Woman loses fight over divorce petition

A wife has lost an “extraordinarily unusual” case at the Court of Appeal, which has upheld a Judge’s earlier decision to refuse permission for a divorce.

Tini Owens claims she has been left isolated and alone in her marriage, arguing that her husband Hugh had continued to chastise her about a previous affair.

She quoted instances where her spouse had sat in silence during a meal out and criticised her in the presence of the couple’s housekeeper.

Mr Owens, whose fortune runs into millions, had insisted he had forgiven his wife for her past infidelity and wanted the marriage to continue.

Judge Robin Tolson had previously suggested Mrs Owens had “exaggerated the context and seriousness” of the incidents cited and took the unusual step of refusing her petition.

Following on from his ruling, three Judges, including the president of the family division, Sir James Munby, heard evidence at London’s Royal Courts of Justice. They dismissed Ms Owens’ appeal earlier this month.

Lady Justice Hallett admitted she had reached her decision with “no enthusiasm whatsoever”, but nonetheless concluded that Judge Tolson had interpreted the law correctly.

“It is for Parliament to decide whether to amend [the law] and to introduce ‘no fault’ divorce on demand; it is not for the Judges to usurp their function.”

Nigel Shepherd, chair of the family law association Resolution, said: “This judgment will obviously come as a disappointment to Mrs Owens, and absolutely underlines the urgent need for no-fault divorce.

“Nobody should be compelled to remain in a marriage against their will, yet judges’ hands are tied by the current divorce law. Sadly, all too often, couples are forced to play the blame game, and today’s decision demonstrates why this needs to change.

The end of a relationship can be a stressful and difficult time for the parties involved and people understandably welcome expert legal advice. For guidance on any aspect of divorce proceedings, please contact Chris Corney or visit.