Divorce is a very tedious process mentally as well as emotionally. Sometimes the divorce is mutual and sometimes divorce can be ugly too. The divorce rules are frequently changed for the betterment of the couples who are heading for the divorce. Let’s read to find out more.
New Rules in Divorce Laws in India
The main aim of any divorce law is to determine the possibility for settlement and cohabitation between the couple. However, if the couple after various trials fails to save their marriage, the divorce is granted and the marriage is ultimately said to be dissolved.
The rules and laws relating to divorce are updated and amended regularly. This article provides you the information about new rules in divorce laws in India.
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Supreme Court says 6-month waiting period for divorce is not mandatory
Earlier the rule was that a couple had to wait for a period of 6 months between their first and second motion. But now the Supreme Court has given a significant judgment in which the court said that a 6-month waiting period for divorce is not mandatory.
The Apex Court brought significant respite for Hindu couples pursuing divorce stating that the 6- month waiting period as prescribed under section 13B (2) is not mandatory but discretionary.
The Court has given directions to the lower court to speed up the process of the divorce if both the husband and the wife have agreed to settle all the differences between them. Differences including alimony, child custody, and properties are the topic where the thinking of the couple clashes the most. If these things get settled there is no need to wait for 6 months.
The Supreme Court stated, “If there are no chances of reunion and there are chances of fresh rehabilitation, the court should not be powerless in enabling the parties to have a better option.”
This cooling-off period was given so that the couple gets one more chance to settle their differences and save their relationship.
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Provisions governing law of maintenance
Under Section -24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, either of the spouses is entitled to get paid for the expense of the legal proceedings under the Act. Under section – 25 of the act, the court can direct the respondent to pay maintenance in the form of the monthly payment or entire sum or even a periodical sum for a time not exceeding the life of the applicant. The other provisions that are related to maintenance are specified under sections 18 and 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Marriage Act which was amended in 2015 and section- 125 of the code of criminal procedure.
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Irretrievable breakdown theory of marriage
There have been many instances where the couples are cohabitating but their marriage is equivalent to separation and in this case, there is no specified law for this.
In this regard to this, a report by the law commission as well as the Supreme court was directed to the government in 2009, in order to add an irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a valid ground for divorce under section – 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, stating wisdom lies in accepting the pragmatic reality of life and thus, must take a decision which could ultimately be conducive for the common betterment of both the spouses.
The Above recommendations resulted from the case of Naveen Kohli vs Neetu Kohli after the couple proved that there was no reasonable chance of getting back together after the marriage broke down.
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Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 2013
This amendment is a boon to the wives who asks for maintenance as it entitles the wives to the husband’s share of the immovable property that he acquired in the course of their marriage in cases of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
However, this benefit is only restricted to cases of irretrievable breakdowns of marriage and not in some other cases of divorce.
Under section 13 F of the amendment bill, the wife has full right to claim a share in the property acquired by the husband either before or after their marriage.
The bill also gives the right to the women to oppose the divorce citing financial difficulties, while the husband does not have this right.
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Unconstitutionality of triple talaq
Most of you would know what triple talaq means but let me explain its meaning to those who don’t know.
Triple talaq is an oral form of divorce that is practiced by some sectors of the Muslim community where the husband says talaq thrice and instantly divorce happens.
In the historical judgment given by the supreme court where the court stated that triple talaq violates the fundamental rights of women in the Muslim community. It also states that triple talaq ends a marriage without any hope of restoration and thus, ruled it out saying that it is unconstitutional.
Now, the responsibility of the centre is to pass the triple talaq bill and come out with a law to regulate marriage and divorce laws among Muslims in India.
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Adultery under section 497 IPC is not punishable
The supreme court in 2018 declared section 497 of the IPC which made adultery a punishable offence for men, unconstitutional and struck it down. Earlier adultery was an offence under the Indian Penal Code. It was held that punishing the person who committed adultery is arbitrary and that section 497 was regressive as it considered a woman as property or chattel of a man/ husband. The Supreme court held that it would however remain a civil ground for divorce.
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Changes in the Christian divorce laws
The Supreme Court in its other landmark judgment has held that the divorce granted by the ecclesiastical tribunal under Christian personal law is not valid as it cannot override the law. The ecclesiastical tribunal is governed by the canon law which is the personal law of Catholics.
However, the court held that any Christian couple who is seeking divorce will have to mandatorily procure a divorce from a civil court.
Having proper information about laws during the divorce may help you immensely in strengthening your side. Also, another important thing is hiring a good divorce lawyer. An experienced divorce lawyer may bring a lot of advantages to your table.
I hope this article would have helped you in some or the other way. If yes, do not forget to share this article with someone who might be in need of this.