The ability to leave when one wants to doesn’t degrade the institution of marriageby Stephanie Boland / July 25, 2018 / Leave a comment
It may seem perverse to argue that it ought to be easier to leave an institution into which one, ostensibly, should enter for life. That is, of course, until one learns the exact nature of Britain’s bizarre divorce laws.
Take Tini Owens, for instance, a 66-year-old woman who has been petitioning for a divorce from her husband of 40 years. The predicament is relatively simple: Owens says that she feels locked in a “loveless” marriage. With her children now grown up, she is ready to end the relationship which has brought her long years of unhappiness.
Her husband disagrees. He believes they have years of happiness left together, and does not want a divorce.
A series of lawyers are on her side. The law, for now, is on his.
What the law says
To get a divorce in England or Wales, a couple must fulfil the following criteria: They must have been married for at least a year. They must believe that the marriage has irrevocably broken down. They must have either an instance of adultery (unless they have continued to live together for six months or longer since the adultery was revealed), unreasonable behaviour (which might include physical or verbal abuse, drug use or “refusing to pay for housekeeping”) or desertion (for at least two years in the past 2.5).
A divorce may also be granted if the couple has been separated for two years (as long as both conse…