.

He says if their marriage has irretrievably broken down it is because she had an affair, or because she is "bored".

Mr and Mrs Owens married in 1978 and lived in Broadway, Worcestershire, judges have heard.

Mrs Owens petitioned for divorce in 2015 after moving out.

Supreme Court justices analysed rival legal arguments, which revolved around concepts of "unreasonable" behaviour and "fault", at a Supreme Court hearing in London in May and delivered a ruling on Wednesday.

One, Lord Wilson, said justices had ruled against Mrs Owens "with reluctance".

He said the "question for Parliament" was whether the law governing "entitlement to divorce" remained "satisfactory".

Lord Wilson indicated that Mrs Owens would be able to divorce in 2020, when the couple have been separated for five years.