Wife’s appeal against decree nisi

The Court of Appeal heard an unusual appeal last month.

A wife asked the court to overturn the decree nisi granted in the local county court to her husband based on allegations of unreasonable behaviour on her part.  The wife’s legal argument was that 1) her husband had to satisfy the court that her behaviour was such that he could not reasonably be expected to live with her, 2) the behaviour he was complaining of was trivial (it amounted to normal domestic disagreements, for example about the use of the washing machine and the positioning of the TV aerial) and it was reasonable to expect him to live with it, and therefore 3) the marriage had not broken down irretrievably, so in law the court could not grant a divorce.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, saying that it was sad that the wife was unable to accept what had happened to her.  The court also commented that it was a pity that the no-fault divorce provisions passed into law in the 1990s had never been implemented.