Family Law Hub

Supreme Court decision in Owens v Owens to be handed down next week

Judgment in wife's high profile appeal against refusal to grant a divorce on behaviour grounds will be handed down Wednesday 25th July.

  • The Supreme Court's judgment in Owens v Owens will be handed down at 9.45 next Wednesday 25th July.

    The decision is eagerly awaited as it concerns the correct interpretation of section 1(2)(b) Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and, given that it is all about what constitutes sufficiently unreasonable behaviour for the judge to be able to grant a divorce, it has been held as a fine example of why no fault divorce is needed. 

    The basic facts of the case are as follows:

    The parties were married in 1978 and separated in February 2015. The appellant's wife filed a petition for divorce in May 2015 contending that the marriage had irretrievably broken down. The petition was based on the respondent husband's behaviour, which the wife argued meant she could not reasonably be expected to live with him within the meaning of s 1(2)(b) Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, and she gave particulars of incidents, which included occasions where the husband was alleged to have made disparaging or hurtful remarks to her in front of third parties. The husband defended the case and argued at the trial that the examples given of his behaviour were not such as to satisfy the requirements of s 1(2)(b). The judge agreed and dismissed the petition.

    You will be able to watch the judgment being handed down live on the Supreme Court. 

    Join us for a free webinar discussing the outcome on the day judgment is handed down. Click here for more.

News, published: 19/07/2018


See also

  • In a tweet: Particulars of behaviour must be of sufficient strength to meet statutory test Case note, 12/06/2017, members only
  • Appeal against a refusal to grant a wife a decree nisi of divorce on the basis that the wife had failed to prove, within the meaning of section 1(2)(b) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, that her husband had behaved in such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with him, even though the judge had found as a fact that the marriage had broken down. Appeal dismissed. Judgment, 24/03/2017, free
  • Our tweets summarising the submissions and questions from the hearing News, 18/05/2018, free

Published: 19/07/2018


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