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27/07/2018 By: Nicola Rowlings
Owens is a rare and unusual case where three courts have now decided that a wife did not sufficiently prove that she could not reasonably be expected to live with her former husband because of his behaviour and have declined to grant her the divorce she is seeking. Since the Supreme Court handed down their judgment on Wednesday, much has been in the press and social media about this case but what does it mean if you are thinking about starting a divorce based on your ex’s behaviour? Well, it’s very much business as usual.
Divorces are only granted when a marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is established by showing one of the following:
the couple have lived apart for five years
they have lived apart for two years and both agree to end the marriage
there has been adultery
the person bringing the divorce cannot reasonably be expected to live with the other because of the other’s behaviour (so-called “unreasonable behaviour”)