DIVORCE IN INDIA
“There is no such thing as a 'broken family'. Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you”– C Joye Bell.C
If marriages are made in heaven, divorces are made on earth. Divorce is a term which we all have heard all time in our daily lives, but we never talk on this issue. Every marriage is not a perfect marriage. There is always some ups and downs in every marriage. There are several reasons of divorce but it is necessary to dissolve the issues between husband - wife. There is no space of misunderstanding between them. A happily married life's secret is always to accept your mistakes and if anyone make mistake then forgive each other, not blame each other. In Hindus, husband is called as “Patiparmeshvar” and wife always gives respect to him and this also applies to husband and if there are any economic crises in family then in that situation both should earn their livelihood and no matter whose income is more or less, they both should treat each other equally rather degrading each other.
In a country where marriage is considered as a scared union, divorce gets looked as a sign of failure. Divorce is a scary word and it is like a reminder of a failed marriage like it is the worst thing in the world. But some countries choose to ignore these relations when they start appealing for divorce and there is a low divorce rate in India as per unified lawyers Report. Only 1% of the divorces of the whole world take place in India. Most of the time, it is seen that divorce cases in India happen in Love marriages as compared to arrange marriages. In love marriages, family doesn’t support and sometimes it is against the society. There is no guidance given by family members but as compared to arrange marriages, all things take place with the consent of family. In every 1000 marriages, 13 marriages end up by divorce. The low divorce rate could be a signal that there is something more serious. The reason is that Indians are abiding by the principles of Hindu, which suggests one man, one woman policy. There are many pre-weddings rituals in a wedding and are started many days before the marriage. In whole marriage process, the parents of both parties are involved and it establishes a psychological bond between the couples.
Meaning of Divorce
Divorce is the legal dissolution of marriage. Divorce is a legal and permanent form of termination of a bonafide marriage. Divorce is related to marriage and family which are by far the most important and vital institutions of human life. Divorce is a decree of dissolution of marriage granted by the judicial court. It is the certificate that the couple's relationship has failed. It represents the end of the hopes that two people had for each other.
In India, marriage is a scared union between 2 parties and which serves a pious purpose of a civilized society and they both are tied forever for not only one life but for seven birth. In Hindus, marriage is not a contract but a marital obligation which has to be fulfilled by both the spouses and various ceremonies which are followed in front of fire which is treated as god. But divorce is a stage where marriage is not left pious and it becomes contractual. The parties take divorce because of several reasons such as attraction towards any other person, conversion, desertion etc. Remarriage is also a new reason for taking divorce and a number of petitions are filed in court but the legislation has duty to protect the rights of every individual by introducing the concept of divorce. At that time when the law established, polygamy was an issue but it also started putting an end to the pious purpose of marriage.
Under Hindu law, divorce is permitted and for taking divorce, various grounds are also provided and if any of the issues is present between the parties fall in these categories then they can take divorce by filing application in court.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE (Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act)
··· If any spouse has a sexual relationship with a person other than his spouse(Adultery) then divorce application can be filed in court but if there are certain expectations are unsound mind, drunkenness and without consent then there is a need to prove them. Joseph shine vs. UOI[i] held that it was declared unconstitutional but still is a ground of divorce.
··· If any spouse treated her/his spouse with cruelty and it includes both mental and physical such as beating, torture, verbal abusive language but before granting divorce, the court very possibly takes step to save the marriage and consider living status, family background etc.
··· If any person desert his/her spouse for a period of more than 2 years and not came back to matrimonial home for reunion. It is required that at the time of filing the application, desertion must be in existence.
··· If any spouse convert into other religion then the other spouse has right to file application of divorce.
··· If any spouse has any mental disorder due to which it becomes impossible to live with that spouse and it includes aggressive behavior, danger to life, and not able to fulfill responsibilities.
··· Renounce the world (civil death) and not heard by any person from the last period of 7 years (legal death). These grounds are only available to wife
··· The wife has only right to take divorce if her husband was guilty of rape, sodomy and bestiality and there is no requirement of series of acts, only one act is also considered.
··· If a woman is married at the age of 15 years then, she has a right to repudiate the marriage before attaining age of 18 years.
No divorce granted within one year of marriage
It has been also kept in mind when divorce application is filed within one year of marriage but there are certain exceptions like mental disorder, rape, sodomy, communication and new disorder. An application of wavier of period of one year shall be filed along with divorce application.
Effects of a Divorce on the children
Divorce is difficult not only for parents but also for family. When the parents are getting divorced, then that case also has effects on the children-
1. There is difficulty for the children to understand the changing dynamics of the family, they get distract and confused. Due to this distraction, children are not able to focus on their studies.
2. Children can be affected by having to learn to adapt to change more often and more frequently.
3. The process of divorce and its effects on children can be stressful. Dealing with these issues include physical problems, experienced higher imperceptibility to sickness including their difficultly to sleep.
4. Children often wonder why a divorce is happening in their family. The feelings of guilt are a very common effect on children, but also one which can lead to many other issues guilt increases pressure, lead to pressure.
5. The children tend to lose their faith in marriage and family unity and research has also shown that children who are experience divorce are more likely to divorce when in their own relationship in future.
The Divorce not only affects the spouses but whole family gets affected. To avoid divorce, marriage should be entered into after sufficient thought and planning. The marriage should always be done with the consent of the spouses, otherwise it will create problem in the future. A marriage is successful or not, it will depend upon the adjustments which are made by both spouses and efforts in this direction. During a divorce, it is advised to seek counseling for the children, so they can learn to cope with the change that comes with divorce.
Authors: Kanishka, Heena Sharma & Vaishali Sharma
Sources: legalservices.com & The Hindu marriage Act, 1955
Picture: deccanherald.com & apa.org