Liberalizing Divorce Laws

Aug 8, 2012 by

The United States is not the only place where no fault divorce is making the news as more countries around the world are liberalizing their divorce laws. The courts in India are having to make a bit of adjustment as that country moves to amend their old divorce laws to include the ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ as sufficient grounds for divorce. The government’s family courts are preparing to deal with an increase in divorce and child custody cases the change is expected to bring.

Despite the imminent law changes the High Court in New Delhi has recently issued statements reminding citizens that “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” is not yet a recognized ground for divorce and that marriage is still perceived as a holy union in India. Indian Justices have said that there should be safeguards in place when incorporating irretrievable breakdown as specific ground for divorce in the Hindu Marriage Act. The High Court issued statements saying there should be a minimum period before which such a no fault ground like irretrievable breakdown can be used and all divorces should first be subject to the condition that there is proof that the wife will receive the proper amount of money in any settlements. The High Court also said that in cases where a divorcing couple has children, the maintenance, education and upbringing, visitation rights for those children should be decided in court during the divorce hearing itself.

Noting that trying to preserve an unworkable marriage which has long since ceased to be viable is bound to be a greater source of misery than a divorce itself, the Indian High Court admitted the changes will take some time to sort out and that “Divorce has not become a cakewalk yet,” simply due to the new laws.


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