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Supreme Court cuts waiting period for divorce

A specially constituted bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer will be hearing a total of 13 appeals filed against the 2010 judgement of the Allahabad High Court in four civil suits. Photograph: (WION Web Team)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 12, 2017, 03.03 PM (IST) Jessica Taneja

After declaring triple talaq unconstitutional, now the apex court in a judgment has cut the waiting period for divorce by six months under the Hindu marriage act of 1955. 

Supreme Court has made it clear that a couple will not have to wait for the mandatory eighteen month period for separation. 

A bench of Justice U U Lalit and Justice Adarsh K Goyal noted that if the couple settled through mutual consent then the six month cooling off period can be scrapped, "Section 13B(2) contains a bar to divorce being granted before six months of time elapsing after filing of the divorce petition by mutual consent. The said period was laid down to enable the parties to have a rethink so that the court grants divorce by mutual consent only if there is no chance for reconciliation.” 

The provisions of section 13 (B) of the Hindu marriage act of 1955 states that a couple seeking divorce through mutual consent has to wait for 18 months. 

Section 13 B (1) of the Hindu marriage act allows the couple to file a divorce petition for a judicial separation of one year and under 13 B (2) the couple then have to go through another six-month waiting period. 

The court concluded that since the period mentioned in Section 13B(2) is not mandatory but directive in nature, it will be open to the court to exercise its discretion in the facts and circumstances of each case where there is no possibility of parties resuming their relationship and there are chances of alternative rehabilitation.

Jessica Taneja

Jessica Taneja is a correspondent at WION. If journalism is a circus, Jessica is the quintessential juggler of ideas. A cricket fanatic, who knows what it's like to sweat it out on the field. Mind you, don't argue with her over handwriting analysis.

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