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Filing mutual consent divorce in Kolkata

By Shivendra Pratap Singh

I live abroad but now due to lockdown, I am with my husband in Kolkata. Due to a lack of compatibility, I want to get a divorce from him. We were married in Feb 2018. How can I initiate a mutual divorce and is there any online procedure?

Question from: West Bengal

You can file a suit for divorce by mutual consent under section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act. Mutual consent divorce is an agreement, hence, the consent of both parties is mandatory. Without the consent of your husband, you cannot move a petition under section 13-B.

According to section 13-B, the following are the essential conditions for the mutual consent divorce. 

  • Parties have been living separately for a period of one year or more, 
  • They have not been able to live together and they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved.

The word living separately has a very broad connotation. If the spouse is living in a single roof but there is no marital relationship then they can file suit for mutual consent divorce. You have been living abroad for more than one year but due to lockdown bound to live with him. 

This fact will not prevent you from filing such a suit. If there is no marital relationship between the spouse for more than one year then they can invoke section 13-B and get mutual consent divorce. It is a time-consuming procedure and the court will grant six months to eighteen months cooling period to rethink the divorce. If spouses agree to get divorced and show their free consent then the court will pass the decree of divorce. 

Online filing 

There is no such facility in the district court to file the suit online. You should contact a lawyer and prepare a plaint and file it along with the affidavit. The affidavit will be signed by the parties. In mutual consent divorce, you have to prepare a deed which will contain all the terms and conditions upon which parties agree to get mutual consent divorce. You can settle your maintenance issue, stridhan, properties or any other issue pertaining to the marital dispute.

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