What is Mutual Divorce?

Mutual Divorce?

Let’s face it. In India, a lot of us still detest the word divorce. We may be in the dawn of a new-age world, where technology and machine learning are spinning its magic but divorcees are looked down by society for the most part. Though as Indians we have aced the art of aping the west in so many circumstances, the negative connotation attached to divorce still looms large.

If we glimpse at the statistics, every year there are close to 10 million weddings in the country. Of which, only 13 marriages of every 1000 file for a divorce. The divorce rates are so low. This should be in any case be a piece of good news. But however, if we look at the number of couples who are separated versus the number who are divorced it is three times more. Which still leaves us with 961 married couples in comparison to the thousand.

Now, let’s give this another spin. Given the low divorce rates, a comparatively higher separation rate, and the taboo attached to the word “divorce” how are married couples with unrepairable marital life and differences still together?  Should we just call it the pressures of the society? Or staying together for the sake of children, a self-sacrificial move made by both the partners?
To all those couples whose goals in life have misaligned, or have simply reached a bi-fork, there is indeed a way to amicably and respectfully say adieu to each other. The magic words are “Mutual Divorce”.

What is Mutual Divorce?

Mutual divorce can be described as when both the wedded husband and wife desire to detach from one and another peacefully. So, the conditions that a married couple have to fulfil according to the section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act are as follows,

    1. The husband and the wife should be separated and be living alone for at least a period of one year. If it is longer even better.
    2. They should both agree and consent to the fact that they are not able to live with one another,
    3. the husband and wife should also jointly agree that marriage has no future and has fallen apart.

Therefore, Mutual Consent Divorce is, in reality, a quick procedure in court. But the divorce won’t be granted or guaranteed immediately. After the filing process is initiated, the court will as per its protocol try and fix the differences through mandatory family sessions and counselling for a span of six months. In lieu of the situation in which the Mutual Divorce is being applied for, the counselling time period may be shortened. In case if the husband or the wife is abroad, the court facilitates the advise session via video conferencing.


What is the Hindu Marriage Act section 13B state?

The Hindu Marriage Act 1976 Section 13B, was included in order to introduce the concept of divorce through mutual consent which allows 18 months of time before the divorce is finalised legally with a decree.

So for a divorce to function under Section 13B(1), the couple ought to be separated for a time period of one year before they decide to move the petition judicially. This will ideally be followed by another six months of the waiting period before the court delivers the divorce decree under Section 13B.

Recently, the Supreme court, altered this Section by saying that the Section 13B(2) is not compulsory but the nature of its directory keeping in mind its legislative intent and the provision objective. The court further added that Section 13B was introduced to help and aide couples separate amicably if the couple knows for sure the marriage is beyond repair. Therefore, efforts to keep them together forcibly is not right and does not serve the intent of marriage. 

Procedure for Mutual Divorce

Petition Filing 

At Vakilsearch we associate you to legal counsellors, who will document a request in court containing a joint explanation by the two gatherings that, because of their dissimilarities, they can never again remain together and ought to be conceded a separation by the court.
Petition of the Second Motion
Six months later, the Second Motion Petition for Mutual Consent Divorce must be registered by the married couple and they must re-appear in court.
Divorce Order
In the wake of the notification from the husband and spouse, if the appointed authority is fulfilled that all the vital grounds and necessities for the separation have been met, the couple is conceded a mutual divorce order.

Mutual Divorce Documents Needed

    • Address evidence of spouse/wife
    • Marriage declaration
    • Four identification size photos of the marriage of a couple
    • Proof demonstrating that the couple is living independently since over a year
    • Proof identifying with the failed endeavours of compromise
    • Personal expense and tax declaration of the life partner throughout the previous three years
    • Subtleties of the calling and present compensation of the life partner
    • Data identifying with the family history
    • Subtleties of properties and different resources claimed by the companion

About the author: Agnes Joseph is a PR & Community Lead associated with Vakilsearch - India’s pioneering legal-tech, tax and compliance online service platform. Write to agnes@vakilsearch.com for your media and PR related queries more information on Mutual Divorce get in touch with Vakilsearch.com . 

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