Divorce is a process of legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or a competent body. Although there might be an endless number of reasons why a husband and a wife cannot continue to stay married and live together, the court has certain basic criteria to look for before ordering a decree of divorce.
One of the processes of getting Divorce is by mutual consent under section 13 B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and Section 10A of the Divorce Act, 1869.
A mutual consent divorce could be applied when both the husband and the wife agree with each other that they cannot stay married together anymore and mutually agree for a peaceful separation on amicable terms. When one of them is not interested in getting a divorce but the other person is willing to get a divorce, the willing spouse can file for a divorce and it’s called a contested divorce.
In several ways, applying for a mutual consent divorce saves a lot of time and money since both parties agree with their terms and conditions.
The court looks for certain conditions when a mutual consent divorce is applied:
Where to file a divorce petition
How to apply for a mutual consent divorce
While filing for the divorce petition, the couple is expected to submit a few documents as given below. The court will verify everything during the proceedings.
If the couple is already living separately and the extended time gap is only making them suffer more, these six months could be waived off. The Supreme Court has held that the minimum cooling period of six months for granting the decree of divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954 can be waived by a trial court if there was no possibility of cohabitation between an estranged couple.
The waiver application can be filed one week after the first motion giving reasons for the prayer for waiver. If the conditions are satisfied, the waiver of the waiting period for the second motion will be at the discretion of the concerned Court.
The average time for a mutual consent divorce would be somewhere between six months to two years depending upon the nature of the case. Mutual consent divorce takes the least amount of time compared to other divorce procedures.
It might take anywhere from 25 – 60 thousand rupees depending upon the nature of the case.
The husband/wife should wait for at least one year after getting married before filing for divorce. If the couple had been living separately for more than a year or they couldn’t live together at all due to certain circumstances, they can apply for divorce.
A husband or wife can remarry after three months from the date of their decree of divorce is granted. Remarrying before getting a divorce is punishable with 7 years of imprisonment.
If the husband or the wife is not willing to proceed with the divorce they can withdraw by applying to the court. When the other party is still willing to proceed with the divorce, it becomes a contested divorce.
No. A mutual consent divorce can be granted only by the family court.
Yes. Being a mutual consent divorce both parties must be present during the first and the second motion. Only in rare cases, when one or both of them cannot appear before the court, camera proceedings might be allowed which depends on the total discretion of the court.
Yes. Divorce for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists are covered by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Divorce for Christians come under Indian divorce Act, 1869. Muslims come under Personal laws of divorce and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 1939 and the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986. Divorce for the Parsis is governed by the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936.Also, for the parties who have registered their marriage under Special Marriage Act, 1954, divorce will be governed by the same Act.