How to get a divorce by Mutual Consent under the Hindu Marriage Act.



This article is written by Purva Tambe currently pursuing BA. LLB from IILS Law College (Pune). This is article deals with divorce by Mutual Consent under the Hindu Marriage Act.


Introduction

Marriage is regarded as a union of two souls, a commitment to each other between two persons in an effort to find happiness and to fulfil a social obligation by performing various rituals and ceremonies. It is also considered a sacrament or a social contract between two parties.


In ancient times, marriage was regarded as a permanent union between a man and a woman. Radhakrishnan noted that marital relations can never be dissolved. So, as long as we take this positive view but if we take another perspective on life and see it as a way to achieve our desires it will not seem like permanent.


In recent times the situation has changed completely. Married couples may not be able to resist each other for many reasons, such as disagreements between their views, lifestyle, and many other factors. Eliminating bonds, obligations, and duties, terminating a legal relationship with divorce was considered the best way to eliminate these things and end the marriage.


Various measures are taken to ensure the betterment of women and to change the status of women in society. Divorce by mutual consent is the best way to resolve disputes arising out of conflicts between the two parties and to take steps to improve the situation of women.


What does divorce mean?

Divorce is the termination of a marriage by the court judgment. A judicial decree is awarded declaring the marriage to be dissolved. It leaves both spouses free to marry again. Many states refer to it as the Dissolution of Marriage. It is also referred to as Absolute Divorce, Divorce from the Bond(s) of Matrimony, Total Divorce and, a Matrimonial Action.


Through consent with all parties to the marriage, most divorces are obtained, allowing the couple to proceed reasonably quickly and comfortably through the court system, some with and some without legal representation. However, there is a small percentage who can not find a reasonable agreement on the dissolution of their marriage or the related problems.


These couples utilize full legal representation and must avail themselves of their states' legal system in obtaining a divorce and reaching decisions regarding the related issues.


What is Divorce by Mutal Consent?

Under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the parties can see divorce by mutual consent by filing a petition before the court. Mutual consent means that both the parties agree for peaceful separation


A radical concept was introduced in the HMU by the 1976 amendment by introducing Section13B, which deals with the divorce by mutual consent. Prior thereto, divorce was possible only under the Special Marriage Act. Now, such a divorce can be obtained also under HMA, on a petition of both the parties to the marriage on the ground –

  1. That they have been living separately for at least one year.

  2. That they have not been able to live together.

  3. That they have mutually agreed that their marriage should be dissolved.

On the request of both parties, after such a petition has been filed no earlier than six months from the date of the petition and no later than eighteen months from that date if the court is satisfied that the claims made in the petition are valid, the court shall issue a divorce decree declaring the dissolution of the marriage with effect from the date of the decree.


Grounds for Divorce suggested by the Supreme Court.

In Jorden Diengden Vs. S.S.Chopra, the supreme court advocated a total reform of the law of marriage and suggested that an irretrievable breakdown of marriage should be added as a ground for divorce. The court observed that the time has now come when a uniform law should be passed on marriage and divorce, and such aw should be made applicable to all people in India, irrespective of their region or caste.


As different provisions regarding marriage and divorce currently exist in different statutes governing different religious gro