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Posted 16 February 2017
by Aimee Aspinall

Highly unusual outcome for wife hoping for divorce



In a highly unusual case, a wife has been refused a divorce and is now “locked in” her marriage to her husband.

In a recent ruling, a family court judge refused to grant the wife’s unreasonable behaviour divorce petition, describing the allegations against her husband as exaggerated and the kind of altercations expected in a marriage.

In the event the ruling is appealed and she is not successful, the wife will need to remain married to her husband until they have been separated for five years, or in the unlikely event her husband will give his consent to a divorce, she will be able to petition after they have been separated for two years.

As little as 1% of divorces in the UK are contested as doing so is a very costly exercise. It is also extremely rare for a judge to refuse a divorce.

This highlights the need for reform to UK divorce law. If a separated couple want to divorce, unless they have been separate for two years and both agree to divorce, the one party must be blamed for the breakdown of the marriage.

There have been calls from legal experts, including Resolution for a no fault divorce law, which would allow separated couples to divorce without one party having to be blamed.

Read the story here.

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About the author

Aimee Aspinall

Associate of CILEx

Associate of CILEx in the Exeter family team