An amicable separation should always be chosen, if possible, when it comes to divorce. Getting divorce by mutual consent in India is the best as it saves both money and time. Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act 1976 deals with the provisions for couples opting for such an arrangement. The provision also extends this law over any unions solemnized before and after the 1976 Act.
Such a separation agreement should be filed only after the couple lived apart for atleast a year. Both the partners should file a petition. The couple should together say that they can’t live under a single roof because of some difficulties.
The filing of this legal document by both husband and wife is legally termed as “the 1st motion petition”.
“The 2nd motion petition” is given 13B (2) when the couples reappear in front of the presiding judge after a gap of six months. The court grants them their request if it is satisfied after hearing from both the partners.
The decree becomes void and null if the couples don’t appear after a gap of 6 months and not after 18 months from the date of the first motion. Either of the parties can withdraw within this stipulated time period.
A judgment is passed only after all the important agreements are strictly maintained that are required under the Indian penal code. The parties should agree on the following problems:
Custody of child – which involves pivotal decisions pertaining to well being of any children the couple may have had together. This may, or may not, include an amount for schooling, tuition, etc.
Final settlement to the wife – is the amount of the husband’s total wealth that the wife has ownership rights to. The judge must approve this amount, otherwise the only option that remains is an out-of-court settlement, where an undisclosed amount may change hands.
Return of dowry – is without a doubt a grey area when it comes Indian courts and society. While technically illegal in the country, it is a well-known fact that the custom continues to be very much alive in most parts of the country, rural or urban.
Lawsuit expenses – is the amount that is spent of either of the parties on carrying out the proceeding of the lawsuit, which may or may not be reimbursed by the spouse with a sound financial backing.
It is always better to consult an experienced and sound lawyer when looking to settle amicably. Issues pertaining to financial matters and children need to be sorted cooperatively without unnecessary debate and discussion.
Those looking for an easy and convenient separation should definitely opt for this choice since not only is the procedure comparatively much faster, but also since it’s less expensive.
Let us know what you think about this sort of divorce in India in the comments below. Some sections of society have put up strong opposition to that fact that such a “fast track” procedure tends to increase the number of couples that separate. Do you agree? Let us know.
When opting for a divorce by mutual consent in India one should always remember that it’s valuable in the fact that you can move forward with your life without the often long drawn and tedious lawsuits that can stretch on for years at times.
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