“Extraordinarily unusual” for a divorce to be refused…..but it does happen


With standard forms and frequent media references to “quickie divorces”, you could be forgiven for thinking that divorce is easy nowadays. Not necessarily so. Entitlement to a divorce is still fault based and if the petition is not properly drafted, a Court could refuse to grant the divorce. Unfortunately this is what happened to Mrs Owens, whose case has hit the headlines in mid February.


The Court of Appeal judgement in this case is still awaited.

It can be expensive and time consuming to sort out a poorly worded petition if the Court refuses a divorce at the first attempt. Fortunately in many situations the Court does then go on to grant the divorce, but it is worth obtaining specialist legal advice before drafting your own petition to minimise the risk of a refusal. This is especially so if there is no third party involved or you have been separated less than 2 years and the divorce has to be based on so called “unreasonable behaviour”.

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