Mutual consent means that both the parties agree for a peaceful separation. Under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the parties can ask for a divorce by mutual consent by filing a petition in the court.
However, there are separate divorce laws for different religions. Hindus (including Sikh, Budh, and Jain) are governed by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Likewise, Muslims are governed by the Dissolution of Marriage Act, 1939 & The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, while Christians are governed by the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 and Indian Divorce Act-1869. Parsi community has their separate divorce law, The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act-1936. Besides, there is a special law known as Special Marriage Act, 1954.
Mutual Consent Divorce is the easiest way of coming out of a marriage and getting it dissolved legally. A key requirement for the mutual divorce is the consent of the both husband and wife. There are 2 aspects on which Husband and Wife need to reach an agreement. First is the alimony or maintenance issue. Second important consideration is the Child Custody which can be worked out efficiently between the parties. Depending upon the understanding of the spouses, Child Custody in Mutual Consent Divorce can be exclusive or shared.
When Can One File A Divorce By Mutual Consent?
The parties wanting to dissolve marriage need to complete minimum one year from the date of their marriage before they can file a petition.
They need to prove in the court that they have been living independently for one year or more before presenting themselves in the court and that in that period of separation, they have not been living together as husband and wife.
Where Can You File The Divorce Petition?
It can be filed in the family court of the city or district (matrimonial home) where both the parties lived together for the last time.
What is The Procedure Of Filing Divorce Petition By Mutual Consent?
The divorce petition in the form of an affidavit has to be submitted to the family court. After the filing of the divorce petition and recording the statement of both the husband and the wife, the court generally suspends the issue for 6 months.
After that time period, the parties have to present themselves again to the court for a second confirmation of the mutual consent filed earlier. A verdict of the divorce is granted by the court only after this second hearing.
Can The Mutual Consent Petition Be Withdrawn After Filing In The Court?
Before the second hearing when the petition is pending in the court, any of the parties can withdraw the mutual consent by filing an application in the court stating that he/she does not want to seek divorce any longer.
In such cases, the court doesn’t grant any divorce decree.
How Much Time Does The Whole Process Take?
Generally, it takes from 6 months to 1 year from the date of filing of the petition.