Lawyers demanded an urgent reform of divorce laws in England on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled that a woman must remain in a "loveless" marriage, even though she has actually quit.
Tini Owens, 68, filed for divorce from her husband Hugh Owens, 80, in May 2015 after moving out of their shared home.
A wealthy couple, they have been married since 1978 and have two grown children
They claimed it had become a "loveless" marriage and accused him of authoritarian and humiliating behavior so that they could not. He is expected that he stays with him.
He rejected the claims and suggested that she divorce her because she had an affair or was bored.
A court ruled that the marriage had collapsed but was dismissed as "weak" The examples that Ms. Owens used of her husband's behavior allowed her to use the "inappropriate" behavioral test for divorce.
Judge Nicholas Wilson said that the case caused "uncomfortable feelings" but confirmed the decision, the divorce, which had already found support at the Court of Appeal.
"Ms. Owens's appeal must be rejected. She must remain married to Mr. Owens for the time being, "he said in a written ruling.
By 2020, five years have passed since their inception, the divorce for separation purposes
But the judge added," Parliament may wish to consider replacing a law that denies Ms Owens any current right to divorce under the circumstances set out above. "
Another judge, Judge Brenda Hale, said it was a" very disturbing case "and she had "reluctantly" agreed to dismiss the appeal.
Ms. Owens & # 39; s lawyer said she was "shaken by this decision" means she can not move forward with her life. "
Nigel Shepherd of The family law organization Resolution said that there is now a "divorce crisis".
"It is outrageous that Ms. Owens – or anyone – is forced to remain trapped in a marriage, even though any judge involved in the case acknowledges that he is finished in everything but the name," said he.
He added, "It should not be that any husband or wife proves" guilt as the law demands many – that is archaic, creates an unnecessary conflict, and must change. "
The law requires at least one of five reasons to prove that a marriage has collapsed. Reasons are separation, adultery, desertion or when a person has behaved so that their partner can not reasonably live with them.