DIVORCE LAWS IN INDIA

Introduction

India is a common law country, and the law is changing according to the various problems and situations arising. The result of this change of law with time changes in the adoption of new rules for divorce in India.

The object of divorce law always is to reach and find points of settlement and cohabitation between husband and wife. If the couple is not in a state to adjust with each other, then the court may grant a divorce. Divorce results in the dissolution of marriage, and it is a right against the world. With the change in the trend of marriages, the laws regarding divorce are also amended to meet the need for time. The amendment in the divorce laws is to ensure the easing of the lengthy and time taking process. In light of the same, various new laws are placed before us.

Waiving of 6 Month Mandatory Period

When couples approach the court for divorce under Section 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the court grants six months for rehabilitation. Section 13B(2) deals with divorce by mutual consent. The purpose behind granting six months period was to save a marriage. However, now the Supreme Court is of a contrary view. The Supreme Court in Akansha v. Anupam Mathur states that the six months period is not mandatory but discretionary. The lower courts are speeding up with the proceeding relating to divorce as per the directions of the Supreme Court. The discretion of waiving can come in play when the couple decides to peacefully resolve their issues, including alimony, custody of a child, and any other dispute.

The Supreme Court is of the contrary view keeping in mind the purpose of the period. The opinion is that the court should be possessed with the powers to give parties immediate relief. Further, the power should only be used when it is inevitable that marriage cannot survive. Also, when fresh rehabilitation can take place if marriage is dissolved, the court may exercise its discretion.

 

Law of Maintenance

Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 provides power to court for ordering the payment of maintenance. The Court may order the payment either monthly or a period as it deems fit. Such an order is for assisting the woman after the divorce for maintaining the same standard of living. If the marriage is not under Hindu law, then, a woman can claim maintenance through Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The Supreme Court recognizes. Live-in relationships as marriage and the woman can claim maintenance for the same. If cohabitation is for a long time, then, the strict proof is not necessary for proving marriage. Due to all these reasons, the woman is eligible to claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The perspective of providing rights to women is broader now.

The women in a live-in relationship now are eligible to claim maintenance under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. This was held in Lalita Toppo v. State of Jharkhand (2018) by the Apex Court. According to the judgment, the woman need not be eligible for maintenance under Section 125 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

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