This was a case where the marriage was certainly unhappy, but the Husband did not accept the particulars of unreasonable behaviour in support of the divorce. Husband continued to defend the petition. A final decision was reached in the Supreme Court at the end of July 2018 and in short, Mrs Owens must remain married to Mr Owen until such time as she can petition without his consent – that is five years after their date of separation.
What this highlights, is that if the particulars of unreasonable behaviour drafted for a divorce petition are not “strong” enough, it may be impossible to achieve a divorce if the other party defends the petition. The court stated that Mrs Owen’s particulars were “flimsy and exaggerated examples of behaviour”.
Luckily, these cases of defended petitions are few and far between, but it is always important to discuss the divorce petition with your lawyer carefully and for your lawyer to advise you on the contents accordingly.
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