Article from Times of India
When marriages break down and couples want to end it with as little trauma as possible, divorce by mutual consent is what many are opting for.
As such divorce cases by mutual consent have gone up in the past five years, statistics from the family court in Pune show.Of the total number of divorce cases filed every year since 2005, petitions under mutual consent constituted over 65 per cent. From 729 petitions in 2005, the number went up to 1,130 in 2010, a rise of about 45 per cent. Till this February, 100 cases were registered.
In another alarming trend, counsellors said that over 50 per cent of mutual consent divorce petitions were from couples who had not completed three years of marriage.
Lawyers dealing with such cases said that couples with irrevocable differences prefer divorce by mutual consent as it goes a long way in saving time, money and effort. Besides, it is less traumatic, they added.
The divorce can come through in six months. Advocate Sunil Kotlikar, vice-president of the Pune Bar Association, said, "Usually, a divorce can take years to come through. When it is by mutual consent, allegations and counter-allegations are withheld, finances are sorted out and custody issues of children are amicably decided."
The in-laws are not dragged into it, unlike cases where the woman has filed for a divorce citing cruelty under Section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, he added.
"At the end of six months, the couple's advocate files an affidavit before the family court accompanied by the counsellor's report and the couple go their own ways. This saves a considerable amount of time, money and effort, besides being beneficial from the children's point of view," he said.
The sad part is that mutual consent divorce leaves no chance for any attempt to save the marriage, the staff at the family court said. According to a senior marriage counsellor, the rate of reconciliation between couples filing for divorce under the mutual consent clause is as little as 3-4 per cent, In other divorce cases, it is 16-18 per cent. "Cases of reconciliation are only a few as little effort is made to engage the couple in a dialogue. Moreover, the real reasons for the estrangement emerge rarely," said Kotlikar.
It happens because both have decided to separate and going through the counselling procedure to look at a possible reconciliation is only a formality. "The partners have already closed their minds to the possibility of giving their marriage a second chance," he said.
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