If you are planning to get a divorce, mutual divorce should always be preferred to a contested divorce. Obtaining divorce through mutual consent is quite advantageous as it saves both time and money. The provision for dissolving marriage through mutual divorce in India is included in Section 13 B of the Hindu Marriage Act by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976. Any marriage solemnized before and after the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976 is entitled to this provision.
Though several laws have been passed with the progress of time, the divorce procedure in India is still complex and you will have to contest the divorce for several months. The Indian judicial law believes that the extended time span might workout well for the couple to reconsider their marriage and hence, a marriage will be saved from being dissolved forever.
A Brief Outline of the Procedure of Mutual Divorce in India
Mutual Divorce is to be filed by the couple only after they have lived apart for at least a year. A petition supported with affidavits for divorce should be filed in the district court by the both the spouses. The husband and the wife should jointly state to the court that they are unable to live together as they are facing immense difficulties in adjustment.
The filing of divorce petition by both the husband and the wife is legally known as the “The First Motion Petition for Mutual Consent Divorce”. “The Second Motion Petition for Mutual Consent Divorce” mentioned in the sub-section (2) of Section 13 B is filed when the couple reappears to the court for the second time after a period of six months. If the judge is satisfied after a hearing from both the husband and wife, the court announces a mutual divorce decree.
If the couple fails to appear in the court after six months and not later than eighteen months from the date of first motion, the divorce petition becomes null and void. Either of the couple can withdraw his/her petition within the six months term.
A judgment for mutual divorce is passed out only if all the necessary agreements required for a mutual divorce in India are strictly maintained. The husband and the wife should come to terms of settlement regarding the following issues.
- Custody of Child
- Return of Dowry Articles / Istridhan of Wife
- Lump Sum Maintenance Amount of Wife
- Litigation Expenses
For a mutual divorce in India, we would always suggest you to consult an experienced lawyer who will effectively guide you to get the divorce through a mutual agreement done between you and your spouse.
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