When a marriage hits rock bottom, getting a quick divorce is often the top priority. In India, the fastest and easiest way to get a divorce is through the mutual consent procedure under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Here are some key things to know about how it works:
Mutual divorce petition – The husband and wife together file a divorce petition stating that they have been living separately for at least a year and have mutually agreed to dissolve the marriage. They provide proof of separate living and submit divorce terms related to alimony, child custody etc.
Court examination – The court reviews the petition and examines both parties. If satisfied, it passes an order on the First Motion and asks them to return after 6 months for the Second Motion.
Mandatory separation period – The 6 month waiting period is mandatory even if the couple has been separated for years. It ensures consent was not given under coercion and gives time for reconciliation.
Statements recorded – On the Second Motion date, the court records statements from both parties on oath. They reaffirm their consent for divorce and state that reconciliation attempts have failed.
Final decree – The court will then pass the final decree of divorce, legally ending the marriage. The whole mutual divorce process takes about 6 to 8 months from start to finish.
Withdrawal option – Either spouse can unilaterally withdraw the consent and stop the divorce any time before the Second Motion. But this rarely happens if the couple has mutually filed the petition.
Eligibility conditions – To file for mutual divorce, the couple should have lived separately for at least a year before the petition. There should be no scope left of resuming married life or adjusting differences.
Documentation required – Joint divorce petition, proof of marriage, proof of separate living, divorce settlement terms, passport copies and photographs are needed. Lawyers can help prepare and file the proper documentation.
Pros of mutual divorce – It offers an amicable solution without mudslinging and legal battles. There is less paperwork and court interaction. It results in faster divorce with lower expenses compared to contested divorce.
No allegations needed – Unlike contested divorce, mutual divorce does not require accusations, counter-accusations or evidence of fault. The couple simply states irreconcilable differences.
To conclude, mutual consent divorce under Hindu law is the quickest and most hassle-free way to legally end a marriage in India. It saves time and trauma of longer litigation if both partners cooperate. However, paperwork and court formalities still take a minimum of 6 months for the divorce decree.