The dawn of the online divorce

A marriage is a sacred union between two people. Marriage is an institution which has different implications in different cultures. In Hindu Law, Marriage was never looked from the materialistic point of view, instead it was considered as a sacred bond lasting for the lifetime. In fact, it was customary that ONCE THE BRIDE’S DOLI REACHED THE MATRIMONIAL HOME AND HEARTH, THE BRIDE WOULD ONLY DEPART IN HER ARTHI. Under the Christian Laws, not only is a divorce an extremely cumbersome and tedious process but the firm belief was that once married, it would be “TILL DEATH DO US PART”. However, in the changing social scenario, a marriage no longer holds the same sanctity where the class and pecuniary status and affluence matter more than compromising and adjusting towards one another. Today relationships are no longer irrevocable as the procedure of filing a Petition for Divorce, whether by Divorce by Mutual Consent or contested Divorce is socially as well as legally permissible.

As the World is being digitalized, new methodologies are emerging for solemnising marriages, like meeting someone online and getting married. But the most recent advancement in law is the procedure of obtaining a decree of divorce online over the internet.

The procedure of online Divorce is adopted in those cases where there are no major disputes or issues and the matter involves uncomplicated situation. The procedure of an online divorce is the most expeditious manner of seeking recourse through a legal remedy. Online Divorce caters to uncontested cases. An uncontested Divorce means where both the parties are in agreement and have chosen to part and go their ways amicably.

DIVORCE- A TABOO

In India, having a son is a blessing and having a daughter is a taboo. The son is seen as the one who will take up the responsibility and will give a bright future to the family. But the daughters are not given as much importance in the family as much as their son. In fact, they are side-lined as if they don’t exist in the family. The question which triggers in my mind is that the society does not realize the fact that where will the girl go if her husband leaves her or dies unnaturally or tortures her. Divorce is still considered as a taboo in our society. The women are guided to adjust and compromise in their marriage and even after being mal-treated and are expected to survive in the abusive marriage and protect their family’s reputation.

DIVORCE LAWS IN INDIA

In India, the procedure of Divorce is different in different religions. The Divorce procedure of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains are governed by the Hindu Marriage Act, (Act XXV of 1955), Parsis by the Parsi Marriage Act, (Act III of 1936), Christians by the Indian Divorce Act, (Act IV of 1869) and Muslims are governed by Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, (Act VIII of 1939) and the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, (Act XXV of 1986). All the inter community marriages and their Divorce procedure and Divorce process are governed by the Special Marriage Act, (Act XLIII of 1954).

For a Divorce by Mutual Consent under Section 13-B under the Hindu Marriage Act and the dissolution of marriage, a couple should be living separately, and are not able to live together and are not cohabiting, which are conditions necessary to satisfy the Courts to obtain the decree of Divorce.

PROCEDURE TO FILE DIVORCE

Divorce by Mutual Consent is also known as “no fault Divorce”, and can be filed by a couple who is living separately for more than a year, and must have valid grounds for the dissolution of marriage by way of mutual consent. The procedure of Divorce by Mutual Consent is simpler as compared to Contested Divorce.

In case of exceptional circumstances, the court may allow a petition to be presented before one year has elapsed since the date of marriage on the ground that the case is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent.

The couple has to reach a consensus for initiating the procedure of Divorce by mutual consent and also needs to discuss the terms with each other, some of which are as follows:

  • Alimony: As per the Law, there is no minimum or maximum limit of this, it can be any figure. Generally, the Court decides the amount, but in the case of Divorce by Mutual Consent the parties have to pre-decide the amount of maintenance before initiating the procedure.
  • Custody of the Child: This is also required to be decided before filing the Petition for Divorce by Mutual Consent. The custody of the child in a Divorce by Mutual Consent can be shared, joint or exclusive depending upon the understanding of the husband and wife.
  • Property: The parties have to decide the division of the property. This includes both movable and immovable properties. The foremost requirement is that both the parties should agree to the settlement.

Once the procedure is initiated and the Petition has been filed, the parties appear before the Court to get their statements recorded on Oath. This procedure is called the First Motion.

The Hindu Marriage Act provides that if the parties have not resumed cohabitation, and have not cohabited for a period of 6 months or more from the date of the FIRST MOTION, the parties can apply for the decree of divorce by filing a Petition under Section 13B (2) of the Hindu Marriage Act by stating and admitting that there has been no cohabitation for 6 months from the date of the FIRST MOTION and have their statements recorded which is known as the SECOND MOTION.

ONLINE DIVORCE IN INDIA

An Attorney is not required for online Divorce. An uncontested Divorce may be prepared and filed directly to the Court without even speaking to an Attorney. For filing an Online Divorce, both the parties must be in agreement on all the matters. One of the benefits of an online legal service is that it is very cheap as compared to the physical filing procedure of Divorce.

There are two ways to file an online Divorce Petition for mutual consent Divorce: -

  • An Online Divorce Firm will help you in procedure of opting an Online Divorce
  • Do it yourself, i.e., you will have to contest your case yourself

Following requisites must be fulfilled while filing online:-

  • Both the parties have agreed to mutually parting ways
  • Matters related to alimony, child custody and property must be sorted
  • Pen Down the matters finalized and reach over agreement easily
  • E-filings made Divorce by Mutual Consent easy, but a Lawyer is well versed with the technicalities involved
  • Online firms just work as any other Law firm and lay down the details given by both the parties and fill the forms and ensure the details of parties are valid
  • A legal notice is sent to other party by registered mail or in person
  • The presence of both the parties is required to ensure that the Divorce is filed with the consent of both the parties
  • Once the form is filled out the experts of firm will approve it for filing
  • A printout of the same is to be obtained to be filed to the local Court for Divorce
  • The Court after being satisfied with the details and grounds on which Divorce is filed will grant the Divorce decree

It is advised to take the help of online Divorce firms as they are well versed with the procedures and the requirements. They can easily ensure that the documents are done right and there will be no need to fumble through forms and read lengthy and confusing instructions. Also there services provide you with up to date and completed forms which will be accepted by Court, that you might not be aware of as laymen.

CONCLUSION

The online procedures reduce the inconvenience, costs and mental harassment and make the procedure comparatively easier and fast. These online portals make the process simpler and inexpensive and also enable one to complete the documents of the Divorce from the comfort of your home without going through the lengthy complications. As the Online Filing of Divorce is a convenient, time saving and cheap way to get the Divorce by Mutual Consent, consequently, it is a preferred way to obtain the Divorce by Mutual Consent.

By: Navin Kumar Jaggi & Sayesha Suri

 

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