Capsule 1 on Divorce Law: Divorce by Mutual Consent under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

Divorce by Mutual Consent is simple, economical and time efficient. It makes the difficult, emotional and sensitive time for a couple legally convenient.

Under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Husband and Wife may file a Joint Petition seeking Divorce by Mutual Consent i.e. both parties state that they want to end the marriage in amicable terms, and agree to a certain set of terms and conditions, and thus request the Court to grant Divorce.

Once such a Joint Petition is filed, there is a mandatory 6-month statutory cooling period before the case proceeds further. This period is given to parties to try to resolve their differences and to examine whether they can reunite. As such, once filed, the hearing date would be given 6-months subsequently.

In the year 2018, the Hon’ble Supreme Court laid out a Judgment stating that in the event certain conditions are fulfilled, or certain circumstances exist, this 6-month statutory cooling period can be waived off by the concerned Court. The parties would be required to apply by filing an Interlocutory Application stating the reason and they may also annex supporting documents. This grant of Waiver of the 6-month statutory cooling period is granted at the absolute discretion of the Court.

Once the statutory cooling period is waived, the parties proceed to record their mutually agreed terms and conditions and present it to the Court for grant of Divorce. The Courts do review the terms and conditions so decided by the parties to ensure that it is legal, before taking into consideration.


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