Divorce Denied

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Washington state appeals court has upheld a lower-court decision in a case that has outraged women's groups.

The judge disallowed Shawnna Hughes' divorce because she was pregnant.

The three-judge appeals panel says he was right to throw out her divorce decree, which it says violated the husband's due process and fairness. At the time, Carlos Hughes was in jail for domestic violence.

Mrs. Hughes' backers, including the American Civil Liberties Union and women's rights groups, argued that a woman should not be forced to stay married just because she's pregnant. Her revised divorce papers spelled out that Hughes was not the baby's father.

The case prompted a change in Washington law, which now prohibits judges from denying or delaying a divorce solely on the basis of pregnancy.

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