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A rare case of defended divorce

Owens is a reminder of the unnecessary turmoil caused by fault-based divorce, writes Paul Hunt

7 March 2017

At the time of writing, we are still awaiting a Court of Appeal ruling on a wife’s attempts to have the court grant her a decree nisi, after a lower court rejected a divorce petition which appears to have been based upon ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

This type of defended divorce case is extremely unusual in this day and age, particularly since the removal of legal aid for this type of work. While I remember being encouraged to include detailed allegations of unreasonable behaviour in a divorce petition when I started out doing this work in the eighties, even then defended cases were fairly infrequent.

Over the years the particulars of unreasonable behaviour have shrunk to the extent that one normally only expects to see half a dozen bullet points and a couple of dates; that will suffice if the petition is undefended.

Ther...

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