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Owens v Owens: Supreme Court dismisses wife’s appeal

Date:25 JUL 2018
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The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Mrs Owens’ appeal in the eagerly awaited judgment in Owens v Owens [2018] UKSC 41.

The case concerns the interpretation of s 1(2)(b) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which allows a spouse to obtain a divorce (upon the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage) on the basis that the other party has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.


The wife Tini Owens (aged 68) and the husband Hugh John Owens (aged 80) married in January 1978 and separated in February 2015 the wife leaving the family home. They have two children now adults.

Consistent with the general approach among the family law profession and the Law Society's Family Law Protocol the wife's petition (filed shortly after separation in May 2015) contained mild anodyne particulars of the husband's behaviour: citing examples such as the husband suffering from mood swings not showing her love and affection or supporting her role as a homemaker and prioritising his work over home life.

The husband defended the divorce and following a directions hearing in October 2015...

Read the full article here.