Laws, like the society that they are supposed to govern are a living thing; they too grow, expand and evolve. Though the Indian Divorce laws, laid down by the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 have largely remained unchanged, in the recent decades many of it’s provisions have been challenged, forcing the law makers to adopt a more more liberal and gender neutral view of the covenant of marriage. Here are some key aspects which have been re-examined.
1. The Six Month “Cooling-Off” period.
Whereas before, when a couple approached the courts for a divorce, they were asked to take a minimum period of 6 months (not exceeding 18 months) to reconsider their decision. The courts believed that the couple should in fact go back and attempt to reconcile and avoid a divorce altogether, according to them a divorce was the exception and not the rule once the marriage had broken down. This “cooling-off” period not only added to the length of the court proceedings, but also caused issues for the couple, often putting both men and women in mentally and physically detrimental situations.
In the recent past, based in directives of the supreme court, the lower courts now have the discretionary power to waive off the minimum 6 month period in order to provide immediate relief. As of today, if the couple can demonstrate that the marriage has broken down irreversibly the courts usually practice their discretionary powers.
2. Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage
When the laws were first written, there were only 8 very specific reasons under which a person/couple could approach the courts for a divorce. Namely, adultery, cruelty, desertion, conversion, insanity, general disease, renunciation of the world and/or a presumption of death. As the law has evolved, now the courts will grant a couple divorce even if none of these 8 conditions are met; now there exists a provision for divorce if there is total and complete breakdown of the marriage and the couple presents that there are no reasonable conditions under which they will reconcile. Simply put, just the couple saying that they no longer wish to continue being married to each other is enough reasoning for the courts to grant a divorce. This development gives both men and women more control over their lives and make it simpler to get divorced without having to resort to false claims just to meet the letter of the law.
3. Adultery Is Not A Crime
Though it is still a valid ground for divorce, adultery is no longer a punishable offence. Whereas before, the men in the equation i.e. the husband or the man the woman was engaging with could be punished, the court now contends that penalising them will not in anyway save the marriage.
If you or someone you know is in this situation, do not hesitate to get help and get yourself out of danger. getmeadivorce.com is staffed by expert lawyers and counsellors who can help you navigate your way to a safer future. Talk to us today, remember you don’t have to suffer — there are options available for you to start a new chapter in life