Legal Article

Mutual consent divorce is an agreement between spouses

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article | Divorce Cases

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Published on: 2 Feb, 2023

Mutual consent divorce is a type of divorce where both spouses agree to end their marriage and come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, and support. In a mutual consent divorce, the spouses work together to reach a mutually acceptable solution without going to court.

This type of divorce can be less adversarial and more amicable than other types of divorce, and is often faster and less expensive than a traditional divorce that goes through the court system. However, it is important to note that even in a mutual consent divorce, the agreement should be reviewed by a lawyer to ensure that it is legally binding and fair to both parties.

Overall, mutual consent divorce can be a good option for couples who are able to communicate effectively and reach a mutual understanding on the terms of their separation.

To file for a mutual consent divorce under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act in India, you need to follow these steps:

  1. File a joint petition: Both spouses must jointly file a petition in the family court seeking a divorce by mutual consent. The petition should be signed by both spouses and include a statement that they are no longer able to live together as husband and wife and that they have mutually agreed to dissolve the marriage.
  2. Wait for the cooling-off period: After the joint petition is filed, the court will order a cooling-off period of at least six months to ensure that the spouses are not making the decision to divorce impulsively. During this time, the court will provide an opportunity for reconciliation between the spouses. In exceptional circumstances the court can waive the cooling off period.
  3. Attend counseling sessions: During the cooling-off period, the court may require the spouses to attend counseling sessions with a marriage counselor. The counselor will help the spouses understand the impact of the divorce on themselves and their children and whether they should reconsider their decision to divorce.
  4. File a second motion: After the cooling-off period has passed, the spouses can file a second motion in the family court seeking a decree of divorce. The motion should include the original joint petition and a statement that the spouses still wish to proceed with the divorce.
  5. Final hearing: After the second motion is filed, the court will schedule a final hearing. During the hearing, the judge will ask both spouses to confirm that they still wish to proceed with the divorce and that they have reached a mutually acceptable agreement on all aspects of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and support.
  6. Grant of divorce: If the court is satisfied that the spouses have genuinely agreed to the divorce, it will grant the decree of divorce, officially dissolving the marriage.

It is important to note that the process of obtaining a mutual consent divorce under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act can be complex and requires a clear understanding of the legal requirements. It is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a qualified divorce lawyer to guide you through the process and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.