Overview of Mutual Divorce
Divorce in India with mutual consent is an easy and less expensive process as compared to divorce without mutual consent. It is a process where the parties to marriage get separated in a legal manner. A mutual divorce takes place when both, husband and wife give mutual consent for separation after marriage of their own free will.
This type of divorce involves the consent of both parties to the marriage. It is a less traumatic process as both parties present their will for separation. It is an amicable way for the dissolution of marriage. It involves decisions such as alimony, child custody and property settlement. With the help of legal professionals, it is easier for the parties to prepare documents, comply with all the required conditions, attend court hearings, and receiving of the decree of divorce. It helps both spouses to end their marriage in a dignified manner.
Advantages of Mutual Divorce
Applying for a mutual divorce helps parties to save a lot of time, money and unnecessary quarrels. It is a faster form and saves parties from bearing mental stress. It gives parties a mutual decision to consider things like maintenance, child custody and other related matters.
Provisions related to mutual divorce under various Acts
Due to the diversified nature of Indian culture, different religions have different laws related to marriage and divorce.
Points to consider
- The custody of a child is an important aspect to decide.
- Alumni/Maintenance – A certain sum of the money has to be paid by one party in installments or in lump sum amount for the maintenance of the other party along with the maintenance of the child.
- Settlement of ownership of properties and assets between both parties to the marriage.
Who is eligible to get alimony?
As per the provision mentioned under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, a party to the marriage has to provide maintenance to the other in a lump sum or in installments mutually agreed between the parties. If both of the parties to the marriage are working and there is a substantial difference in income between the wife and the husband, then the wife will be entitled to alimony for maintaining the same living standard as her husband. If in case, the wife is not working, then the amount of alimony is decided after considering aspects such as educational qualification, age and her ability to earn. If in case, the husband is not working and is disabled, then the wife is under a responsibility to pay alimony to her husband.
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Conditions essential to file for mutual divorce under The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 defines certain necessary conditions required for applying for mutual divorce. These are as follows:
Documents required for mutual divorce
One of the important things required under a mutual divorce is the preparation of documents in advance for filing before the court. Usually, the individuals opting for mutual divorce tend to be more prepared for the proceedings. The advanced preparation helps in a speedy process and avoidance of wastage of time.
The below-mentioned is the list of documents required to file a petition for mutual divorce. It is always good to have a legal professional for receiving consultation for filing the petition and submission of documents before the competent court.
Procedure for mutual divorce
The below-mentioned are the steps for getting a mutual divorce to the parties. These are as follows:
- Filing of a joint petition
The first step for seeking a divorce is the filing a joint petition signed by both parties to a competent family court. The petition must state that the parties do not wish to continue their marriage for certain reasons and differences between them. The statement should also mention mutually agreed decisions with regards to custody of the child and settlement of assets and property.
- Appearing in the court
After filing the joint petition, both parties have to appear before the court on the given date by the court. Both parties should appear along with their respective counsels.
- Scrutiny of the petition by the court
After the above two steps have been performed, the court scrutinizes the submitted documents and the petition. If the court finds the document and the conditions listed for divorce appropriate, then it will order for recording of the statement of parties under oath.
Under certain circumstances, the court even tries for reconciliation of marriage between the parties.
- Recording the order and passing the statement
After the statements of both parties have been recorded, the court passes the first motion order. The court grants a period of 6 months to the parties before they can file for a second motion. It is necessary to file for 2nd motion within 18 months from the date of filing of the first motion.
- Appearing for the second motion
After the time period of 6 months has lapsed, the parties are allowed to file for a second motion. The time period is provided to the parties so that they can try to reconcile their marriage if there are any possibilities to save the marriage.
- The Decision of the Court
If the parties do not get successful in reconciling their marriage, the court gives its decision for dissolution of the marriage between the parties after the complete satisfaction that the consent from both the parties are free from any undue influence and is mutual. The court grants divorce by putting an end to the legal marriage of the parties.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where both parties have lived together the last time, or
- Where the marriage was solemnized.