New Rules in Divorce Laws

हिंदी में पढ़ें
June 21, 2022
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

The basic aim of any divorce law in the country is to explore the possibility of settlement and cohabitation between husband and wife. However, if the couple under no circumstances wants to re-work the marriage, divorce is granted and the marriage is ultimately dissolved. Keeping this in mind, laws relating to divorce are updated and amended frequently to ease the process of divorce. Here are the new laws on divorce in India-

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SC says 6- Month waiting period for Divorce 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, thereby, giving directions for lower courts to speed up divorce if both husband and wife agree to settle their differences including alimony, custody of child or any other pending issues between the couple. 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.” The purpose of having a cooling-off period is to safeguard a hurried decision taken by the parties and they consider all the chances of reconciliation.

Provisions governing law of maintenance

Under Section- 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act either of the spouses is entitled to get paid for the expenses 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 monthly payment or entire sum or even a periodical sum for a time not exceeding the life of the applicant.

The other important provisions relating to maintenance are Sections- 18 and 19 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act which was amended in 2015 and Section- 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Consult:Top Divorce Lawyers in India

“Irretrievable Breakdown Theory” of Marriage

There have been many instances where couples are cohabiting but their marriage is equivalent to a separation and there is no classified law for this.

In 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 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 would ultimately be conducive for the common betterment of both the spouses .

These recommendations had resulted from the case Naveen Kohli v. Neetu Kohli after the couple proved that there was no reasonable chance of getting back together after the marriage broke down.

Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 2013

This amendment can be a boon in terms of maintenance as it entitles wives to 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 breakdown of marriage’ and not in other cases of Divorce. Under Section 13F of the Amendment Bill, the wife has the right to claim a share in the property acquired by the husband either before or after their marriage.

The Bill applies only to irretrievable breakdown of marriage and not in other cases. Further, the Bill also states that a woman has the right to oppose the divorce citing financial difficulties, while the husband does not have the option to do so.

Related Post: Divorce Laws in India

Unconstitutionality of Triple Talaq

In the pathbreaking decision by the Supreme Court where it stated that triple talaq violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends a marriage without any hope of restoration and thus, ruling it unconstitutional.

Triple talaq is an oral form of divorce practiced by some sects in the Muslim community to instantly divorce their wives by saying ‘talaq’ thrice. It is now the responsibility of the centre 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 S. 497 IPC not Punishable

In September 2018, the Apex Court declared Section 497 of the IPC that made adultery a punishable offence for men, unconstitutional and struck it down. Earlier, it was an offence under the Indian Penal Code. It was held that punishing the person who committed adultery is arbitrary and thatSection 497 was regressive as it considered woman as a 'property' or chattel of man/husband. The Supreme Court held that it wouldhowever remain.a civil ground for divorce.

Changes in the Christian Divorce Laws

In its another landmark decision, the Supreme court has last year 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. Thus, if a couple has sought marriage annulment from such a tribunal and any of the spouses remarries after the same, it will amount to bigamy. Divorce petition by a civil court is a must for Christians now.

How can a Lawyer help you?

Divorce is a stressful time for everyone involved. Hiring an attorney to complete a divorce is one way to reduce the stress of the divorce. While the attorney will need to gather information from you regarding the case, he or she will also take care of all the paperwork, allowing you more time to take care of yourself and your family. An experienceddivorce attorneycan give you expert advice on how to handle your divorce owing to his years of experience in handling such cases. You can also use LawRato'sFree Legal Adviceservice to get free advice on your case from expert divorce/matrimonial lawyers.A divorce lawyer is an expert on the laws and can help you avoid significant mistakes that may cause financial harm or will require future legal proceedings to correct. Thus, by hiring an attorney a person can make sure that he can avoid delay and get the divorce completed as quickly as possible.








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