What is divorce?
When a legally wedded couple takes a decision to live separately, either one party or both the parties want to live separately, in this case, they apply for divorce before the Hon’ble Court. It is the legal dissolution of a marriage by a Court.
What is mutual divorce or divorce with mutual consent?
When both husband and wife mutually want to take divorce. When husband and wife mutually agree that they cannot live together anymore they apply for mutual divorce.
Consider a scenario where a couple has been living separately for years with multiple disputes and legal cases against each other. In such cases, mutual divorce becomes a viable option, allowing both parties to amicably settle their differences and legally end their marriage.
Before initiating a mutual divorce, it is crucial to have open communication with your spouse about assets, child custody, and other pertinent matters. Seek legal counsel to clarify any doubts and ensure a fair and amicable settlement.
You can understand the complete process of mutual divorce in Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 by watching this video:
The concept of mutual divorce section 13(B) was added in the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, in the year 1976.
Difference between mutual divorce and normal/ contested divorce
- In the case of normal divorce, one party goes to court to seek divorce. It is specifically mentioned that when one party goes to court for divorce they need a valid ground for divorce for example cruelty, desertion, etc. There are many grounds for divorce provided in section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. And in the case of mutual divorce, no specific ground for divorce such as cruelty is required, if both the parties mutually want to live separately. For mutual divorce, there is no need for any specific reason to take divorce and both the parties have to approach the Court.
- In case of contested divorce, mandatory 1 year period of separation is not required. In case of mutual divorce more than one-year of separation is mandatory. The husband and wife must be residing separately for at least past 1 year.
- The third point is normal/contested divorce takes a long time period to be granted but on the other hand, mutual divorce is much quicker and simpler.
The grounds for divorce can be understood by watching this video:
Jurisdiction for Mutual Divorce
The petition for mutual divorce can be filed in either of these three jurisdiction:
- Where both the parties got married.
- Where the wife is currently residing.
- Where both the parties lastly resided as husband and wife.
In the above mention jurisdiction, if there is a family court in that area then mutual divorce petition should be filed before the family court, and if there is no family court then mutual divorce petition will be filed before the District Judge.
Required documents for Mutual Divorce
ID and Address proof of both the parties for example Aadhaar Card, Passport etc.
Marriage Proof (Marriage certificate, marriage card, marriage photo)
Passport size photos of both the parties
Settlement Agreement (if any)
Understanding the Legal Process of Mutual Divorce
There are two motions in mutual divorce, first motion and the second motion.
More than one year of separation is required to get a mutual divorce. After one year of separation, first motion for mutual divorce can be filed.
The time period between the first motion and second motion is minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 18 months. It is called the cooling-off period. The term ‘cooling-off period’ refers to the time between the first and the second motion, allowing both parties to reflect on their decision and possibly reconcile. It is a mandatory period of 6 to 18 months. After this period if husband and wife change their mind that they don’t want to take divorce now, then they can go on with their married life but after this cooling-off period if their decision is the same and they want to take divorce then after the cooling-off period they can file their second motion.
If your second motion is allowed then you are legally divorced.
The Supreme Court of India in a latest judgment i.e. Amardeep Singh vs Harveen Kaur on 12 September 2017, Civil Appeal No. 11158 of 2017 held that the court has discretion power to wave off the cooling-off period. This was for cases where there the chances of any of the parties changing their minds are almost nil like both the husband and wife have been living separately for years or they have multiple cases against each other.
As per the latest amendments and legal precedents, the conditions and provisions for mutual divorce have been outlined to ensure the protection of both parties’ rights.
Section 13 B of Hindu Marriage Act- Divorce by mutual consent. :
- Subject to the provisions of this Act a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be presented to the district court by both the parties to a marriage together, whether such marriage was solemnised before or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976 (68 of 1976)*, on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they have not been able to live together and that they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved.
- On the motion of both the parties made not earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the petition referred to in sub-section (1) and not later than eighteen months after the said date, if the petition is not withdrawn in the meantime, the court shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, that a marriage has been solemnised and that the averments in the petition are true, pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree.]
- The period of 6 to 18 months provided in section 13B is a period of interregnum which is intended to give time and opportunity to the parties to reflect on their move. In this transitional period the parties or either of them may have second thoughts; Suman v. Surendra Kumar, AIR 2003 Raj 155.
- The period of living separately for one year must be immediately preceding the presentation of petition. The expression living separately’ connotes not living like husband and wife. It has no reference to the place of living. The parties may live under the same roof and yet they may not be living as husband and wife. The parties should have no desire to perform marital obligations; Sureshta Devi v. Om Prakash, AIR 1992 SC 1904.
- The period of six to eighteen months time is given in divorce by mutual consent as to give time and opportunity to the parties to reflect on their move and seek advice from relations and friends. Mutual consent should continue till the divorce decree is passed. The court should be satisfied about the bona fides and consent of the parties. If there is no consent at the time of enquiry the court gets no jurisdiction to make a decree for divorce. If the court is held to have the power to make a decree solely based on the initial petition, it negates the whole idea of mutuality. There can be unilateral withdrawal of consent. Held, that since consent of the wife was obtained by fraud and wife was not willing to consent, there could be unilateral withdrawal, of consent; Sureshta Devi v. Om Prakash, AIR 1992 SC 1904.
So contact Century Law Firm now to get the help of Best Lawyer For Divorce With Mutual Consent. You can also get your case transferred under some circumstances, for that visit Lawyer for Transfer Petition. Century Law Firm specializes in mutual divorce cases, providing comprehensive legal guidance and support throughout the process. Our experienced divorce lawyers are well-versed in the legalities of divorce with mutual consent in India, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for both parties involved. Whether you need assistance with filing petitions, drafting settlement agreements, or legal counsel, we are here to help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Divorce with mutual consent
- What is divorce with mutual consent? Divorce with mutual consent is a process in which both parties agree to end their marriage and come to an agreement regarding the division of property, child custody, and other related matters. This process is quicker and easier than contested divorce, as both parties are willing to cooperate and work together to reach a settlement.
- What are the requirements for filing for divorce with mutual consent in India? To file for divorce with mutual consent in India, both parties must have been married for at least one year, and both parties must agree to the terms of the divorce settlement. Additionally, both parties must be of sound mind and must not be under any duress or coercion.
- What is the role of a lawyer in a divorce with mutual consent? A lawyer can help both parties navigate the legal process and ensure that their interests are protected. A lawyer can also assist in drafting the divorce settlement agreement and filing the necessary paperwork with the court.
- Can both parties use the same lawyer for a divorce with mutual consent? Yes, it is technically possible for both parties to use the same lawyer.
- What is the timeline for a divorce with mutual consent? The timeline for a divorce with mutual consent can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the cooperation of both parties. In general, the process can take anywhere from six months to a year whereas if required under certain circumstances if can be expedited to 1-1.5 months.
- How does mutual divorce differ from contested divorce in terms of legal proceedings? In a mutual divorce, both parties agree to the divorce and the terms of separation, making the legal proceedings smoother and quicker. In contrast, a contested divorce involves disputes and disagreements, requiring more extensive legal proceedings.
- What are the advantages of a divorce with mutual consent? Divorce with mutual consent is generally quicker, easier, and less expensive than contested divorce. It also allows both parties to maintain an amicable relationship and move on with their lives more quickly.
- What are the disadvantages of a divorce with mutual consent? If one party is not completely honest about their assets or financial situation, the other party may be at a disadvantage. Additionally, if one party does not agree to the terms of the settlement, the divorce may become contested.
- Can the terms of the settlement be changed after the divorce is finalized? Once the divorce is finalized, the terms of the settlement are binding and cannot be changed unless both parties agree to the changes.
- What is the process for filing for divorce with mutual consent? The process for filing for divorce with mutual consent involves both parties filing a joint petition with the court. This petition must include the terms of the settlement agreement, including division of property, child custody, and other relevant matters. Once the court approves the settlement, the divorce can be finalized.
- How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for a divorce with mutual consent? The cost of hiring a lawyer for a divorce with mutual consent can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the experience of the lawyer. It is important to discuss fees and costs upfront with the lawyer.
- What should I look for in a lawyer for a divorce with mutual consent? When choosing a lawyer for a divorce with mutual consent, it is important to look for someone who is experienced in family law, has a good track record, and is sensitive to your needs and concerns.
- How can a lawyer assist in a divorce with mutual consent? A lawyer can navigate you through the legal process of mutual divorce, ensuring all legalities are correctly addressed, and your interests are protected. Century Law Firm’s experienced divorce lawyers can assist in drafting settlement agreements, filing necessary paperwork, and providing legal counsel throughout the mutual divorce process.
- How can Century Law Firm assist me in a mutual divorce case? Century Law Firm can provide expert legal counsel, assist in drafting and reviewing settlement agreements, represent you in court, and ensure that the entire process of mutual divorce is smooth and hassle-free.