It is futile to live in a broken marriage as it impacts not only the two individuals tied in it but also their family members. When a marriage becomes toxic and irretrievable and both the husband and the wife wish to walk out of it, then the mutual consent divorce comes to the rescue as the quickest form of divorce. Mutual consent divorce is a divorce where the couple agrees to not to live together and wish to end their marriage in a friendly way. They refrain from putting any allegations against each other and together reach a settlement. For example, if a couple in Patna want to dissolve their marriage amicably due to some personal issues, they can with the help of a divorce lawyers in Patna present a mutual divorce petition before the Hon’ble court in Patna. In India, the fastest way of getting a divorce is through the mutual consent divorce as other contested forms can be time-consuming and cumbersome.
General Requirements for a Mutual Consent Divorce
- The parties must be living separately for not less than a year. The court is not concerned whether the parties are living separately under the same roof or different homes until and unless the consent of one of the parties is vitiated by fraud, coercion or undue influence.
- There is no possibility of reconciliation and the parties have failed to retrieve their marriage for whatsoever reason.
- The parties have voluntarily agreed without any force to a petition for dissolution of marriage.
- The petition can be withdrawn by any of the party within 6 months from the filing of the petition. Though, after the end of the first 6 months but before the 18 months period expires, any party alone cannot withdraw the petition.
Petition to be Filed in which Court
The parties can file a joint petition in the city’s family court where they both last resided together or in the city where their marriage was validly ordained.
Procedure Involved in a Mutual Consent Divorce-
A mutual consent divorce is granted in various stages. The procedure for granting a mutual consent divorce is stated under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act. There are generally two motions involved in a mutual consent divorce-
- Joint Petition by both the Parties
A signed joint petition is to be filed by the parties in the respective family court. It must contain a joint statement by both the parties that due to some differences, it has become impossible to reconcile their differences. This statement also deals with how the parties wish to divide their assets, resolve the issue of child custody, maintenance, etc.
- Appearance of Parties before the Court
After the filing of the petition, the parties have to appear with their respective counsels before the court on the date fixed by it.
- Evaluation by the Court
The court evaluates the petition and the documents that are filed by the parties. If satisfied, the court asks to record the statements of the parties on oath. The court might also try to resolve and reconcile the marriage and on complete failure, it would proceed further.
- Recording the Statement and the First Motion
The statement of both the parties recorded by the court after which a 6months period is given to the parties. When the 6 months period ends, the parties must file the second motion. This has to be filed within 18 months from the filing of the petition.
- Second Motion
After the last motion’s lapse, if both parties still don’t want to reconcile their marriage, the parties may appear for the second motion. Their statement is also recorded for the consultation by the court.
- Court’s decision
The most important aspect of this divorce is free consent of both the parties. The court after satisfying itself completely court passes the order for dissolution of marriage.
Documents required for filing a Mutual Consent Divorce
The documents required for filing a mutual consent divorce include-
- Address proof of both the husband and wife
- Details of professions/ assets and earnings
- Marriage Certificate
- Information related to family background
- Photographs of marriage between the husband and wife
- Evidence to prove that the husband and wife have been living separately for more than a year
- Evidence proving that attempts of reconciliation have failed
- Income tax statements of both the parties
- Details of property and assets of the parties and any other information.
Time Taken for a Mutual Consent Divorce
A mutual consent divorce can take an average time ranging from 6months to about 2 years. But this time period depends upon facts and circumstances of each case. In a recent case, the SC ruled that the 6 months waiting period in the cases of a mutual consent divorce is not mandatory and can be waived off if it can be proved that there is no chance for a reconciliation of marriage.
A couple can break free from the clutches of a bad marriage with the help of a mutual consent divorce which is an amicable way to part ways. A mutual divorce petition can be filed by both the parties with the help of a divorce lawyer and issues related to child custody, distribution of assets, alimony, and maintenance can also be settled by through this petition.