UK

Tini Owens, 66, Loses Appeal To Divorce Husband Of 40 Years

An extraordinarily unusual case.

24/03/2017 15:55 GMT | Updated 24/03/2017 16:01 GMT

A 66-year-old woman has failed in her “extraordinarily unusual” court appeal to divorce her husband of 40 years.

Tini Owens appealed the decision after a family court refused to grant her a divorce petition in a ruling made last year.

But the appeal judges, led by Sir James Munby who is the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, upheld the original ruling meaning Owens must remain married to husband Hugh.

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Tini Owens has lost her appeal and must remain married to Hugh Owens 

The appeal judges were told the couple had married in 1978 and had become millionaires via a mushroom-growing business near Worcester.

A barrister representing Mrs Owens told the appeal court that the ‘’vast majority’’ of divorces were undefended in 21st century England.

Philip Marshall QC said it was “extraordinarily unusual in modern times” for a judge to dismiss a divorce petition.

Mr Marshall said Mrs Owens’ case was that her husband had behaved unreasonably and that the marriage had irretrievably broken down, leaving her feeling “unloved, isolated and alone.”

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Hugh Owens contested the divorce, claiming they still had a "few years" to enjoy

Retired businessman Mr Owens disagreed and denied allegations made against him.

He also claimed he had “moved on” and “forgiven” his wife for having an affair in 2012.

He was against a divorce and said they still had a “few years’’ to enjoy, appeal judges were told.

Barrister Nigel Dyer QC, who represented Mr Owens, said appeal judges should not overturn Judge Robin Tolson’s original ruling.

Mr Dyer said Mrs Owens had not established that the marriage was irretrievably broken.

Judge Tolson had ruled against Mrs Owens after analysing the case at a family court hearing in London.

He had concluded that her allegations were “of the kind to be expected in marriage’’ and refused to grant a divorce petition.

Friday’s ruling means Mrs Owens will have to remain married, though she will be eligible for a divorce after five years of separation, even if her husband objects.

Sir James said: “Parliament has decreed that it is not a ground for divorce that you find yourself in a wretchedly unhappy marriage, though some people may say it should be.”