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The Royal Coat of Arms and signage is pictured on an external wall of The Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand in central London on August 21, 2016.

‘Locked in’

Judge denounced for ruling woman is not allowed to divorce her husband

By WITW Staff on February 17, 2017

A U.K. woman is appealing a family court judge ruling that prevented her from divorcing her husband without his permission.

Last year, Tini Owens, 65, went before a judge and said that her husband of 39 years had never forgiven her after she admitted to having had an affair several years ago. Citing his “continued beratement” over the affair, Tini claimed that his “unreasonable behavior” was grounds for divorce. In court, Tini was contradicted by her husband, Hugh Owens, who said he had forgiven his wife’s infidelity and that he thought it best that they stay together “to enjoy 30 odd years of shared experiences.”

In a highly unusual move — only one percent of all divorce petitions in England and Wales are contested — family court judge Robin Tolson refused to grant Tini’s petition for divorce, saying that she had “exaggerated” her difficulties with her husband and that the case was “an exercise in scraping the barrel.”

Tini’s lawyer, Philip Marshall QC, denounced the decision for effectively making his client a “‘locked-in’ wife” and called for divorce laws to be reformed.

“The husband, in his attitude and his manner and the way he did and said things, treated her in a childlike and patronizing way and thought that she ought to comply with his will,” he told the court. “The wife, who is nearly 66, is now a ‘locked-in’ wife. She cannot get divorced unless the husband changes his mind and agrees. There doesn’t have to be violence or threats of violence or gambling or drinking or shouting.”

Under current U.K. divorce laws, Tini will now have to wait five years before she can divorce without her husband’s consent.

Read the full story at The Independent.


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