Even though getting married is considered to be the first step in order to be ‘settled in life’ of an individual, it is surprising to notice that the divorce rates in our society have been increasing. While, some think this can be because of an increase in the number of ‘love marriages’ within our country, another potential and more logical reason to this could be the lack of understanding between the two individuals in a marriage or their lack of effort to cope with each other.
When we talk about concepts like divorce and legal/judicial separation, the very basic difference between them is that, they exist in different sections within the Hindu Marriage Act, in a divorce (mentioned under Section 13) the couple decides to bring an end to their relation once and for all whereas, when we talk about a couple being legally separated (mentioned under Section 10) it signifies that they choose to stay separately but continue to keep their bond, i.e. they will still be the husband and wife of each other, they are released from their obligations(matrimonial) for a period of time. This does not necessitate that they have to be under different roofs.
Another major difference which exists between these two concepts is the time limit within which they can be filed, this means that when we are talking about divorce – it can only be filed after one year of the couple being married while judicial separation is something that the couple can apply for anytime after they are married, there is no time limit to this.
Moving ahead the judicial process for legal separation is shorter as compared to divorce because in legal separation there exists a single stage of judgement and the decree is granted in cases where the required ground have been satisfied whereas the process requires one more step of reconciliation when we talk about the concept of divorce.
Another not very known difference between these two concepts is that an individual cannot marry anyone else after being separated from their spouse legally whereas they can if the decree of divorce has been passed. Apart from this, legal separation can end up being a ground for attaining divorce however it cannot be true vice-versa.
Furthermore, in the cases where a couple has sought judicial separation, they will stand a chance to reconcile and think about their decision while when they seek a divorce they will not have a chance to reconcile with each other once it is done. Also, there are a lot of instances where one partner turns out to be disloyal towards the other and to obtain a divorce it is essential that the spouse was living in a relationship of adulterous nature whereas just one instance of adultery is enough to seek judicial separation from the partner.