Divorce lawyer, Shamin Ali comments:
“It is highly unusual for a court to dismiss a petition for divorce. It will be interesting to note the reasons in the judgment which is yet to be received.
In an unreasonable behaviour divorce petition, it must be shown that the respondent to whom the petition is issued, has behaved in such a manner that the other party finds it intolerable to live with him/her. It simply not enough when parties have drifted apart and do not hold any real animosity towards each other
As Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, hearing the appeal, said: "It is not a ground for divorce if you find yourself in a wretchedly unhappy marriage – people may say it should be."
A woman has been refused permission to divorce her husband because their rows were just part of married life. In a highly unusual move the family court judge, Robin Tolson, refused to grant the divorce petition. Ms Owens' allegations against her husband were “exaggerated” and “minor altercations of a kind to be expected in a marriage”, he said, adding that the case was “an exercise in scraping the barrel”. As a result, Ms Owens will now be unable to end the marriage immediately and will have to wait five years to divorce without her husband’s consent.