Supreme Court dismisses Owens' appeal for divorce

Posted on 25 July 2018

Supreme Court dismisses Owens' appeal for divorce

The Supreme Court has handed down its decision in Owens v Owens. Commenting on this, Mishcon de Reya Family Lawyer Antonia Felix said:

"The Supreme Court's decision could never create a new 'no fault' divorce law. Only Parliament can change the law regarding the basis of divorce in England. Today, the Supreme Court, very reluctantly and with a clear sense of unease, dismissed Mrs Owens appeal; Lord Wilson commenting that "Parliament may wish to consider whether to replace a law which denies to Mrs Owens any present entitlement to a divorce".

"Inevitably this decision will lend support to  the pressure groups who have lobbied for divorce law reform. However, the impact of fault based divorce only affects a proportion of the 110,000 couples who are divorced in England each year. 

"Far more worrying is the lack of protection afforded to minority faith groups by our marriage laws. Reports suggest that 61% of the 375,000 or so Islamic married families living in the England are not validly married under English law and therefore have no rights before the English courts if they are divorced. This is because  although Christian and Jewish religious marriages are valid in English law, other religious marriages are invalid unless they were accompanied by a civil law marriage ceremony. It is likely that significant numbers of married observers of non-judeo Christian faiths are also in a similar position to members of the Muslim community. 

"So, if Parliament is persuaded to review divorce law there is a far more pressing need to also review our marriage law to make it fit for our multi-faith 21st Century society."

Antonia's comment featured in the Daily MailWashington Post, Yahoo News  and ABC News.

An
How can we help you?

How can we help you?

Subscribe: I'd like to keep in touch

If your enquiry is urgent please call +44 20 3321 7000

Crisis Hotline

Emergency number:

I'm a client

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your enquiry
Please enter a value

I'm looking for advice

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your enquiry
Please select a department
Please select a contact method

Something else

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your enquiry
Please select your contact method of choice