To have and to hold, from this day forward, till a quickie divorce us do part

Jul 30, 2018 by

by Andrew Tettenborn, from Rebel Priest:

Since the unusually high-profile Tini Owens case last week in the UK Supreme Court, the establishment have been saying, with almost one voice, that the only grown-up approach to marriage breakdown is the immediate introduction of quickie no-fault divorce in Britain. They are both ill-informed and wrong.

Tini Owens, 68, from Worcestershire, wanted the court to grant her a divorce from her husband of 40 years Hugh, who is refusing the split. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected the appeal, meaning she must remain married until 2020. Mrs Owens’ solicitor said she was “devastated” by the decision and “cannot move forward with her life”.

English divorce law presently works roughly like this. You can get a divorce immediately, or at least as fast as the rather slow-moving wheels of legal bureaucracy allow, if you prove either misconduct – adultery, violence or whatever – or behaviour which, irrespective of blame, makes it unreasonable to expect you to cohabit.

Otherwise you have to live apart for two years if both of you want a divorce, or five years if only you do. This means that if your spouse won’t co-operate and you can’t show misconduct or other untoward behaviour you have to wait five years. That was exactly what happened to Tini Owens, the wife in this case before the Supreme Court. She was bored, had had an affair or so, found her husband starchy and dreary, and wanted out. The court told her that she had to live apart and wait.

We have progressives rooting for something like the kind of peremptory divorce available in Shari’ah law to men.

The great and good, starting with the Supreme Court justices themselves and extending to the nation’s family lawyers, unanimously huffed and puffed that this wouldn’t do. We needed no-fault divorce immediately; our law was out of dateThe Guardian, as might be expected, simplified the whole thing: the wife wanted out, so what more was to be said? She had to be given what she wanted: no ifs, no buts.

Hang on a moment.

Read here


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