What is adultery?
Adultery is said to be extramarital sex that is considered to be objectionable on various grounds. The activities involved in adultery may vary and so does the social, religious and the legal consequences thereto. The relationship or bond of marriage, indeed, is one of the most sacred institutions and adultery leads to infringement of mutual trust, partnership and accord. Adultery is often considered as a synonym of infidelity, philandery or extra marital affair.
Reasons that lead to adultery
- Marital disharmony or conflicts
- Contradiction of thought process that leads to loneliness
- Prevalent communication barriers among couples
- Lack of love and affection between the couples
- Emotional and physical infidelity in a relationship
Laws related to adultery
It is defined under various provisions in different countries. The Indian Penal Code, also mentioned the offence of adultery to be punishable. However, adultery is no longer a criminal offence in India after the apex court struck down the law that made it punishable. However, legal institution and law cannot and does not authorize extramarital relations. When the Hon’ble court struck down the section 497, it observed that the law was seemingly archaic in nature and based on prevalent societal presumptions and norms.
Steps one can follow in cases of spouse committing adultery
- The prime most step is to assure if the act is adulterous or not
- The spouse who has reasonable evidences or reason to believe that the other spouse has committed adultery
- The spouse has option to file for divorce in cases of adultery
- Both the spouses can also opt for divorce on mutual terms, by filing petition in court
- The Hon’ble court shall decide after considering the facts and evidences
- The court shall inspect the documents
- After the tenure of 6 months and not more than 18 months, the court will give date to the parties, to hear their respective side
When parties try to seek divorce through contest
- At first, the spouse needs to file divorce petition before the family court, in order to initiate the process
- Then, both the parties shall face the court proceedings after receiving copy of the petition
- Once the divorce is granted, court shall further give six month span for reconsidering the issue and maintenance.
It is true that adultery has been struck off but it still serve as a reasonable ground for divorce in both Hindu and Muslim laws. It serves as a valid and reasonable ground if one of the spouses has committed adultery and the other wishes to seek divorce. It is a preferred resort if one wishes not to continue with the marriage on the basis of conflicts or mutual disharmony.
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