Divorce by Mutual Consent
Although problems with marriage and divorce are not confined to the United States by any means, the specific causes and solutions may vary according to the country they occur in. News from India shows that even though it is half-way around the world, many of the same stress factors of modern life affect marriages, and ultimately, divorces in that nation.
Statistics from Family Court in Pune, the eighth largest metropolis in India, show that the incidence of divorce has nearly doubled for couples who utilize the country’s more liberal mutual consent divorce option. Mutual consent in India is similar to no fault divorce in this country and couples who want to end their marriage with as little trauma as possible will opt for divorce by mutual consent to save time, money and headaches. Unfortunately, like no fault divorce laws here, many in India feel the ease of mutual consent divorce makes it too easy to terminate marriages.
Instead of an Indian divorce taking years to wind through the system, divorce by mutual consent doesn’t allow for any courtroom testimony and all financial and custody issues are mutually agreed upon in advance. After six months, the couple can file an affidavit with the family court accompanied by a counselor’s report and go their own ways. Mutual consent is faster, costs less and is less stressful on any children that may be involved too.
Statistics from the family court in Pune show the speed and ease of mutual consent divorce in India has attracted a growing portion of the Indian population to the point that there has been a 45% rise in divorce by mutual consent in the past five years from 2005 to 2010. In just one court the number of petitions rose from 729 in 2005 to 1,130 in 2010. The statistics also showed that of the total number of mutual consent divorce petitions, over 50% were from couples who had been married less than three years.
With the rise of urban lifestyles in India, young married couples now face new challenges like differences in career goals and the erosion of family values and diminishing social reinforcement to keep a marriage going. In the cities, couples live by themselves without benefit of the traditional joint-family system where there used to be elders in the home to temper the mood. Many modern Indian working couples now face long hours at work apart from each other and adultery at the workplace is not an uncommon occurrence. That more Indian couples would look to divorce as a quick solution to the problem of coping with the stress of modern urban lifestyle is not surprising at all.