India is one of the greatest places in the world, and the culture and tradition make people have greater values. The statistic shows that in this country, people rarely get divorced and that only one in 100 people files for judicial separation per year. When we compare this number with other countries, we’ll see that the separation rates are on the lower end. In the United States, for example, every other person will file for divorce in their first marriage, and 7 out of 10 people will get separated in their second marriage.
One interesting fact about the Hindu religion is that before 1955, the process of divorce was not recognized and people were not allowed to get out of the marriage, no matter how unhappy they were. Nowadays, people in India are allowed to marry whomever they want, and if they realize they made a mistake, they can file a marriage annulment at any given moment. In this article, we are going to tell you more about the divorce process in India, and you can learn what are the legal requirements in case you want to file for a judicial separation.
Ways to terminate the marriage
There are two types of judicial separation in this country, and the first one is mutual divorce. In this type of separation, both spouses are interested in getting the marriage annulment. These cases are said to be easier and that the spouses only need to negotiate and reach an agreement when it comes to financial goods, real estate, children’s custody, and alimony.
When people decide to get judicially separated and they are interested in the mutual type, they need to get a document that they are both interested in ending the marriage. Another important part is that both parties need to live separately, while still being married for at least one consecutive year. In case they want to get separated without living in different locations, there might be some issues that they have to face.
The second type is the contested divorce and, in this case, only one side is interested in getting judicially separated. It does not matter if the husband or the wife are filing for divorce, as long as only one party is interested in that, the process is seen as contested.
There are several grounds on which this would be approved by a judge, and some of the reasons include domestic violence, cruelty a disease, or if the spouse has not made any contact with their family for at least seven consecutive years. In some cases, a legal reason for separation is if the parties are of a different religion or if the spouse has been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
These grounds stand for both the husband and the wife, but there are also some additional grounds that apply only to the wife. For example, if the husband has been charged with rape, the wife has legal rights to file for a marriage annulment. In case the wife was younger than 15 when they got married, she can also terminate the marriage legally. And there is one more ground that is the same as the mutual divorce – if the husband moved out and has been living separately for more than one consecutive year, the wife is allowed to file for a marriage termination.
The process when both of the sides agree
The first thing that the spouses should do if decide to get a divorce is to write a petition and inform the court why do they want to be separated. They should both sign it and let the judge know that they are both interested in terminating the marriage. Then they need to file this petition and this should be done by their separate lawyers.
In the third step, the court will examine this document and if needed will ask for further documents or evidence. In most cases, the court will give the partners a period of 6 months in which they might change their minds and decide to get back together. According to O’Sullivan Mediation, the spouses commonly use a third-party mediator that can help them go through this difficult period, and they can help them out with reaching a decision regarding the marriage, potential divorce, parenting, and financial settlement.
If the spouses decide to get judicially separated even after the six-month period, then they need to appear in front of a judge with their lawyers, and in the final hearing, the judge will give their verdict.
Contested divorce procedure
This procedure is similar to mutual consent, but in this case, only one of the parties is filing all the paperwork. They need to write and file a petition stating why they want the marriage to be terminated and submit any documents that will help them with their claim. The court then will notify the other spouse and ask them to appear for the hearing along with their attorney.
Once again, the judge will ask the parties if there is a chance for them to reconcile, and if needed, a mediator will be included in the case. If one of the parties is feeling that their life is being threatened, or if they don’t want to give mediation a chance, then the judge will continue with the marriage termination procedure.
After this process, both parties have to appear in the court of law and show their evidence. The attorneys for both spouses need to present their cases, and if needed, submit additional documents.
At the final hearing, the judge will give their verdict, and any of the spouses are allowed to appeal the verdict in a period of three months after the final hearing.
There are a lot of documents that need to be filed and presented for both types of divorce. Because of that, the parties need to get an attorney that will help them out during this process. In some cases, they can get one lawyer, usually the family attorney, to represent both sides, but that is not recommended.
In case you need protection, you can always contact the authorities and leave your home without getting the legal documents. If there is a chance for you to get reconciled, you should think about that and use the mediation services. These services can help you out even after the legal separation, and they can give you advice on how to give the best care to your children, or how to tackle financial issues.