Divorce by mutual consent

The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 under Section 13B has a provision for divorce by mutual consent; however, it puts some conditions which must be fulfilled by the parties. For instance, husband and wife have been living separately for a period of one year or more, they must also be unable to live together, and both have mutually agreed that the marriage has totally collapsed.

The fastest way or procedure of getting divorce in India is divorce by mutual consent as other options may linger on for decades. The law says that all marriages which have been solemnized before or after the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act 1976 can be annulled provided the parties to marriage consent for the same in front of the court.

How to start a divorce based on mutual consent?

The provision for consensual divorce has been for estranged spouses under Sec. 13-B of The Hindu Marriage Act, Sec. 28 of The Special Marriage Act, and

Sec.10-A of The Indian Divorce Act. The settled procedure is that for seeking a divorce by mutual consent the parties must file a petition, supported by affidavits from both partners, in the Court of Civil Judge Senior Division.

The petition which is also called the First Motion Petition for Mutual Consent Divorce should contain a joint statement by both partners present in Court. The two parties must convey that due to their irreconcilable differences, they can no longer stay together and should be granted a divorce by the court.

There are a lot of conflicting issues that may come when the husband and wife are agreeing upon for a mutual consent divorce. For instance, child care, alimony to wife, return of dowry items, litigation expenses, etc. should be settled long before the actual filing for divorce by mutual consent to avoid any issues later on.

What if one party does not consent?

A lot of cases come up when not all estranged couples agree on the desirability, grounds or the conditions of divorce and that is where trouble for the partner that is willing for presenting the petition starts. The government of India is mulling for amending the HMA to accommodate irretrievable breakdown of marriage and provide divorce.

Thus, there are several advantages of mutual divorce; for instance, you not just save time and money but also do not lose respect in front of relatives and the estranged partner as its mutually agreed divorce and no bitter feeling.