Owens v Owens and no fault divorces

Many family lawyers have been calling for the law relating to divorce to be updated to allow for no fault divorce so as to avoid causing further conflict and acrimony between divorcing couples.

At present, you can only divorce if you can establish one of five facts – three of which are dependent upon you living separately and apart for a period of two years or more. The other two grounds are adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

Until recently, unreasonable behaviour could include examples of behaviour such as too much or too little affection, working too much or too little or socialising separately and apart from each other.  However, the recent case of Owens v Owens may put a stop to such divorce petitions being permitted to go through the Courts.  In this case, a petition based on alleged unreasonable behaviour was successfully defended on the basis that the behaviour cited was not sufficient enough to “justify a divorce” The Court agreed and dismissed the petition.

The matter has been appealed on the basis that it leaves the parties in a loveless marriage and the decision of the Supreme Court on the appeal awaits. It is regarded as the “most significant divorce case of the century”

At Wellers, we are members of Resolution and we aim to resolve matters without confrontation, adhering to a code of Practice.  We try where possible to agree the particulars of divorce before issuing them at Court to avoid any potential conflict or defence once the papers have been issued.  This would negate the need for petitions to be dismissed and appealed.  We also have a trained collaborative lawyer – collaborative law enables couples to work with their divorce lawyers to avoid the uncertain outcome of a costly Court process.

For a one off hour meeting charged at the fixed rate of £100+VAT, please call 020 8464 4242 or email familylaw@wellerslawgroup.com.