Divorce, as we know, is the legal way of dissolving a marriage. Dissolving a marriage by free will and living separately is called as divorce by mutual consent . After the advent of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, all personal matters of Hindu marriages are governed by this statute. Also, marriages done by Jains, Sikhs etc are governed by Hindu Marriage act. However, Muslims & Christians are not bounded by it. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you with your settle your divorce case.
Laws dealing with mutual divorce:
Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals specifically with divorce by mutual consent. Mutual consent means that both the spouse wants to end the marriage peacefully and by their free will. Sec. 13-B narrates the following grounds on which divorce by consent can be made –
- Couple intending to dissolve their marriage is required to wait at least one year from the date of their marriage.
- Couple has been living separately for a period of one year or more.
- The spouses are required to convince the Court that they have not been able to live together as husband or wife.
- Couple has mutually agreed for the dissolution of the marriage.
Procedure for mutual divorce:
- Couple, finding incompatibility, can file a divorce petition in a family court at following places; city or district where their marriage was solemnized, where wife is presently residing or where both the partners were living together for the last time.
- Both the spouse need to mention the reason as to why they are seeking divorce mutually.
- After filing mutual divorce petition, Court grants a minimum period of 6 months, not extending beyond 18 moths to ascertain couple to find any possibility of dissolving marriage. Called as cooling-off period.
- After this cooling period Court,gives a date of hearing to both the parties.
- Documents Required:
- Income Tax returns (3 years)
- Details of present income
- Birth and family details
- The details of the assets
After hearing and all inquiry made by court that the said divorce petition of mutual divorce has not been obtained by force, fraud or undue influence in compliance with Sec. 23(1)(bb) of the Hindu Marriage Act, may pass the decree of divorce.
It is, however, the duty of the court to find the reasonableness of such divorce petition and ensure that such consent to divorce is not obtained viciously.