Divorce is painful for all stakeholders involved – the husband and his family members and the wife and her family members. Situation is extremely unpleasant if the separating couple have children as well, especially of small age. The whole life gets supremely disrupted irrespective of the fact who is right or wrong in a troubled marriage.
There were times when divorce was viewed as a curse. Both partners would unwillingly compromise and drag in the suffering marriage all along. While divorce is still viewed as a taboo, especially for women in India, times have been changing quick and fast. More and more couples are realising the fact that there is no point continuing with a troubled marital relationship. With broadening mindsets, couples have come forward, even from some of the most conservative Indian societies to embrace a better option of ending a disturbed marriage, if it is not working out despite their best efforts. People have started to separate with an hope to rebuild life for living a better one peacefully.
In couple of our previous posts, we shared details about the types of divorce that couples in a troubled marriage can opt for and related procedures that they need to follow. From experience one can only say that the entire process is extremely difficult and time consuming. To make matters worse, costs are also high, especially for men in India.
Whenever couples decide to end their marriage, the first and foremost question that they ask from their divorce lawyer is – how much time will it take to end this mess? Most lawyers may not be able to give an exact timeline on a divorce case, if it is a contested divorce. In fact, the process of a contested divorce appears to be simple in theory but is extremely difficult and way long in reality. Reasons for this may be many – recurring disputes between spouses, exaggerated claims, false allegations, long litigation procedure, delay tactics adopted by counterparty lawyers, high pendency of past cases in the Indian judicial system and so on. Couples are already living through hell, and all these only add up to their nightmare.
But, if we observe closely, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 allows for provisions (section 13B) of filing a divorce based on mutual consent of separating husband and wife. Couples opting for Divorce by Mutual Consent can actually complete the entire process in a maximum of eighteen months from the date of filing the divorce petition. This makes divorce by mutual consent, the fastest and simplest way of dissolving a marriage in India.
There are some key advantages of taking a divorce by mutual consent. They are:
- Both parties – husband and wife – mutually agree to separate and dissolve their troubled marriage amicably.
- Amount of alimony or maintenance is pre-decided and agreed upon by both the parties.
- Custody of children, if any, is also pre-decided and agreed upon by both the parties.
- Division of assets or property is also pre-decided and agreed upon by both the parties.
- Maximum time of completing the process of mutually consented divorce is eighteen months compared to infinite timeline that can be there in a contested divorce.
- Cost of mutually consented divorce is much less.
- Documentation is limited as compared to contested divorce.
- Less number of court hearings are required to complete the process.
Process of filing a Mutually Consented Divorce *
As we have explained in our previous post, the process is fairly simple and is enumerated below:
- Employ a qualified and competent divorce lawyer for executing the entire process – petition drafting, petition filing, representing the case in court of law on hearing dates, coordination with both parties, etc.
- Petition document includes reasons of filing for a divorce by spouses including the mutual consent and related terms and conditions of the divorce – alimony amount, children’s custody, division of assets, etc.
- File mutual consent divorce petition along with required documents before a family court.
- Scrutiny of documents is done by the family court. Once documents are scrutinised satisfactorily by the family court, case is proceeded and first hearing date is given.
- Court hears arguments and directs both parties to go on a mandatory cooling off period of six months duration.
- Family court allows both parties to move forward with the mutual consent divorce process on completion of cooling off period.
- Court assigns a next date of hearing for recording the statement of oath of both parties.
- The couples getting divorced on mutual consent move for filing the second motion or final hearing in the family court.
- During the final hearing, statements of both parties are recorded by the family court, divorce decree is granted and marriage is dissolved.
* You may please also read our previous post highlighting the detailed process of filing mutual consent divorce. It is advisable to consult a qualified divorce lawyer at all times.
In a nutshell
The legal machinery in India can be a little tricky to deal with, especially when it boils down to matters of divorce. Proper and correct hand holding and guidance in the process is much needed as it can help reducing the stress significantly. Hence, it is only prudent to consult a professional divorce lawyer for proper advice on matters as sensitive as divorce.
If you are living a troubled married life and want to know more about how to file a mutual consent divorce, LegalKart is here to help. Connect with a qualified and competent divorce lawyer right away.