DIVORCE, BREAKUP AND FINANCIAL SEPARATION

INTRODUCTION

Since the evolution of mankind, we know the importance of men and women. Both are like the wheels attached to the axel of a car i.e., they need to be perfectly aligned. If there’s a little imperfection, the whole journey becomes unpleasant. Here if I talk about misalignment, I mean toxic relationships that is common for centuries, but no one cares about it. In fact, it is considered normal in many cases because there’s an old saying, ‘things will get better with time. It is true in some cases, where the reason could be the misunderstanding between the two. In such circumstances, things get sorted out quickly. But we should not forget the fact that in a relationship, there’s a need to have some amount of maturity in both the partners or at least anyone should be that mature and responsible to manage the situation.

DIVORCE

If we try to understand the term, then its simplest definition could be as when a husband and wife decide not to live together anymore or they don’t even want to be married to each other. In this process, they both mutually agree to sign the legal papers that make them single legally. After this process, they can marry other people if they wish. Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act[1] describes divorce among people who are Hindus or followers of Sikhism.

The grounds for divorce under this act are Adultery, Cruelty, Desertion, Conversion, Mental Disorder, Leprosy. Under the Muslim law, section 2 in the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939[2], individuals can dissolute their marriage if they are Muslim by religion. A Muslim woman can seek divorce when the husband’s whereabouts are unknown for years, unable to provide Maintenance, imprisoned for 7 or more years, or unable to meet the marital obligations. Indians who are Christian by religion can dissolve their marriage under the Indian Divorce Act of 1869[3] under Section 10. Section 32 in the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936[4] gives the provision of dissolving the marriages among Parsis.

The grounds for divorce under this act are, absence of seven years, unsound mind, pregnancy by some other man, an act of cruelty, Adultery, imprisonment for seven or more years. In India, these are some of the legal provisions among different religions. This process might sound simple, but it is not that easy for both partners to end a marriage. In some cases, they spend a lot of time trying to solve the problems way before agreeing to divorce. But sometimes they cannot fix the relationship and in the end to dissolve their marriage. Change is a natural part of life, but when it occurs to one family or relatives, it is often really hard to deal with that situation. In most of the scenarios, if the couple has kids, they are the most suffered. Many kids don’t want their parents to get divorced. Some of them have mixed emotions, especially when they knew about their parents were not that happy together. Sometimes kids feel relieved when their parents get separated, the reason being the frequent fights between the parents during the marriage.

It is worth mentioning that couples divorce for a lot of reasons. It’s usually when the couples face a lot of problems together. Simultaneously anger builds and they clash with each other a lot and say some bad things to each other that leads to a toxic relationship. In some cases, they fall in love with some other person and they try to get separated from each other. Divorce can be understood more like a western concept that made the life of the population easier. In India, it is not that easy to get divorced since marriages in India involves the whole family of both sides. In some rural parts of India, the couple sometimes gets pressurized a lot by their family members to stay together just for the sake of respect and dignity of their families.

Breakup

The simplest definition could be said as the termination or end of a relationship. It is different from a divorce as it cannot happen between two married couples. In common terms, it is often said as ‘dumping’. It usually happens in teens and adults. It can be seen commonly in couples who are in a live-in relationship or between teenagers. Breaking up is never that easy, as there is a range of emotions that are contended between the individuals, some of which could last a bit longer than others.

A breakup can become one of the most stressful experiences in one’s life. Even when a relationship is no longer good, a breakup can be extremely painful since it represents the loss, not just of the partnership, but also of the dreams and commitments one shared with each other. It can launch an individual into uncharted territory, brings uncertainty about the future. In most of the cases, individuals suffer from a lot of mental health problems or sometimes they go to a small state of mental trauma.

Financial Separation

This can be said as an alternative to divorce which is useful in some cases. It is a court-ordered arrangement where a married couple lives apart, which leads to a separate life. It is considered as a popular alternative to a divorce when the parties are unsure about the state of their marriage but they try to establish a financial boundary and responsibility. However, for those who want a divorce, a legal separation is required before a judge grants a divorce. Although the reason behind seeking for a lawful separation may vary, there are some normal ones worth mentioning.

A few religions do not allow couples from separating; a lawful separation concedes the majority of the advantages of a separation without compromising religious tenets. Additionally, those uncertain of their marital future might pick a lawful separation, expecting for a reconciliation. However, parents act as a separate unit, the family may remain together, maintaining stability and order, for the most part. Many couples choose to separate without a court order as it is simpler and avoids expensive proceedings. The growing trend towards informal separations and no-fault divorces is making the formal legal separation process increasingly rare. There are two types of separation, Trial Separation where there is an informal decision by the couple to temporarily separate. Another being Permanent Separation, where the couple ultimately took their decision to separate from each other permanently.

Conclusion

If we try to summarise the above-mentioned terms, separation is the common motive. It is said that if we try to squeeze a lemon a lot, it becomes bitter. The same applies to a relationship. Whether it is a marriage, an affair or something else, if it is not working out properly then it is wiser to leave that in the first place. One should not wait until it becomes toxic, as one should keep in his/her mind that in the end self-esteem, mental peace and living life independently should be someones topmost priority.

Author(s) Name: Arnab Mandal (University- Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National Law University, Sonepat)

[1] The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

[2] The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939.

[3] The Divorce Act, 1869.

[4] The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936.

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