How many months after marriage can divorce by mutual consent petition be filed by Hindu Marriage Act?
I was told that the petition can only be filed after one year from the date of marriage. I got married in Oct. 2007. When is the earliest date by which I can file the divorce by mutual consent petition?
Yes dear this is true that as a general rule you cannot file petition for divorce within one year from the date of marriage. Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 provides: – No petition for divorce to be presented within one year of marriage. – (1) notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, it shall not be competent for any Court to entertain any petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, unless at the date of the presentation of the petition one year has elapsed since the date of the marriage:
Provided that the court may, upon application made to it in accordance with such rules as may be made by the High Court in that behalf, allow a petition to be presented before one year has elapsed since the date of the marriage on the ground that the case is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent, but, if it appears to the court at the hearing of the petition that petitioner obtained leave to present the petition by any mis-representation or concealment of the nature of the case, the court may, if it pronounces a decree, do so subject to the condition that the decree shall not have effect until after the expiry of one year from the date of the marriage or may dismiss the petition without prejudice to any petition which may be brought after the expiration of the said one year upon the same or substantially the same facts as those alleged in support of the petition so dismissed.
(2) In disposing of any application under this section for leave to present a petition for divorce before the expiration of one year from the date of the marriage, the court shall have regard to the interests of any children of the marriage and to the question whether there is a reasonable probability of a reconciliation between the parties before the expiration of the said one year.
So as you see above the general rule debars any petition within first year of the marriage but proviso to the main rule provides relief for the parties to file petition for divorce within first year of marriage if case is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent. The Delhi High Court had taken exception to the main rule & allowed divorce by mutual consent within first year of the marriage as in the given case the court was satisfied that the facts of that case followed the rules framed by the High Court in another case fully applicable & in that case the parties would be suffering exceptional hardship & exceptional depravity if the divorce was not allowed. So if the facts & circumstances of your case are some what similar to the discussed case by me you too can move joint petition for mutual consent under section 13-B HMA, now along with an application under Section 14 of the HMA & pray to the Family court to grant you divorce now quoting the Delhi High Court judgments & explaining the facts & circumstances of your case are one of exceptional hardship & depravity hence divorce be granted & the decree of divorce may please be issued in your favor.