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Court: Sorry, Stay in Your 'Loveless' 40-Year Marriage

Tini Owens will now have to wait till 2020 to divorce Hugh Owens, who isn't agreeing to the split
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2018 8:58 AM CDT
Updated Jul 29, 2018 10:05 AM CDT
In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Tini Owens arrives at court for her divorce proceedings in London.   (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP, file)

(Newser) – "Till death do us part" may have sounded good to Tini Owens in 1978, but the British woman changed her mind on that timeline years ago and has been vying to end what she calls a "loveless," deteriorated marriage. But the UK's Supreme Court has dealt her a harsh blow, unanimously ruling that just because she's unhappy in the union doesn't mean she can end it, the Guardian reports. The 68-year-old has been mulling a divorce from 80-year-old husband Hugh Owens since 2012, claiming he has behaved unreasonably, but he refuses to agree to the split, saying that any issues in their marriage are because she had an affair or is simply "bored." Per the BBC, UK law decrees a divorce can only be granted without a spouse's OK in cases of adultery, desertion, or "unreasonable behavior"; if those aren't the case, a divorce will be granted only after the spouses live apart for five years.

That means Tini Owens, who moved out of their shared home in February 2015, will have to wait until 2020 to sever all legal ties, unless Hugh Owens changes his mind. A family court judge turned down her divorce request in 2016, a decision that an appeals court panel agreed with last year. The Supreme Court judges say their decision was made with reluctance—one said she agreed to the ruling with "no enthusiasm whatsoever"—but that it's up to Parliament to change the law to allow no-fault divorces so people can get out of "wretchedly unhappy marriages." Tini Owens' lawyer says she's "devastated" by the ruling and "cannot move forward with her life." The Owenses have two adult children. (A Mississippi woman fled to Washington state to get her divorce.)

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