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What should you be concerned about when you discuss mutual divorce?

Mutual Divorce, DivorceAdv. Pratibha Bangera is a practising divorce and family court lawyer and throws light on how to handle divorce smartly with our Editor-in-Chief Dr Vaidehi Taman

What is the legal way to apply for mutual divorce?

You don’t require a court to grant marriage certificate, but a legal and valid mutual consent divorce can happen only and if a family court grants permission for the same.

While there are codified sections and provisions for people who have married under the Hindu, Christian, Parsi or special marriage laws, the Muslim, Jewish and other customary marriages do not have a codified section for mutual divorce in India.

Which type of people prefer mutual divorce in comparison to contested cases?

People who do not want to go through the ugly process of allegations and legal grounds, prefer ending any remaining unpleasantness by opting for “by consent divorce”. Also in some cases, the people are young and of remarriage-able age and prefer to avoid litigation battles and bitterness and choose to end their marriage expeditiously.

Also, the very rich and famous celebrities prefer a quiet and peaceful closure to an unpleasant situation.

Can celebrity divorce couples avoid public appearance in court?

With the rising number of celebrity artistes being recognised in court, not all parties are accomodated “in Chambers” of judge. There are no special rules in family court but the court can adjust such couples in Chambers to avoid press and harrasment by people wanting to take autographs or being photographed even in such places.

What precautions should a husband take while entering for a mutual consent divorce?

A woman thinks faster than men which has been a proven fact. So avoid delays because that is the main reason a woman reaches out for a contested petition. Any hurtful statements during discussions should be avoided and unless the demand is too unreasonable, offer to address all her concerns. Offer best child support voluntarily and have written terms for access and visitation.

What are the steps to be taken by the wife heading for mutual divorce?

Avoid emotional expression or passive decisions. Have a supporting expense sheet if you have children. Also work towards a backup plan for being self sustained because any amount of alimony or maintenance is not enough for lifetime and it is impractical to expect that divorce can be your life cover.

Children should be the area of highest concern for both parents.

Most marriages break down because the litigants waste precious time in blaming one another. Most divorce proceedings are also delayed due to same reasons.

Can a divorce be concluded in just one day?

It takes 6 months mandatory waiting time once you initiate a mutual consent divorce. But one can prefer an advance petition and ask for waiver of 6 months statutory period subject to fulfillment of certain conditions as per guidelines set by the Supreme Court

Is it better to have the terms ready before filing for divorce or let the court decide?

It is always better to resolve all disputes by holding lengthy joint meetings in a legally competent person’s office and not make too many changes thereafter.

Also stick to legal points rather than involving too many people who may go off tangent and spoil the case further.

Contested cases are expensive and time consuming especially if you are not well advised. Pay for mediation and get the best solution than getting mentally embroiled in a divorce saga.

Albeit some cases are only fit for contested divorce and deserving of lenghty trials but by and large all matters even contested cases get converted midway to mutual divorce.

Hence, detailed discussions on all points of maintenance, custody or residence and visitation rights should be clearly understood by both parties to avoid future conflicts.

Some couples who don’t resolve these points often end up with arguments in court before the counselor. And even police intervention is required.

One does need to develop enough patience to achieve a smooth closure.

Can divorcing parents get joint child custody? 

There is no legal term like joint custody. While one parent gets custody, other parent is granted visitation rights. The primary guardianship goes to the person who takes custody while both parents are providers.

Can a parent be forced to visit a child?

No there is no legal provision for that. Parent can only be legally forced to provide financial support.

Can a child inhert rights to parental property after divorce?

Yes, the child has succession rights to properties owned by both parents. However if the parent has remarried, the first line of succession goes to the surviving spouse along with other surviving children.

How much alimony can a wife ask for in a consent divorce?

These terms are discussed and settled upon mutual understanding. The husband can also give more than what he earns if he has means to pay. The court is not concerned from where the money has come.

 

Dr Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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