You might have seen some of the headlines about the battle of Tini Owens, a woman who says she is trapped in an unhappy marriage. This case relates to her wish to divorce her husband, and the only ground for divorce which was available to her – to set out incidents of his behaviour and to satisfy a judge that Tini cannot reasonably be expected to live with her husband.
Whilst our role as Family Lawyers is to try and support you through what is already an extremely difficult time by trying to resolve matters in a non-acrimonious way, the current divorce law means that unless you have been separated over 2 years (and there is agreement) or over 5 years, you have to apportion blame on your spouse. Where this is necessary, lawyers will try to establish and satisfy the court of the blame, but without trying to create even more tension and discord. This can be an extremely difficult task – few people want to set out a lengthy list of their spouse’s shortcomings or less attractive behaviour.
Unfortunately, the decision in this case was that the allegations made by Tini against her husband weren’t sufficient to satisfy the judge. In short, the reasons given weren’t good enough. This leaves us wondering whether we will have to take a firmer line and include more contentious or upsetting allegations to ensure that the courts are satisfied.
There are various options for you if you find yourself contemplating divorce and separation. This case doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be deterred from marrying, divorcing or separating, but it is essential to get specialist advice at an early stage, and form a plan if you do want to move forward.
We offer initial complimentary consultations to discuss your situation and help you consider your options, during or outside of office hours, in or out the office and across our East Sussex and London offices. If you’d like to discuss this more, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01424 775967.