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Roshni B.. (For justice and dignity)     06 December 2010

Spouses preferring separation over divorce now..


Separated, not split
Vimla Patil



Leela Savlani is an executive chef in a famous restaurant chain. Her 20-year-old marriage – with two children – collapsed last year, thanks to the violent nature of her husband. “He would beat up the kids whenever he was in a foul mood and use objectionable language all the time,” she says, “After he beat my daughter till she passed out, I applied for a divorce. But he made such an impasse about the custody of the kids that I finally turned the tables on him by refusing to go through with the divorce. My minor kids don’t want to stay with him, as they are mortally scared of his slaps and kicks. I applied for company accommodation and got a one-bedroom flat as this was my right. We now live in this tiny but peaceful home. I send the kids to school and my mother brings them back and looks after them till I can take them home. My husband is so angry that he does not phone or see us – and this suits us well. I make enough money to provide for the kids and don’t intend to marry again. So, no legal divorce – but a state of divorce is what I have chosen.”

Leela is not the only young, successful career woman to choose a ‘divorced marriage’ because of her messy relationship with her husband. All over India, wives and mothers in huge numbers are deliberately choosing this method of ending their marriages to save themselves the heartbreak of long-drawn-out and extremely expensive legal battles or arbitration proceedings. “A contested divorce or even an arbitration case can last for years,” says Minoti Arya, a doctor, “Court fees, documentation, lawyers’ and solicitors’ charges add up to lakhs. It is better to have the marriage alive – but live separately so that financial rights of the wife and children are maintained. This situation is best if neither party wants to remarry. I thought long before I decided not to divorce my husband, though I could prove his constant infidelity. As a result, I have a right to the home we both bought together. We divided it into half and he occupies a smaller part because my son lives with me. My husband meets him and pays for his education, transport and hobbies or activities. They share a cordial relationship and in time, I also want to be friendly to him and his mistresses, as I don’t think hatred is good for me.”

“Letting the marriage live on is a good option when a couple is faced with money or property problems, kids’ resistance or relatives refusing to co-operate,” says Madhu Iyer, a marriage counsellor, “Even when the breakdown is permanent, leaving things as they are sometimes sorts out matters. A couple can decide to live apart, but be available to their children, as needed, and share expenses for them. They can hold property jointly and see that both are adequately provided for. But this can happen only in two cases – firstly, if the divorce-seeking couple are friends and have goodwill for each other and, secondly, if they have one or more trusted persons who can mediate between them and keep the peace going. Also, there should be no intent in either party to cheat the other party or to transfer rights to property to third parties. Amicable live-apart arrangements work well when there is forgiveness and goodwill between husband and wife. Counsellors often support couples in this situation when both parties recognise each other’s legal rights and don’t work to deprive the other of money, convenience or property. This probably is also better for the children for whom access to both parents is important.”

Some famous couples have set examples for young couples who wish to end their marriages yet avoid the hassles of court cases or custody battles which result in lifelong enmity and much heartburn between families. One such famous couple is Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, who separated when the superstar allegedly indulged in many extramarital affairs. Dimple has said in many interviews earlier that she had to consider the interests of her two daughters and make the decision to divorce or not. She chose to continue with the dead marriage and saved all of Khanna’s property, fighting his income tax cases, including all the jewellery and the Ashirvad bungalow in Bandra, Mumbai, for her daughters, whom she believed to be the legal heirs to their father’s wealth. Dimple and Rajesh never married a second time and Twinkle and Rinke had the benefit of being in touch with both parents though Dimple suffered much pain because of the broken marriage.

Rakhi and Gulzar have said that their daughter Meghna could not accept their break-up and, therefore, they never got a divorce. Till date, they live separately, both unmarried but they keep in touch and support each other because of the bond of their daughter. Similarly, Kareena and Karishma Kapoor have been instrumental in preventing a divorce between Randhir and Babita, who live separately but are on amicable terms. Neither the daughters, nor the filmstar parents interfere in each other’s lives, but in times of stress, they help and support each other.

Even otherwise, say lawyers who specialise in matrimonial law, it is not advisable for a wife to move out of the marital home, as this can lead to loss of residence and maintenance. As per law, she has the right to live in the home and to be maintained by the husband. In case he wants a divorce, she can ask for decent settlement terms. Of course, many couples choose to stay in a fake marriage for medical or pension benefits, too. Lawyers also warn often that staying in a marriage can bring unexpected financial problems from an unscrupulous partner, who can create debts and ruin the other’s financial security and, in worse cases, claim part of the estranged partner’s wealth.

In spite of these pitfalls, an increasing number of couples avoid legal divorces. It could be to save the children from the ugly scenes of a divorce; to take advantage of the laws of division of wealth and inheritance or simply to avoid gossip in the society in which they move and mix.


 6 Replies


It is often said that marriage means that two become one. That is true to a degree, but each partner is still an individual. However, some people do extreme individualism. I am a bit intrigued but also confused by people who marry only to live separate lives. I don't just mean long distance relationships either. What I find the most unusual is people who live in the same house and see each other on a daily basis, but act more like roommates than a couple. How does that work?


For many, it provides the security and benefits of marriage without the emotional commitment, which may be seen as having the best of both worlds. It's more like a marriage of convenience than a committed, sharing, and relationship. Such couples often have their own groups of friends, separate bank accounts, separate property, and may even go on individual vacations.


People do not really understand selfless, unconditional love until they give love in that fashion. Even those who are raised in such a loving atmosphere don't really get it until they are on the giving end. Even if we think we are generous, giving people, the true test of the ability to love unconditionally is marriage and sharing your life with another person.


I love being married in every sense of the word, and I don't want a "roommate”, if I marry.

While everyone is entitled to do what they believe is best for them, and what is right for their marriage, I personally wouldn't be interested in engaging in such a relationship.


The above would reduce the divorce rate. Marriage just means you are going to be faithful to that person, and nothing more.

I saw a case where a married couple shared one house that was cut into two apartments. Define rules, boundaries and the reasons for it and they should be fine.


I think every couple is different and should come to a compromise that both can live with and if that means having to live apart, but be married, then I say that's an option...just because they are married, doesn't mean they have to live together but it is what a lot of couples 'choose' to's what works and what makes the marriage better that should be the main concern.


Living separately changes the relationship but  some possibilities and hope for conciliation  and suppose a wife file Dv or 498 a then there is no hope and if wife go to court then who give the wrong  advise ?That you all know that is the worst thing that should be eliminated .


1.Part of being married is sharing a life (life and wife) and HOME together. And now only sharing for what?

2.Do people experience such love while living separate lives?

1 Like



very good for kids..

Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     06 December 2010


It better to better to live far/apart but united by heart, if situation becomes like that. HAAR KAR JEETNE KA MAJA KUCH AUR HAI.


@Ashutosh Bhartiya



And The Lokadalat slogan is: Na Tum jeete na Hum hare.


In a court the board said;sub ko saman nanaya(equal justice to all)

Now one person i dont know who is i saw the board edited  ;except pati sub ko saman nanaya.

Now who is edited this i dont know but sure bichara pati ne hi likha hoga.

1 Like

Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     07 December 2010

Adv.Kushan Vyasji ,

In each of your post some sense of humour used to be there and this I like very much, so plz. keep it up.

Lekin yahan Lok Adalat etc kahan se aa gaya????

Agar matrimonial life mein kuchh Khatpat hai to kuchh dino ke liye door rahana achcha hai,  so that again rapport get established, with passage of time most of the thingsget settled.




akash ka soona pan mere tanaha mann mein ...........................................

jag ne chheena mujhse, mujhe jo bhi laga pyaara!
sab jeeta kiye mujhse, main har dam hi hara
tum haar ke dil apna meri jeet amar kar do

Bhaskar for SOCIAL JUSTICE (Legal & Social Activist)     09 December 2010

This is also wrong either they stay peacefully together or take divorce mutually.

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