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For other uses, see Divorce (disambiguation).
Family law
Marriage and other
euivalent or similar unions and status
!ypes of marriages
"renuptial agreement
#ivil union
Domestic partnership
$alidity of marriages
$oid and $oidable marriages
Dissolution of marriages
&rounds for divorce
Matrimonial #auses %ct
'egal separation
"arenting plan
(esidence ()* (+.W. and ,-))
"arental rights
#ustody +valuator ()...)
"arenting coordinator ()...)
/ther issues
#hild custody
'egal guardian
#hild support
#ontact 0 $isitation
#%F#%.. ()* (+.W.))
&randparent visitation
).,. (ights of the #hild
#hildren1s rights
Foster care
"arental child abduction
"rivate international law
"rivate international law
2ague #onvention (adoption)
-nternational child abduction
2ague #onvention (child abduction)
!he Family and the #riminal #ode
(or #riminal 'aw)
"aternity fraud
#". ()...)
#hild abuse
Domestic violence
Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the termination of a marital union,
the canceling and7or reorgani8ing of the legal duties and responsibilities of
marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple
under the rule of law of the particular country and7or state.
Divorce should not be confused with annulment, which declares the marriage
null and void9 with legal separation (a legal process by which a married
couple may formali8e a de facto separation while remaining legally married)
or with de facto separation (a process where the spouses informally stop
Divorce laws vary considerably around the world, but in most countries it
reuires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process. !he legal
process of divorce may also involve issues of alimony (spousal support), child
custody, child visitation 7 access, parenting time, child support, distribution of
property, and division of debt. -n most countries monogamy is reuired by
law, so divorce allows each former partner to marry another9 where polygyny
is legal but polyandry is not, divorce allows the woman to marry a new
Divorce can be a stressful e:perience; a<ecting =nances, living
arrangements, household >obs, schedules, parenting and the outcomes of
children of the marriage as they face each stage of development from
childhood to adulthood. -f the family includes children, they may be deeply
!he only countries that do not allow divorce are the "hilippines and the
$atican #ity, an ecclesiastical state, which has no procedure for divorce.
#ountries that have relatively recently legali8ed divorce are -taly (?@AB),
"ortugal (?@AC), 3ra8il (?@AA), .pain (?@D?), %rgentina (?@DA),5E6 -reland
(?@@F), #hile (EBBG)5H6 and Malta (EB??).
? /verview
E 'aw
E.? !ypes of divorce
E.?.? #ontested divorce
E.?.E %t4fault divorce
E.?.H .ummary divorce
E.?.G ,o4fault divorce
E.?.C )ncontested divorce
E.?.F #ollaborative divorce
E.?.A Mediated divorce
H "olygamy and divorce
G +<ects of divorce
G.? Divorce and relationships
G.E +<ects of divorce on children
G.E.? "sychological
G.E.E %cademic and socioeconomic
G.H Divorce amongst the elderly
C .tatistics
C.? %sia
C.E +urope
C.H ,orth %merica
C.H.? )nited .tates
C.G /ceania
F Divorce of same4se: married couples ()nited .tates)
F.? (ights of spouses to custody of children
F.E .ame4se: divorce in a state that does not recogni8e same4se:
A 2istory
A.? &reco4(oman culture
A.E Medieval +urope
A.H .ecularisation in +urope
A.G Iapan
A.C -ndia
A.F -slam
A.A !he "hilippines
D #auses of divorce
@ (eligion and divorce
?B &ender and divorce
?? .ee also
?E (eferences
?H Further reading
?G +:ternal links
Divorce grounds vary signi=cantly from country to country. Marriage is
(particularly in the West) seen as a contract, as such, the refusal or inability
of one spouse to perform the obligations stipulated in the contract may
constitute a ground for divorce for the other spouse. Jet, in some countries,
(such as .weden,5G6 Finland,5C6 %ustralia,5F6 ,ew Kealand5A6) divorce is
purely no fault. Many >urisdictions o<er both the option of a no fault divorce
as well as an at fault divorce. !his is the case, for e:ample, in many ). states
(see &rounds for divorce ()nited .tates)).
!hough divorce laws vary between >urisdictions, there are two basic
approaches to divorce; fault based and no4fault based. 2owever, even in
some >urisdictions that do not reuire a party to claim fault of their partner, a
court may still take into account the behavior of the parties when dividing
property, debts, evaluating custody, shared care arrangements and support.
-n some >urisdictions one spouse may be forced to pay the attorney1s fees of
another spouse.5D6
'aws vary as to the waiting period before a divorce is e<ective. %lso,
residency reuirements vary. 2owever, issues of division of property are
typically determined by the law of the >urisdiction in which the property is
-n +urope divorce laws di<er from country to country, reLecting di<ering legal
and cultural traditions. -n some countries, particularly (but not only) in some
former communist countries, divorce can only be obtained on one singe
general ground of Miretrivable breakdown of the marriageM (or a similar
formulation). Jet, what constitutes such a MbreakdownM of the marriage is
interpreted very di<erently from >urisdiction to >urisdiction, ranging from very
liberal interpretations (e.g. ,etherlands 5?B6) to uite restrictive ones (for
instance in "oland there must be an Mirretrievable and complete
disintegration of matrimonial lifeM, but there are many restrictions to granting
a divorce).5??65?E6 .eparation constitutes a ground of divorce in some
+uropean countries (in &ermany for instance a divorce is granted on the basis
of one year separation if both spouses consent, or three years separation if
only one spouse consents).5?H6 -t is important to note that MseparationM does
not necessarily mean separate residences 4 in some >urisdictions living in the
same household but leading a separate life (e.g. eating, sleeping, sociali8ing
etc. separately) is suNcient to constitute de facto separation9 this is e:plicitly
stated, for instance, in the family law of 'atvia.5?G6
Divorce laws are not static, they often change reLecting evolving social
norms of societies. -n the E?st century, many +uropean countries have made
changes to their divorce laws, in particular by reducing the length of the
necessary periods of separation, e.g. .cotland in EBBF (? or E years from the
previous E or C years)9 France in EBBC (E years from the previous F years),
5?C6 .wit8erland in EBBC (E years from the previous G years),5?F6 &reece in
EBBD (E years from the previous G years).5?A6 .ome countries have
completely overhauled their divorce laws, such as .pain in EBBC,5?D6 and
"ortugal in EBBD. % new divorce law also came into force in .eptember EBBA
in 3elgium, creating a new system that is primarily no4fault.5?@6 -n -taly
however, the divorce laws still remain traditionally based, with divorce being
a relatively complicated and lengthy process. %ustria is another +uropean
country where the divorce law remains conservative. 5EB6
!he liberali8ation of divorce laws is not without opposition, particularly in the
)nited .tates. -ndeed, in the )., conservative and religious organi8ations are
lobbying for laws which restrict divorce. -n EB??, in the )., the #oalition for
Divorce (eform was established, describing itself as an organi8ation
Mdedicated to supporting e<orts to reduce unnecessary divorce and promote
healthy marriagesM.5E?6
.ee also; Divorce law by country
!ypes of divorce
Despite this, in some countries the courts will seldom apply principles of fault,
but might willingly hold a party liable for a breach of a =duciary duty to his or
her spouse (for e:ample, see Family #ode .ections AEB and ??BB of the
#alifornia Family #ode). &rounds for divorce di<ers from state to state in the
)... .ome states have no4fault divorce9 some states reuire a declaration of
fault on the part of one partner or both9 .ome state allow either method.5EE6
-n most >urisdictions, a divorce must be certi=ed (or ordered by a Iudge) by a
court of law to come into e<ect. !he terms of the divorce are usually
determined by the courts, though they may take into account prenuptial
agreements or post4nuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the
spouses may have agreed to privately (this is not true in the )nited .tates,
where agreements related to the marriage typically have to be rendered in
writing to be enforceable). -n absence of agreement, a contested divorce may
be stressful to the spouses.
-n some other countries,5whereO6 when the spouses agree to divorce and to
the terms of the divorce, it can be certi=ed by a non4>udiciary administrative
entity. !he e<ect of a divorce is that both parties are free to marry again.
#ontested divorce
#ontested divorces mean that one of several issues are reuired to be heard
by a >udge at trial levelPthis is more e:pensive, and the parties will have to
pay for a lawyer1s time and preparation. -n such a divorce the spouses are not
able to agree on issues for instance child custody and division of marital
assets. -n such situations, the litigation process takes longer to conclude.5EH6
!he >udge controls the outcome of the case.5EG6 'ess adversarial approaches
to divorce settlements have recently emerged, such as mediation and
collaborative divorce settlement, which negotiate mutually acceptable
resolution to conLicts. !his principle in the )nited .tates is called 1%lternative
Dispute (esolution1 and has gained popularity.
%t4fault divorce
3efore the late ?@FBs, nearly all countries that permitted divorce reuired
proof by one party that the other party had committed an act incompatible to
the marriage. !his was termed MgroundsM for divorce (popularly called MfaultM)
and was the only way to terminate a marriage. Most >urisdictions around the
world still reuire such proof of fault. -n the )nited .tates, no4fault divorce is
available in all CB states, as is the case with %ustralia, ,ew Kealand, #anada
and other Western countries.
Fault4based divorces can be contested9 evaluation of o<enses may involve
allegations of collusion of the parties (working together to get the divorce), or
condonation (approving the o<ense), connivance (tricking someone into
committing an o<ense), or provocation by the other party. #ontested fault
divorces can be e:pensive, and not usually practical as eventually most
divorces are granted. #omparative rectitude is a doctrine used to determine
which spouse is more at fault when both spouses are guilty of breaches.5EC6
!he grounds for a divorce which a party could raise and need to prove
included 1desertion,1 1abandonment,1 1cruelty,1 or 1adultery.1 !he reuirement
of proving a ground was revised (and withdrawn) by the terms of 1no4fault1
statutes, which became popular in many Western countries in the late ?@FBs
and early ?@ABs. -n 1no4fault1 >urisdictions divorce can be obtained either on a
simple allegation of 1irreconcilable di<erences,1 1irretrievable break4down1, or
1incompatibility1 with respect to the marriage relationship, or on the ground of
de facto separation.5EF6
.ummary divorce
% summary (or simple) divorce, available in some >urisdictions, is used when
spouses meet certain eligibility reuirements, or can agree on key issues
*ey factors;
,o4fault divorce
.ome Western >urisdictions have a no4fault divorce system, which reuires no
allegation or proof of fault of either party.5EA6 !he barest of assertions suNce.
For e:ample, in countries that reuire Mirretrievable breakdownM, the mere
assertion that the marriage has broken down will satisfy the >udicial oNcer. -n
other >urisdictions reuiring irreconcilable di<erences, the mere allegation
that the marriage has been irreparable by these di<erences is enough for
granting a divorce. #ourts will not inuire into facts. % MyesM is enough, even
if the other party vehemently says MnoM.
!he application can be made by either party or by both parties >ointly.
-n >urisdictions adopting the 1no4fault1 principle in divorce proceedings, some
courts may still take into account the behavior of the parties when dividing
property, debts, evaluating custody, and supportPfacts that almost always
have considerable weight in fault proceedings.5citation needed6 -n custody
cases, courts might consider factors that may appear like 1fault1 based issues
but are really related to protection of the child or children. !hese may include
but are not limited to one or both parent1s substance abuse, history of
violence, cruelty, instability, neglect or endangerment.
.hort marriage (less than C years)
,o children (or, in some states, when the spouses have resolved custody
and set child support payments for children of the marriage)
Minimal or no real property (no mortgage)
Marital property is under a threshold (around QHC,BBB not including
+ach spouse1s personal property is under a threshold (typically the same
as marital property)
)ncontested divorce
-t is estimated that upwards of @CR of divorces in the )... are MuncontestedM,
because the two parties are able to come to an agreement (either with or
without lawyers7mediators7collaborative counsel) about the property,
children, and support issues. When the parties can agree and present the
court with a fair and euitable agreement, approval of the divorce is almost
guaranteed. -f the two parties cannot come to an agreement, they may ask
the court to decide how to split property and deal with the custody of their
children. !hough this may be necessary, the courts would prefer parties come
to an agreement prior to entering court.5citation needed6
Where the issues are not comple: and the parties are cooperative, a
settlement often can be directly negotiated between them. -n the ma>ority of
cases, forms are acuired from their respective state websites and a =ling fee
is paid to the state.5ED6 Most )... states charge between Q?AC and QHCB for a
simple divorce =ling.5E@65HB65H?6 #ollaborative divorce and mediated divorce
are considered uncontested divorces.
3ecause of additional reuirements that must be met, most military divorces
are typically uncontested.
-n the )nited .tates, many state court systems are e:periencing an
increasing proportion of pro se (i.e., litigants represent themselves without a
lawyer) in divorce cases. 5HE6 -n .an Diego, for e:ample, the number of
divorce =lings involving at least one self4representing litigant rose from GFR
in ?@@E to AAR in EBBB, and in Florida from FFR in ?@@@ to AHR in EBB?.
)rban courts in #alifornia report that appro:imately DBR of the new divorce
=lings are =led pro se.5HH6
#ollaborative divorce
#ollaborative divorce is a method for divorcing couples to come to agreement
on divorce issues. -n a collaborative divorce, the parties negotiate an agreed
resolution with the assistance of attorneys who are trained in the
collaborative divorce process and in mediation, and often with the assistance
of a neutral =nancial specialist and7or divorce coach(es). !he parties are
empowered to make their own decisions based on their own needs and
interests, but with complete information and full professional support.
/nce the collaborative divorce starts, the lawyers are disuali=ed from
representing the parties in a contested legal proceeding, should the
collaborative law process end prematurely. Most attorneys who practice
collaborative divorce claim that it can be more cost4e<ective than other
divorce methods, e.g., going to court. +:pense, they say, has to be looked at
under the headings of =nancial and emotional. %lso, the e:perience of
working collaboratively tends to improve communication between the parties,
particularly when collaborative coaches are involved, and the possibility of
going back to court post4separation or divorce is minimi8ed. -n the course of
the collaboration, should the parties not reach any agreements, any
documents or information e:changed during the collaborative process cannot
be used in court e:cept by agreement between the parties.
,either can any of the professional team retained in the course of the
collaboration be brought to court. +ssentially, they have the same protections
as in mediation. !here are two e:ceptions; ?) %ny aNdavit sworn in the
course of the collaboration and vouching documentation attaching to same
and E) any interim agreement made and signed o< in the course of the
collaboration or correspondence relating thereto. !he parties are in control of
the time they are prepared to give their collaboration. .ome people need a
lot of time to complete, whereas others will reach solutions in a few meetings.
#ollaborative practitioners o<er a tightly orchestrated model with meetings
scheduled in advance every two weeks, and the range of items to be
discussed apportioned in advance of signing up as well as the more open
ended process, the clients decide.5citation needed6
Mediated divorce
Divorce mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce litigation. -n a
divorce mediation session, a mediator facilitates the discussion between the
two parties by assisting with communication and providing information and
suggestions to help resolve di<erences. %t the end of the mediation process,
the separating parties have typically developed a tailored divorce agreement
that can be submitted to the court. Mediation sessions can include either
party1s attorneys, a neutral attorney, or an attorney4mediator who can inform
both parties of their legal rights, but does not provide advice to either, or can
be conducted with the assistance of a facilitative or transformative mediator
without attorneys present at all. .ome mediation companies, such as
Wevorce, also pair clients with counselors, =nancial planners and other
professionals to work through common mediation sticking points.5HG6 Divorce
mediators may be attorneys who have e:perience in divorce cases, or they
may be professional mediators who are not attorneys, but who have training
speci=cally in the area of family court matters. Divorce mediation can be
signi=cantly less costly, both =nancially and emotionally, than litigation. !he
adherence rate to mediated agreements is much higher than that of
adherence to court orders.5citation needed6
"olygamy and divorce
"olygamy is a signi=cant structural factor governing divorce in countries
where this is permitted. 'ittle4to4no analysis has been completed to e:plicitly
e:plain the link between marital instability and polygamy which leads to
divorce. !he freuency of divorce rises in polygamous marriages compared to
monogamous relationships. Within polygamous unions, di<erences in
con>ugal stability are found to occur by wife order. !here are H main
mechanisms through which polygamy a<ects divorce; economic restraint,
se:ual satisfaction, and childlessness. Many women escape economic
restraint through divorcing their spouses when they are allowed to initiate a
MIust DivorcedSM hand4written on an automobile1s rear window.
+<ects of divorce
.ome of the e<ects associated with divorce include academic, behavioral,
and psychological problems. %lthough this may not always be true, studies
suggest that children from divorced families are more likely to e:hibit such
behavioral issues than those from non4divorced families.5HF6
Divorce and relationships
(esearch done at ,orthern -llinois )niversity on Family and #hild .tudies
suggests that divorce of couples e:periencing high conLict can have a
positive e<ect on families by reducing conLict in the home. !here are,
however, many instances when the parent4child relationship may su<er due
to divorce. Financial support is many times lost when an adult goes through a
divorce. !he adult may be obligated to obtain additional work to maintain
=nancial stability. -n turn, this can lead to a negative relationship between the
parent and child9 the relationship may su<er due to lack of attention towards
the child as well as minimal parental supervision5HF6
.tudies have also shown that parental skills decrease after a divorce occurs9
however, this e<ect is only a temporary change. T% number of researchers
have shown that a diseuilibrium, including diminished parenting skills,
occurs in the year following the divorce but that by two years after the
divorce re4stabili8ation has occurred and parenting skills have improvedU5HA6
.ome couples choose divorce even when one spouse1s desire to remain
married is greater than the other spouse1s desire to obtain a divorce. -n
economics this is known as the Kelder "arado:, and is more common with
marriages that have produced children, and less common with childless
couples.5citation needed6
-n an %merican "sychological %ssociation study of parentsV relocation after a
divorce, researchers found that a move has a long4term e<ect on children. -n
the =rst study conducted amongst E,BBB college students on the e<ects of
parental relocation relating to their children1s well4being after divorce,
researchers found ma>or di<erences. -n divorced families in which one parent
moved, the students received less =nancial support from their parents
compared with divorced families in which neither parent moved. !hese
=ndings also imply other negative outcomes for these students, such as more
distress related to the divorce and did not feel a sense of emotional support
from their parents. %lthough the data suggests negative outcomes for these
students whose parents relocate after divorce, there is insuNcient research
that can alone prove the overall well4being of the child5HD6 % newer study in
the Iournal of Family "sychology found that parents who move more than an
hour away from their children after a divorce are much less well o< than
those parents who stayed in the same location5H@6
+<ects of divorce on children
Divorce is associated with diminished psychological well4being in children and
adult o<spring of divorced parents, including greater unhappiness, less
satisfaction with life, weaker sense of personal control, an:iety, depression,
and greater use of mental health services. % preponderance of evidence
indicates that there is a causal e<ect between divorce and these outcomes.
#hildren of divorced parents are also more likely to e:perience conLict in
their own marriages, and are more likely to e:perience divorce themselves.
!hey are also more likely to be involved in short4term cohabiting
relationships, which often dissolve before marriage.5GB6
%ccording to ,icholas Wall, former "resident of the Family Division of the
+nglish 2igh #ourt, M"eople think that post4separation parenting is easy W in
fact, it is e:ceedingly diNcult, and as a rule of thumb my e:perience is that
the more intelligent the parent, the more intractable the dispute. !here is
nothing worse, for most children, than for their parents to denigrate each
other. "arents simply do not reali8e the damage they do to their children by
the battles they wage over them. .eparating parents rarely behave
reasonably, although they always believe that they are doing so, and that the
other party is behaving unreasonably.M5G?6
%lthough not the intention of most parents, putting children in the middle of
conLict is particularly detrimental. +:amples of this are asking children to
carry messages between parents, grilling children about the other parent1s
activities, and putting the other parent down in front of the children. 2igh4
conLict divorce or custody cases can e:perience varying forms of "arental
%lienation. !he Family #ourts often consider "arental %lienation as a form of
child abuse. .peci=c e:amples of "arental %lienation include brainwashing
the child to cease their relationship with the other parent, telling the child
that the other parent does not love them, teaching the child to call another
adult by a parental name in e<ort to replace the other parent, limiting
communication between the child and the other parent, and limiting uality
time between the child and the other parent. -f evidence reveals that a parent
is actively alienating the child from their other parent, their case for custody
can be severely damaged.5GE6
"oorly managed conLict between parents increases children1s risk of behavior
problems, depression, substance abuse and dependence, poor social skills,
and poor academic performance. Fortunately, there are approaches by which
divorce professionals can help parents reduce conLict. /ptions include
mediation, collaborative divorce, coparent counseling, and parenting
+:posure to marital conLict and instability, most often has negative
conseuences for children. .everal mechanisms are likely to be responsible.
First, observing overt conLict between parents is a direct stressor for children.
/bservational studies reveal that children react to inter4parental conLict with
fear, anger, or the inhibition of normal behavior. "reschool children W who
tend to be egocentric W may blame themselves for marital conLict, resulting
in feelings of guilt and lowered self4esteem. #onLict between parents also
tends to spill over and negatively a<ect the uality of parents1 interactions
with their children. (esearchers found that the associations between marital
conLict and children1s e:ternali8ing and internali8ing problems were largely
mediated by parents1 use of harsh punishment and parent4child conLict.
Furthermore, modeling verbal or physical aggression, parents MteachM their
children that disagreements are resolved through conLict rather than calm
discussion. %s a result, children may not learn the social skills (such as the
ability to negotiate and reach compromises) that are necessary to form
mutually rewarding relationships with peers 5GG6
%cademic and socioeconomic
#hildren who have e:perienced a divorce freuently have lower academic
achievement than children from non4divorced families5GC6 -n a review of
family and school factors related to adolescentsV academic performance, it
noted that a child from a divorced family is two times more likely to drop out
of high school than a child from a non4divorced family. !hese children from
divorced families may also be less likely to attend college, resulting in the
discontinuation of their academic career.5GF6
Many times academic problems are associated with those children from
single4parent families. .tudies have shown that this issue may be directly
related to the economical inLuence of divorce. % divorce may result in the
parent and children moving to an area with a higher poverty rate and a poor
education system all due to the =nancial struggles of a single parent.5GA6
#hildren of divorced parents also achieve lower levels of socioeconomic
status, income, and wealth accumulation than children of continuously
married parents. !hese outcomes are associated with lower educational
Joung men or women between the ages of A and ?F who had e:perienced the
divorce of their parents were more likely than youths who had not
e:perienced the divorce of their parents to leave home because of friction, to
cohabit before marriage, and to parent a child before marriage.5GD6
Divorce amongst the elderly
%ccording to a ,ew Jork !imes article, TMore %mericans (e>ecting Marriage in
CBs and 3eyondU, in the past EB years, the divorce rate has increased over
CBR amongst the baby boomers. More and more adults are staying single
and according to an analysis of census data conducted at 3owling &reen
.tate )niversity in /hio, they say the divorce numbers will continue to rise.
3aby boomers that remain unmarried are =ve times more likely to live in
poverty compared to those who are married. %ccording to the statistics, they
will also be three times as likely to receive food stamps, public assistance or
disability payments5G@6
.ociologists believe that the rise in the number of older %mericans who are
not married is a result of factors such as longevity and economics. Women,
especially, are becoming more and more =nancially independent which allows
them to feel more secure with being alone. -n previous generations, being
divorced or single was seen di<erently now. !his has resulted in less pressure
for baby boomers to marry or stay married.5G@6
Further information; Divorce demography
-n Iapan, divorces were on a generally upward trend from the ?@FBs until
EBBE when they hit a peak of E@B,BBB. .ince then, both the number of
divorces and the divorce rate have declined for si: years straight. -n EB?B,
the number of divorces totaled EC?,BBB, and the divorce rate was ?.@@ (per
?,BBB population).5CB6
/ne study estimated that legal reforms accounted for about EBR of the
increase in divorce rates in +urope between ?@FB and EBBE.5citation needed6
,orth %merica
)nited .tates
Main article; Divorce in the )nited .tates
/n average, =rst marriages that end in divorce last about eight years.5C?6 /f
the =rst marriages for women from ?@CC to ?@C@, about A@R marked their
?Cth anniversary, compared with only CAR for women who married for the
=rst time from ?@DC to ?@D@.5C?6 !he median time between divorce and a
second marriage was about three and a half years.5C?6
-n EBB@, the divorce rate declined.5CE6
% ?@@C study found a wide range of factors correlating with the divorce rate
including freuency of se:, wealth, race, and religious commitment.5CH6
5clari=cation needed6
-n EBB?, marriages between people of di<erent faiths were three times more
likely to be divorced than those of the same faith. -n a ?@@H study, members
of two mainline "rotestant religions had a EBR chance of being divorced in C
years9 a #atholic and an +vangelical, a HHR chance9 a Iew and a #hristian, a
GBR chance.5CG6
% study5CC6 by the 3arna &roup,5CF6 that conducts polls of interest to
#hristians, reports that a higher divorce rate was associated with infreuent
church attendance.
.uccess in marriage has been associated with higher education and higher
age. D?R of college graduates, over EF years of age, who wed in the ?@DBs,
were still married EB years later. FCR of college graduates under EF, who
married in the ?@DBs, were still married EB years later. G@R of high school
graduates under EF years old, who married in the ?@DBs, were still married
EB years later.5CA6 E.@R of adults age HCWH@ without a college degree
divorced in the year EBB@, compared with ?.FR with a college education.5CD6
% population study found that in EBBG and EBBD, liberal4voting states have
lower rates of divorce than conservative4voting states, possibly because
people in liberal states tend to wait longer before getting married.5C@6 %n
analysis of this study found it to be misleading due to sampling at an
aggregate level. -t revealed that when sampling the same data by individuals,
(epublican leaning voters are less likely to have a divorce or e:tramarital
a<air than Democrat leaning voters and independents.5FB65F?6
!he ,ational #enter for 2ealth .tatistics reports that from ?@AC to ?@DD in
the )..., in families with children present, wives =le for divorce in
appro:imately two4thirds of cases. -n ?@AC, A?.GR of the cases were =led by
women, and in ?@DD, FCR were =led by women.5FE6 -t is estimated that
upwards of @CR of divorces in the )... are MuncontestedM, because the two
parties are able to come to an agreement without a hearing (either with or
without lawyers7mediators7collaborative counsel) about the property,
children, and support issues.
% EB?? study found a ?R increase in the unemployment rate correlated with
a ?R decrease in the divorce rate,5FH6 presumably because more people
were =nancially challenged to a<ord the legal proceedings.
-n %ustralia, nearly every third marriage ends in divorce. %fter reaching a
peak divorce rate of E.A per ?BBB residents in EBB?, the %ustralian rate
declined to E.H per ?BBB in EBBA.5FG6
Divorce of same4se: married couples ()nited .tates)
&lobe icon.
!he e:amples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the
)nited .tates and do not represent a worldwide view of the sub>ect. "lease
improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (%pril EB?H)
.ome states permit same4se: marriage. For same4se: couples in the )nited
.tates, divorce law is in its infancy and is less than clear on how such unions
may be legally dissolved in another state. For e:ample, if a same4se: couple
is married in a state that recogni8es gay marriage but returns to reside in a
state that does not, they might =nd themselves in a situation where their own
state, in failing to recogni8e their union will also fail to enable them to
divorce. -n addition, splitting up the couple1s =nancial resources may prove to
be legally diNcult and well as determining which spouse is entitled to the
custody of their children.5FC6
(ights of spouses to custody of children
)pon dissolution of a same4se: marriage, legal uestions remain as to the
rights of spouses to custody of the biological children of their spouses.5FC6
)nresolved legal uestions abound in this area.5FF6
#hild custody policies include several guidelines that determine with whom
the child lives following divorce, how time is divided in >oint custody
situations, and visitation rights. !he most freuently applied custody
guideline is the XXbest interests of the childVV standard, which takes into
account the parentsV preferences, the childVs preferences, the interactions
between parents and children, childrenVs ad>ustment, and all family membersV
mental and physical health.5FA6
.ame4se: divorce in a state that does not recogni8e same4se: marriage
.ince same4se: marriages are not recogni8ed in a multitude of states,
couples who are married in states that do recogni8e same4se: marriages will
=nd themselves in a position of being precluded from dissolving their
marriages in the states in which they live. When this happens, legal uestions
will remain unanswered as to which state laws will be applicable to determine
the rights of each divorcing partner.5FD6 -n addition, special problems will
present themselves when same4se: couples cannot be divorced in states that
do recogni8e same se: marriage because they are not residents of such
&reco4(oman culture
.ee also; Marriage in ancient (ome
(oman married couple.
!he ancient %thenians liberally allowed divorce, but the person reuesting
divorce had to submit the reuest to a magistrate, and the magistrate could
determine whether the reasons given were suNcient.
Divorce was rare in early (oman culture but as their empire grew in power
and authority (oman civil law embraced the ma:im, Mmatrimonia debent esse
liberaM (Mmarriages ought to be freeM), and either husband or wife could
renounce the marriage at will. !hough civil authority rarely intervened in
divorces, social and familial taboos guaranteed that divorce occurred only
after serious circumspection.5citation needed6 !he #hristian emperors
#onstantine and !heodosius restricted the grounds for divorce to grave
cause, but this was rela:ed by Iustinian in the si:th century.
Medieval +urope
%fter the fall of the (oman +mpire, familial life was regulated more by
ecclesiastical authority than civil authority. 3y the ninth or tenth century, the
divorce rate had been greatly reduced under the inLuence of the #hurch,5AB6
which considered marriage a sacrament instituted by &od and #hrist
indissoluble by mere human action.5A?6
%lthough divorce, as known today, was generally prohibited after the tenth
century, separation of husband and wife and the annulment of marriage were
well4known. What is today referred to as Mseparate maintenanceM (or Mlegal
separationM) was termed Mdivorce a mensa et thoroM (Mdivorce from bed4and4
boardM). !he husband and wife physically separated and were forbidden to
live or cohabit together9 but their marital relationship did not fully terminate.
5AE6 #ivil courts had no power over marriage or divorce. !he grounds for
annulment were determined by #hurch authority and applied in ecclesiastical
courts. %nnulment was for canonical causes of impediment e:isting at the
time of the marriage. MFor in cases of total divorce, the marriage is declared
null, as having been absolutely unlawful ab initio.M5AH65AG65AC6 !he #hurch
held that the sacrament of marriage produced one person from two,
inseparable from each other; M3y marriage the husband and wife are one
person in law; that is, the very being of legal e:istence of the woman is
suspended during the marriage or at least incorporated and consolidated into
that of the husband; under whose wing, protection and cover, she performs
everything.M5AF6 .ince husband and wife became one person upon marriage,
that oneness could only be annulled if the parties improperly entered into the
marriage initially.
.ecularisation in +urope
2enry $--- of +ngland broke with the #atholic #hurch in order to obtain a
%fter the (eformation, marriage came to be considered a civil contract in the
new "rotestant regions of +urope, and on that basis civil authorities gradually
asserted their power to decree a Mdivortium a vinculo matrimoniiM, or Mdivorce
from all the bonds of marriageM.
.ince no precedents e:isted de=ning the circumstances under which
marriage could be dissolved, civil courts heavily relied on the previous
determinations of the ecclesiastic courts and freely adopted the reuirements
set down by those courts. %s the civil courts assumed the power to dissolve
marriages, courts still strictly construed the circumstances under which they
would grant a divorce,5AA6 and considered divorce to be contrary to public
policy. 3ecause divorce was considered to be against the public interest, civil
courts refused to grant a divorce if evidence revealed any hint of complicity
between the husband and wife to divorce, or if they attempted to
manufacture grounds for a divorce. Divorce was granted only because one
party to the marriage had violated a sacred vow to the Minnocent spouseM. -f
both husband and wife were guilty, Mneither would be allowed to escape the
bonds of marriageM.5AD6
+ventually, the idea that a marriage could be dissolved in cases in which one
of the parties violated the sacred vow gradually allowed e:pansion of the
grounds upon which divorce could be granted from those grounds which
e:isted at the time of the marriage to grounds which occurred after the
marriage, but which e:empli=ed violation of that vow, such as abandonment,
adultery, or Me:treme crueltyM.5A@6 %n e:ception to this trend was the
%nglican #hurch, which maintained the doctrine of marital indissolubility.
During the +nglish #ivil War, the "uritans brieLy passed a law that divested
marriage of all sacrament, leaving it as a secular contract that could be
broken. Iohn Milton wrote four divorce tracts from ?FGHW?FGC that argued for
the legitimacy of divorce on grounds of spousal incompatibility. 2is ideas
were ahead of their time9 arguing for divorce at all, let alone a version of no4
fault divorce, was e:tremely controversial and religious =gures sought to ban
his tracts.5DB6 -n ?FAB a precedent was =rst set with an %ct of "arliament
allowing 'ord Iohn Manners to divorce his wife, 'ady %nne "ierpon, and until
the passage of the Matrimonial #auses %ct ?DCA, divorce could only be
obtained through a speci=c %ct of "arliament.5D?6
IosYphine, =rst wife of ,apoleon, obtained the civil dissolution of her
marriage under the ,apoleonic #ode of ?DBG.
!he move towards secularisation and liberalisation was reinforced by the
individualistic and secular ideals of the +nlightenment. !he +nlightened
absolutist, *ing Frederick -- (Mthe &reatM) of "russia enshrined a new divorce
law in ?ACE, in which marriage was declared to be a purely private concern,
allowing divorce to be granted on the basis of mutual consent. !his new
system heavily inLuenced the law in neighbouring %ustria under +mperor
Ioseph --, where it was applied to all non4#atholic -mperial sub>ects.5DE6
Divorce was legalised in France after the French revolution on a similar basis,
although the legal order of the ancien regime was reinstated at the 3ourbon
restoration of ?D?F. !he trend in +urope throughout the ?@th century, was
one of increased liberalisation9 by the mid4?@th century divorce was generally
granted by civil courts in the case of adultery.
-n 3ritain before ?DCA wives were under the economic and legal control of
their husbands, and divorce was almost impossible. -t reuired a very
e:pensive private act of "arliament costing perhaps ZEBB, of the sort only the
richest could possibly a<ord. -t was very diNcult to secure divorce on the
grounds of adultery, desertion, or cruelty. !he =rst key legislative victory
came with the Matrimonial #auses %ct of ?DCA, which passed over the
strenuous opposition of the highly traditional #hurch of +ngland. !he new law
made divorce a civil a<air of the courts, rather than a #hurch matter, with a
new civil court in 'ondon handling all cases. !he process was still uite
e:pensive, at about ZGB, but now became feasible for the middle class. %
woman who obtained a >udicial separation took the status of a feme sole, with
full control of her own civil rights. %dditional amendments came in ?DAD,
which allowed for separations handled by local >ustices of the peace. !he
#hurch of +ngland blocked further reforms until the =nal breakthrough came
with the Matrimonial #auses %ct ?@AH. 5DH65DG6
Divorce rates increased markedly during the twentieth century in developed
countries, as social attitudes towards family and se: changed dramatically.
5DC6 %mong the nations in which divorce has become commonplace are the
)nited .tates,5DF6 #anada, %ustralia, &ermany, ,ew Kealand, .candinavia,
and the )nited *ingdom.5citation needed6 Z
-n the +do "eriod (?FBHW?DFD), only husbands could divorce their wives by
writing letters of divorce. 3ut actually, their relatives or marriage arrangers
often kept these letters and tried to restore the marriages. -t was not allowed
for wives to divorce their husbands. .ome wives were able to gain sanctuary
in certain .hinto Mdivorce templesM for several years, and were able to obtain
a divorce thereby.5DA65DD6 -n ?@th century Iapan, at least one in eight
marriages ended in divorce.
!here are four types of divorce in Iapan; Divorce by agreement in which the
divorce is mutual, divorce by mediation which happens in family court,
divorce by decision of family court that takes place when a couple cannot
complete a divorce through mediation, and divorce by >udgment of district
/n an all4-ndia level, the .pecial Marriage %ct was passed in ?@CG, is an inter4
religious marriage law permitting -ndian nationals to marry and divorce
irrespective of their religion or faith. !he 2indu Marriage %ct, in ?@CC which
legally permitted divorce to 2indus and other communities who chose to
marry under these acts. !he -ndian Divorce %ct ?DF@ 5@B6 is the law relating
to the divorce of person professing the #hristian religion. Divorce can be
sought by a husband or wife on grounds including adultery, cruelty, desertion
for two years, religious conversion, mental abnormality, venereal disease,
and leprosy.5@?6 Divorce is also available based on mutual consent of both
the spouses, which can be =led after at least one year of separated living.
Mutual consent divorce can not be appealed, and the law mandates a
minimum period of si: months (from the time divorce is applied for) for
divorce to be granted.5@E6 While a Muslim husband can unilaterally bring an
end to the marriage by pronouncing tala,5@H6 Muslim women must go to
court, claiming any of the grounds provided under the Dissolution of Muslim
Marriage %ct.5@G6
/Ncial =gures of divorce rates are not available, but it has been estimated
that ? in ?BB or another =gure of ?? in ?,BBB marriages in -ndia end up in
$arious communities are governed by speci=c marital legislation, distinct to
2indu Marriage %ct, and conseuently have their own divorce laws;
!he "arsi Marriage and Divorce %ct, ?@HF5@F6
!he Dissolution of Muslim Marriage act, ?@H@5@A6
!he Foreign Marriage %ct, ?@F@5@D6
%n amendment to the marriage laws to allow divorce based on Mirretrievable
breakdown of marriageM (as alleged by one of the spouses) is under
consideration in -ndia.5@@6 -n Iune EB?B, the )nion #abinet of -ndia approved
the Marriage 'aws (%mendment) 3ill EB?B, which, if cleared by "arliament,
would establish Mirretrievable breakdownM as a new ground for divorce.5?BB6
-n -slamic law and marital >urisprudence, divorce is referred to as tala.5?B?6
*hula is the right of a woman in -slam to divorce or separate from her
husband. !he triple tala is a mechanism for divorce which e:ists in .unni
sect of -slam while re>ected by the .hia sect. !ala (conLict) deals with the
relationship between religious and secular systems for terminating the
marriage in the conLict of laws.
%ccording to Jossef (apoport, in the ?Cth century, the rate of divorce was
higher than it is today in the modern Middle +ast, which has generally low
rates of divorce.5?BE6 -n ?Cth century +gypt, %l4.akhawi recorded the marital
history of CBB women, the largest sample on marriage in the Middle %ges,
and found that at least a third of all women in the Mamluk .ultanate of +gypt
and .yria married more than once, with many marrying three or more times.
%ccording to %l4.akhawi, as many as three out of ten marriages in ?Cth
century #airo ended in divorce.5?BH6 -n the early EBth century, some villages
in western Iava and the Malay peninsula had divorce rates as high as ABR.
!he "hilippines
Divorce as a means of terminating marriage is currently illegal in the
"hilippines, with the only other recourse in the predominantly (oman #atholic
republic being annulment. % couple may also separate according to the law
for various reasons including repeated spousal abuse against the petitioner, a
common child, or the e:clusive child of the petitioner9 homose:uality of one
or both spouses9 and marital abandonment.
/n Iuly EA, EB?B, &abriela Women1s "arty =led in #ongress 2ouse 3ill ,o
?A@@, or the Divorce 3ill of the "hilippines, as one of many attempts to
introduce pro4divorce legislation.
#auses of divorce
%n annual study in the )* by management consultants &rant !hornton,
estimates the main pro:imal causes of divorce based on surveys of
matrimonial lawyers.5?BG6
!he main causes in EBBG were;
%dultery9 +:tramarital se:9 -n=delity W EAR
Domestic violence W ?AR
Midlife crisis W ?HR
%ddictions, e.g. alcoholism and gambling W FR
Workaholism W FR
%ccording to this survey, husbands engaged in e:tramarital a<airs in ACR of
cases9 wives in ECR. -n cases of family strain, wives1 families were the
primary source of strain in ADR, compared to EER of husbands1 families.
+motional and physical abuse were more evenly split, with wives a<ected in
FBR and husbands in GBR of cases. -n ABR of workaholism4related divorces it
was husbands who were the cause, and in HBR, wives. !he EBBG survey
found that @HR of divorce cases were petitioned by wives, very few of which
were contested. CHR of divorces were of marriages that had lasted ?B to ?C
years, with GBR ending after C to ?B years. !he =rst C years are relatively
divorce4free, and if a marriage survives more than EB years it is unlikely to
end in divorce.
.ocial scientists study the causes of divorce in terms of underlying factors
that may possibly motivate divorce. /ne of these factors is the age at which a
person gets married9 delaying marriage may provide more opportunity or
e:perience in choosing a compatible partner.5C@65?BC6 Wage, income, and
se: ratios are other such underlying factors that have been included in
analyses by sociologists and economists.5?BF65?BA6
#ohabitation prior to marriage is associated with higher divorce rates, which
is called the cohabitation e<ect. +vidence suggests that this is partly due to
selection (people more likely to divorce being more likely to cohabit, and
cohabiting couples being more likely to marry with low levels of commitment)
as well as the e<ect of cohabitation itself on the marital union. !here is a
consensus among researchers that both of these factors e:plain the
cohabitation e<ect.5?BD6
(eligion and divorce
Main article; (eligion and divorce
-llustration shows the divorce proceedings of %nna &ould (an %merican
heiress and socialite) and 3oni de #astellane (a French nobleman), ?@BF,
"aris, France. 3oni de #astellane then sought an annulment from the $atican
so that he could be free to remarry in the #hurch. !he annulment case was
not =nally settled until ?@EG, when the highest $atican tribunal upheld the
validity of the marriage and denied the annulment.
-n some countries (commonly in +urope and ,orth %merica), the government
de=nes and administers marriages and divorces. While ceremonies may be
performed by religious oNcials on behalf of the state, a civil marriage and
thus, civil divorce (without the involvement of a religion) is also possible. Due
to di<ering standards and procedures, a couple can be legally unmarried,
married, or divorced by the state1s de=nition, but have a di<erent status as
de=ned by a religious order. /ther countries use religious law to administer
marriages and divorces, eliminating this distinction. -n these cases, religious
oNcials are generally responsible for interpretation and implementation.
-slam allows divorce, and it can be initiated by either the husband or the wife.
2owever, the initiations are sub>ect to certain conditions and waiting periods,
which are meant to force the initiating party to reconsider.5?B@6
Dharmic religions do not allow divorce.5citation needed6 #hristian views of
divorce vary, with #atholic teaching allowing only annulment, but most other
denominations discouraging but allowing divorce. Iewish views of divorce
di<er, with (eform Iudaism considering civil divorces adeuate. #onservative
and /rthodo: Iudaism reuire that the husband grant his wife a divorce in the
form of a get.
!he Millet .ystem, where each religious group regulates its own marriages
and divorces, is still present in varying degrees in some post[/ttoman
countries like -ra, .yria, Iordan, 'ebanon, -srael, the "alestinian %uthority,
+gypt, and &reece. .everal countries use sharia (-slamic law) to administrate
marriages and divorces for Muslims. !hus, Marriage in -srael is administered
separately by each religious community (Iews, #hristians, Muslims, and
Dru8e), and there is no provision for interfaith marriages other than marrying
in another country. For Iews, marriage and divorce are administered by
/rthodo: rabbis. "artners can =le for divorce either in rabbinical court or
-sraeli civil court.5??B6
&ender and divorce
%ccording to a study published in the %merican 'aw and +conomics (eview,
women have =led slightly more than two4thirds of divorce cases in the )nited
.tates.5???6 !his trend is mirrored in the )* where a recent study into web
search behavior found that ABR of divorce inuiries were from women. !hese
=ndings also correlate with the /Nce for ,ational .tatistics publication
MDivorces in +ngland and Wales EB?EM which reported that divorce petitions
from women outnumber those from men by E to ?.
(egarding divorce settlements, according to the EBBG &rant !hornton survey
in the )*, women obtained a better or considerably better settlement than
men in FBR of cases. -n HBR of cases the assets were split CB4CB, and in only
?BR of cases did men achieve better settlements (down from EGR the
previous year). !he report concluded that the percentage of shared residence
orders would need to increase in order for more euitable =nancial divisions
to become the norm.5?BG6
.ome >urisdictions give uneual rights to men and women when =ling for
divorce.5citation needed6
For couples to #onservative or /rthodo: Iewish law (which by -sraeli civil law
includes all Iews in -srael), the husband must grant his wife a divorce through
a document called a get. -f the man refuses, the woman can appeal to a court
or the community to pressure the husband. % woman whose husband refuses
to grant the get or who is missing is called an agunah, is still married, and
therefore cannot remarry. )nder /rthodo: law, children of an e:tramarital
a<air involving a married Iewish woman are considered mam8erim
(illegitimate) and cannot marry non4mam8erim.5??B6
.ee also
Divorce law around the world
Divorce of same4se: couplesPlegal aspects, divorce rates
Divorce party
Dysfunctional family
Fear of commitment
&rey divorce
-mplications of divorce
'ist of most e:pensive divorces
"rimary physical custody
(elationship counseling
(elationship education
Wife selling
Wife selling (+nglish custom)
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M!he marriage can be dissolved if it has broken down. !he marriage has
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%bout &eorge 3arna !he 3arna &roup. %ccessed on ?D ,ovember EB?B.
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,ew Jork; !ime. p. GA.
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%ssociated "ress. (etrieved /ctober EF, EB??.
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Ioyner, Iames. MDo (epublicans #heat MoreOM. /utside the 3eltway.
(etrieved E? Ianuary EB?G.
!aylor, "aul. M(epublicans; .till 2appy #ampersM. "ew (esearch #enter.
(etrieved E? Ianuary EB?G.
M%dvance (eport of Final Divorce .tatistics, ?@DDM ("DF). Monthly $ital
.tatistics (eport H@ (?E (supplement E)). ?@@?4BC4E?.
.hankar $edantam (EB??4?E4EB). MMarriage +conomy; 1- #ouldn1t %<ord !o
&et Divorced1M. ,"(. (etrieved EB?E4B?4?G.
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.tatisticsM. EBB@4BH4B?. (etrieved EB?B4BF4??.
2aberman, #lyde (EB??4BF4EA). M%fter .ame4.e: Marriage in ,.J., .ame4
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&oodman, M. M*now Jour (ights; Freuently %sked ^uestions about ,ew
Jork1s Marriage +uality %ct (EB??)M. ,ew Jork #ivil 'iberties )nion (,J#')).
(etrieved EB?E4BH4EA.
Dye, Iessica (EB??4BF4EC). M,ew Jork marriage bill paves way for same4se:
divorceM. (euters. (etrieved EB?E4BH4EA.
*ent1s #ommentaries on %merican 'aw, p. @F (?Gth ed. ?D@F))
#anons of the #ouncil of !rent, !wenty4fourth .ession. M.ession the !wenty4
FourthM. 'ondon; Dolman. ?DGD. pp. ?@EWEHE
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Missing or empty `title_ (help)
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'ibrary spec. ed. ?@DG).
*ent1s #ommentaries on %merican 'aw, p. ?EEC, n. ?.
+.#oke, -nstitutes of the 'aws of +ngland, EHC ('egal #lassics 'ibrary spec.
ed. ?@DC).
3lackstone, #ommentaries on the 'aws of +ngland, p. GHC ('egal #lassics
'ibrary spec. ed. ?@DG.
3lackstone, #ommentaries on the 'aws of +ngland, p. GE@.
*ent1s #ommentaries on %merican 'aw, p. GB?.
*ent1s #ommentaries on %merican 'aw, p. ?GA.
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"rinters of the Mind and /ther +ssays. )niversity of Massachusetts "ress. pp.
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#ontinuum "ublishing #ompany.
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'awrence .tone. (oad to Divorce; +ngland ?CHB4?@DA (?@@B)
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?@?G) (?@HE) pp
MDivorceM. oocities. (etrieved H Iune EB?H.
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M%merican #iti8en .ervices4 Divorce -n IapanM. (etrieved EB??4B@4??.
http;> -ndian
Divorce %ct 43are %ct
M11$aklino.com11 4 M!he 2indu Marriage %ct, ?@CCM (.ection ?H)M.
$akilno?.com. (etrieved EB?E4BH4EA.
M11indiankanoon.org11 4 M.ection ?H3 in the 2indu Marriage %ctMM. (etrieved EB?E4BH4EA.
>udgment relating to divorce
http;\menu7act7pdf7muslim.pdf Dissolution of Muslim
Marriage %ct4 bare %ct
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(etrieved EB??4B@4??.
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(etrieved EB?E4BH4EA.
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-ndiaO ` -ndia -nsightM. (etrieved EB?E4BH4EA.
M"ress -nformation 3ureau +nglish (eleasesM. " (etrieved EB?E4BH4
aM!alakM.+ncyclopaedia of -slam
(apoport, Jossef (EBBC). Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval -slamic
.ociety. #ambridge )niversity "ress. p. E. -.3, B4CE?4DGA?C4b.
(apoport, Jossef (EBBC). Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval -slamic
.ociety. #ambridge )niversity "ress. pp. CWF. -.3, B4CE?4DGA?C4b.
&ary .. 3ecker, +li8abeth 'andes, and (obert Michael (?@AA), M%n
+conomic %nalysis of Marital -nstability.M Iournal of "olitical +conomy DC;
&ary .. 3ecker (?@D?,?@@?). % !reatise on the Family6, 2arvard )niversity
"ress, -.3, B4FAG4@BF@D4C
.hoshana &rossbard4.hechtman,?@@H. /n the +conomics of Marriage W %
!heory of Marriage, 'abor and Divorce. 3oulder, #/; Westview "ress.
Manning, W. D.9 #ohen, I. %. (EB?E). M"remarital #ohabitation and Marital
Dissolution; %n +:amination of (ecent MarriagesM. Iournal of Marriage and
Family AG (E); HAAWHDA. doi;?B.????7>.?AG?4HAHA.EB?E.BB@FB.:. "M#
HGDAAB@. "M-D EH?E@DAC. edit
%n -slamic "erspective on Divorce, May ?@@@.
M)nder -srael1s Divorce 'aws, Men &et !he Final WordM. EB?B4BG4BA.
(etrieved EB?B4BC4EG.
3rinig, Margaret9 Douglas W. %llen (EBBB). M!hese 3oots %re Made for
Walking; Why Most Divorce Filers are WomenM. %merican 'aw and +conomics
(eview E (?); ?EFW?E@. doi;?B.?B@H7aler7E.?.?EF.
Further reading
%lford, William "., M2ave Jou +aten, 2ave Jou DivorcedO Debating the
Meaning of Freedom in Marriage in #hinaM, in (ealms of Freedom in Modern
#hina (William #. *irby ed., .tanford )niversity "ress, EBBG).
3erlin, &. (EBBG). !he +<ects of Marriage and Divorce on Families and
#hildren (etrieved March ?H, EB?E
Davies, ". !. 0 #ummings +. M. (?@@G). Marital #onLict and #hild
%d>ustment; %n +motional .ecurity 2ypothesis. %merican "sychological
%ssociation "sychological 3ulletin, ??F, HDA4G??. (etrieved March ?H, EB?E
Foulkes4Iamison, '. (EBB?). !he +<ects of Divorce on #hildren (etrieved
March ?H, EB?E
2ughes (. (EBB@). !he +<ects of Divorce on #hildren (etrieved March ?H,
Iolivet, *. (. (EB??). !he "sychosocial -mpact of Divorce on #hildren; What
is a Family 'awyer to DoO %merican Iournal of Family 'aw, ?AC4?D?. (etrieved
on March ?H, EB?E
"hillips, (oderick (?@@?). )ntying the knot; a short history of divorce.
#ambridge, )*; #ambridge )niversity "ress. -.3, B4CE?4GEHAB4D.
.inger, Ioseph (EBBC). M.ame .e: Marriage, Full Faith and #redit, and the
+vasion of /bligationM. "aci=c &amble (obinson ?; ?WC?.
.trong, 3., De$ault #., 0 #ohen !. F. (EB??). !he Marriage and Family
+:perience; -ntimate (elationships in a #hanging .ociety. 3elmont, #%;
Wadsworth #engage 'earning.
!homas, .. &. (EB??, /ctober ED). !he &ood Divorce. !he ,ew Jork !imes.
(etrieved March ?C, EB?E
+:ternal links
'ook up divorce in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia #ommons has media related to Divorce.
Wikisource has original te:t related to this article;
.ocietal aspects of divorce at DM/K
'egal aspects of divorce at DM/K
+urostat 4 .tatistics +:plained 4 Marriage and divorce statistics
Divorce rates across countries by +urostat
#hildren and Divorce. (EB?B)
!his article incorporates te:t from the )nited .tates ,ational 'ibrary of
Medicine (5?B6), which is in the public domain.
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divorce and separation; an overview
% divorce formally dissolves a legal marriage. While married couples do not
possess a constitutional or legal right to divorce, states permit divorces
because to do so best serves public policy. !o ensure that a particular divorce
serves public policy interests, some states reuire a Mcooling4o< period,M
which prescribes a time period after legal separation that spouses must bear
before they can initiate divorce proceedings.
#ourts in the )nited .tates currently recogni8e two types of divorces;
absolute divorce, known as Mdivorce a vinculo matrimoniiM and limited
divorce, known as Mdivorce a menso et thoroM. !o obtain an absolute divorce,
courts reuire some type of evidentiary showing of misconduct or wrongdoing
on one spouse1s part. %n absolute divorce is a >udicial termination of a legal
marriage. %n absolute divorce results in the changing back of both parties1
statuses to single. 'imited divorces are typically referred to as separation
decrees. 'imited divorces result in termination of the right to cohabitate but
the court refrains from oNcially dissolving the marriage and the parties1
statuses remain unchanged. .ome states permit conversion divorce.
#onversion divorce transforms a legal separation into a legal divorce after
both parties have been separated for a statutorily4prescribed period of time.
Many states have enacted no4fault divorce statutes. ,o fault divorce statutes
do not reuire showing spousal misconduct and are a response to outdated
divorce statutes that reuire proof of adultery or some other unsavory act in
a court of law by the divorcing party. ,evertheless, even today, not all states
have enacted no fault divorce statutes. -nstead, the court must only =nd ?)
that the relationship is no longer viable, E) that irreconcilable di<erences
have caused an irremediable breakdown of the marriage, H) that discord or
conLict of personalities have destroyed the legit ends of the marital
relationship and prevents any reasonable possibility of reconciliation, or G)
that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
'ook to various state laws to determine the divorce law within a particular
>urisdiction. !he )niform Marriage and Divorce %ct may provide further
"roperty Division
Following a divorce, the court must divide the property between the spouses.
3efore legislatures euali8ed property allocation between both spouses,
many divorce statutes substantially favored property allocation to the wage4
earning spouse. !hese statutes greatly disadvantaged women
disproportionately because during the ?Dth, ?@th, and early4EBth centuries,
the participation of women in the workplace was much less than it has
become during the latter4half of the EBth century and early part of the E?st
century. !he statutes failed to account for the contributions of the spouse as
homemaker and child4raiser.
Modern courts recogni8e two di<erent types of property during property
division proceedings 4 marital property and separate property. Marital
property constitutes any property that the spouses acuire individually or
>ointly during the course of marriage. .eparate property constitutes any
property that one spouse purchased and possessed prior to the marriage and
that did not substantially change in value during the course of the marriage
because of the e<orts of one or both spouses. -f the separate property4
owning spouse trades the property for other property or sells the property,
the newly4acuired property or funds in consideration of the sale remain
separate property.
Modern division of property statutes strive for an euitable division of the
marital assets. %n euitable division does not necessarily involve an eual
division but rather an allocation that comports with fairness and >ustice after
a consideration of the totality of the circumstances. 3y dividing the assets
euitably, a >udge endeavors to e<ect the =nal separation of the parties and
to enable both parties to start their post4marital lives with some degree of
=nancial self4suNciency. While various >urisdictions permit recognition of
di<erent factors, most courts at least recogni8e the following factors;
contribution to the accumulation of marital property, the respective parties1
liabilities, whether one spouse received income4producing property while the
other did not, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the
respective parties, the earning capacity and employability of the respective
parties, the value of each party1s separate property, the pension and
retirement rights of each party, whether one party will receive custodial and
child support provisions, the respective contributions of the spouses as a
homemaker and as a parent, the ta: conseuences of the allocations, and
whether one spouse1s marital misconduct caused the divorce. Most
>urisdictions also give the family court >udge broad >urisdiction by providing
>udges with the right to consider any other >ust and proper factor.
When assigning property, >udges cannot transfer the separate property of one
spouse to another spouse without the legislature having previously passed an
enabling statute. Whether such an enabling statute e:ists varies between
%limony refers to payments from one spouse to the other. % court can order
one spouse to pay three di<erent types of alimony 4 permanent alimony,
temporary alimony, and rehabilitative alimony. "ermanent alimony reuires
the payer to continue paying either for the rest of the payer1s life or until the
spouse receiving payments remarries. !emporary alimony reuires payments
over a short interval of time so that the payment recipient can stand alone
once again. !he period of time covers the length of the property division
litigation. .imilar to temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony reuires the
payer to give the recipient short4term alimony after the property division
proceedings have concluded. (ehabilitative alimony endeavors to help a
spouse with lesser employability or earning capacity become ad>usted to a
new post4marital life.
#ourts allocate alimony with the intention of permitting a spouse to maintain
the standard of living to which the spouse has become accustomed. Factors
a<ecting whether the court awards alimony include the marriage1s length, the
length of separation before divorce, the parties1 ages, the parties1 respective
incomes, the parties1 future =nancial prospects, the health of the parties, and
the parties1 respective faults in causing the marriage1s demise.
-f a couple had children together while married, a court may reuire one
spouse to pay child support to the spouse with custody, but one should note
that alimony and child support di<er
From money to se: and everything in4betweenS
-f you think that se:ual in=delity is the leading cause of divorce, you1ve got it
all wrong. We polled over ?BB Jour!ango +:perts to see what they say are the
top reasons married couples decide to split, and, believe it or not,
communication problems came out on top as the number one reason
marriages fail. 2ere are some other culprits our e:perts blame for the
alarmingly high divorce rate.
?. &etting in for the wrong reasons.
Marrying for money P we1ve all heard that that is a ticket to a uick divorce,
but what about when you marry because it1s what you think you should doO

-1ve met many divorced women who say the problems that made them leave
were there right from the beginning but Meveryone e:pected us to live happily
ever afterM or Mwe had already spent so much money on the weddingM or Mwe
had >ust built our dream home.M .o, remember, until you say M- do,M you
always have the choice to say M- don1tSM
E. 'ack of individual identity.
% codependent relationship is not healthy. When you don1t have your own
interests or the opportunity to e:press yourself outside of coupledom, you
become Mcouple dumb.M
-f you are not comfortable doing things without your partner, or you don1t
know what kind of music, movies, or food you used to like, you are likely in
deep and you probably feel like you are drowning and don1t know why.
H. 3ecoming lost in the roles.
Iust as many couples MforgetM their single friends and single ways when they
get married, when you add children into the mi:, most parents soon neglect
or completely forget that they are a couple.
%s children grow and need less attention, many husbands and wives =nd that
they have grown apart and they can1t remember why they ever got married
in the =rst place because they no longer have anything in common.
G. ,ot having a shared vision of success.
M+verything changed when we got marriedSM 2e drives you cra8y because
you1re a saver and he1s a spender. Jour idea of a weekend getaway is a co8y
cottage in the woods9 your partner wants to the hit the town and catch a
game. 2e thinks it1s your >ob to cook and clean, but you disagree.
Why didn1t he mention these things beforeO Maybe you should have asked.
#hances are that he hasn1t changed P your e:pectations did. -s it possible to
survive ma>or di<erences in philosophyO -t is possible, but many do not.
C. !he intimacy dissapears.
.omewhere in a marriage there is a subtle change in the intimacy
department. /ne person has an o< day, there is a misunderstanding or
someone doesn1t feel well. !hen there1s the idea that he isn1t as romantic or
she isn1t as se:ual.
Whoever is the one with the subtle change can trigger a downward spiral in
the intimacy department. Men generally need se:ual receptivity to feel
romantic and women generally need romance to be se:ual receptive. %s long
as both people are getting what they need, they willingly provide what the
other person wants. 2owever, when there is a lessening on either1s part, that
can trigger a pulling back in the other. -f gone unnoticed and unchecked,
before the couple reali8es, they are seriously intimately estranged and
wonder what happened. !his can lead to divorce as couples begin to feel
unloved and unappreciated.
F. )nmet e:pectations.
.omewhere written into a human1s genetic code lie the instruction that when
a person isn1t happy, he or she is supposed to force his7her signi=cant to
make the changes reuired to make the unhappy person happy again. !his
usually takes the form of complaining, blaming, critici8ing, nagging,
threatening, punishing and7or bribing.
When one or both people in the marriage are attempting to coerce each other
into doing things they don1t want to do for their partner1s happiness, it is a
recipe for disaster. When you are unhappy in a relationship, it1s okay to ask
for the change you want. 3ut, if your partner doesn1t oblige you, then you
become responsible for your own happiness.
A. Finances.
-t1s not usually the lack of =nances that causes the divorce, but the lack of
compatibility in the =nancial arena.
/pposites can attract but when two people are opposites in the =nancial
department, divorce often ensues. -magine the conLict if one is a saver and
one is a spender. /ne is focused on the future while the other believes in
living for today. /ne has no problem buying on credit, while the other
believes in saving up for what one wants.
/ver time, this conLict can reach such heights that divorce seems to be the
only logical conclusion.
D. 3eing out of touch ... literally.
-1m talking about physical contact. /f course, se: is great, but you also need
to supplement it with little hello and goodbye kisses, impromptu hugs and
simply holding hands. #ouples who don1t maintain an intimate connection
through both se:ual and non4se:ual actions are destined to become virtual
@. Di<erent priorities and interests.
2aving shared interests and e:ploring them together is essential for a
successful marriage. /f course, having Mme timeM is important as well, but
unless you can =nd common passions and look for ways to e:perience them
together, you1ll imevitably grow farther and farther apart.
?B. -nability to resolve conLicts.
+very couple has disagreements. !he key is to develop ground rules so that
each partner feels respected and heard. .ometimes it takes a third party
MrefereeM to help de=ne those rules and teach us to move through the
charged emotions so resentments don1t linger.
'earn /nline
Digital 'ibrary

$ivaha (2indu Marriage)

2ome 7 2indu #ulture 7 $ivaha

$ivaha (-%.!; $ivha) (Marriage) (#itation; Mn.H.G). ,ishekam is the ritual
associated with =rst se:ual intercourse. -t is performed in the night of Gth day
after marriage.
$ivha is the .anskrit term for marriage. -n 2induism, it is viewed as one of
the saskras (sacraments) and not a contract. 2indu families are patrilocal.
? -nstitution of marriage
E !ype of marriage
H vaak daanam
G kanyaa daanam
C vara prekshanam
o C.? Madhuparka #eremony
o C.E "resentation of a ceremonial cow
F mangala snaanam and the wearing of the wedding clothes by the bride
A maangalya dhaaranam
D paani grahanam
@ sapta padi
?B pradhaana homam
?? stepping on the grinding stone
?E laa>a homam
?H griha pravesam
?G praavisya homam
?C !he giving away of the bride (*anya Daan)
?F !he ,uptial 2oma ($ivah4homa)
?A %cceptance of 2and ("ani4&rahanam)
?D .olemn vows ("ratigna4*aranam)
?@ %scending the slab 7 .tepping on the stone
EB !he fried4rice o<erings ('a>a42omah)
E? #ircumambulation of the sacred =re ("arikrama, "radakshina, or Mangal
EE .even .teps (.aptapadi)
EH .prinkling of water (%bhishek)
EG Meditating on the sun (.oorya Darshanam dhyaanam va)
EC !ouching the 2eart (2riday sparsh)
EF Meditating upon the "ole .tar and the %rundhati .tar (Dhruva dhyaanam
darshanam va)
EA "artaking of food (%nna praashanam)
ED 3enediction (%ashirvadah)
E@ $ivaha as a sacrament (sanskara)
-nstitution of marriage
%ccording to 2induism, marriage is a union between a male and a female
with a commitment so that they can pursue Dharma, %rtha (possessions) and
*ama (physical desires) together. -t >oins two families. -t is at once a gateway
to earthly life of pleasure, progress, prosperity and >oy as it is also an altar of
elevation to a level of spiritual e:perience. .ociety recogni8es and controls it
as it results in the procreation and nurture of future generation and thereby
inLuences the social and cultural growth of society. %ccording to Manusmriti,
or laws of Manu, there are eight di<erent types of 2indu marriages. ,ot all
eight have religious sanction. !he last four were not religiously de=ned and
were condemned. !hese are; 3rahma Marriage, Daiva Marriage, %rsha
Marriage, "ra>apatya Marriage, &andharva Marriage, %sura Marriage,
(akshasa Marriage, "aishacha Marriage.
!ype of marriage
+ight kinds of marriage are enumerated in Manu .mrti ---.EB4HG, these are5?6;
?. 3rahma $ivah; -n 3rahma marriage once the boy completes his
3rahmacharya %shram (student hood), he is eligible to get married. 2is
parents then approach the parents or guardian of a girl belonging to a good
family and same $arna and ask them for the hand of their daughter for their
son. !he father of the girl also carefully chooses the groom who is well versed
in $edas and of a noble character. !his is how a 3rahma marriage was
arranged. !here was no dowry system at that time9 a girl came with two
garments and a few ornaments only. %ccording to Dharmashastras, M3rahma
$ivahM is the best marriage among all.
E. Daiva $ivah; -f the girl is groomed with ornaments and married to a priest
during a sacri=ce, it is called Daiva $ivah. -n this type of marriage the girl1s
family wait for a reasonable period for a suitable man for their daughter but
when nobody turns up they go looking for a groom in such places where a
sacri=ce is being conducted. %ccording to the Dharmashastra, Daiva marriage
is considered inferior to 3rahma marriage because it is considered degrading
for the womanhood to look for groom.
H. %rsha $ivah; -n this type of marriage the bridegroom gives a cow and a
pair of bull to the guardian of girl. Marriages of this type used to happen
because the parents of the bride couldn1t a<ord the e:pense of their
daughter1s marriage at the right time according to the brahma rite. .o the girl
is married o< to an old sage. !he cows, which were taken in e:change of the
bride shows that even the groom does not have any remarkable ualities.
%ccording to sastras noble marriages had no monetary or business
transactions so this kind of marriages were not considered noble.
G. "ra>apatya $ivah; -n this type of marriage, the bride1s father goes in search
for a groom for his daughter. !he protection of the bride or daughter is
handed over by the father to the bridegroom during the "anigrahan
ceremony or the acceptance of the bride1s hands. !he actual wedding
ceremony takes place after "anigrahan.
C. &andharva $ivah; 2owever when a man and a woman marry with each
others consent but may not have the consent of their family then this
wedding is called &andharva $ivah or 1love marriage1.
F. %sura $ivah; -n the %sura type of marriage the groom is not at all suitable
for the bride . -n no way he is a match for the girl but the bridegroom willingly
gives as much wealth as he can a<ord to the bride1s parents and relatives. .o
the system of marriage is more like buying a product. -n %rsha type cows are
given in e:change for the bride but there is no compulsion like the %sura
type. +ven the groom is also not so rich and powerful like his counterpart in
%sura type.
A. (akshasa $ivah; -f a bride is taken by force and then persuades her to
marry. !his is not considered as the right kind of marriage as you are forcing
somebody to marry.
D. "aishacha $ivah; -n this type the girl1s wish is not considered whether she
wants to marry or not instead she was force to marry and even the bride1s
family is also not given anything in cash or kind. !his kind of marriage was
later prohibited. -t is considered as the most inferior type of marriage.
vaak daanam
!his step is a part of *anya $aranam, where the groom4to4be (brahmachari)
sends two elders on his behalf to the father of a girl whom he wishes to
marry. !he elders convey the message of the brahmachari and ask for the
daughter1s hand. !he two mantras in the form of brahmachari1s appeal to
intercede on his behalf come from (g ?B.HE.? (Mpra sugmantha...M) and
?B.DC.EH. !he =rst mantra begs the elders to proceed and return uickly with
success back from their mission on his behalf. !he second mantram
(Manruksharaa (>ava;...M) asks for the gods1 blessings for the elders1 safe
>ourney to the house of the father of the would4be4bride. !he mantra prays to
%ryama and 3haga for a marriage full of harmony. !he father accedes to the
reuest of the elders and the resulting agreement for betrothal is known as
vaak daanam.
kanyaa daanam
2ere, the brahmachari meets his prospective father4in4law. %s soon as the
bridegroomVs party arrives, they are warmly welcomed by the bride1s parents,
relatives and friends. %t the entrance of the hall, the threshold ceremony is
performed. !he oNciating priest chants a few mantras of blessings and
welcome. !he threshold ceremony reuires the brideVs mother to receive and
bless the groom with rice, red turmeric powder (kumkum) etc., by applying
tilak (red dot and uncooked rice) on the groomVs forehead. .he sprinkles rice
and red turmeric powder on the groom, and then blesses him with the palms
of both hands 4 stretching them close to the groomVs head. ,ow the priest
and the brideVs parents lead the bridegroom and his parents to the stage
where they are given appropriate seats. %ll the other guests take their seats
in the hall to witness the marriage ceremony.
!o the accompaniment of ceremonial mantras by the oNciating priest the
brideVs parents welcome the groom by invoking &odVs blessings and then
o<ering the bridegroom a nutritious drink called Madhuparka. !his is called
the Madhuparka #eremony, the origin of which dates back thousands of years
when (ishis and sages of -ndia used it as a way of welcoming guests.
vara prekshanam
-n this ritual, the bridegroom and the bride look at each other formally for the
=rst time. !he bridegroom worries about any doshas (defects) that the bride
might have and prays to the gods $aruna, 3rihaspati, -ndra and .urya to
remove every defect and to make her =t for harmonious and long marriage
life blessed with progeny and happiness (mantra; (g ?B.DC.GG). !he bride
groom recites the mantra and wipes the eyebrows of the bride with a blade of
darbha grass, as if he is chasing away all defects. !he darbha grass is thrown
behind the bride at the conclusion of this ceremony!he 3ridegroom shall
stand facing the east. !he 3ride shall stand facing the north. !he bride
(o<ering the seat or %sana, shall address the bridegroom as follows;
!he bride; %)M, !he noble one may accept and take the seat.
!he bridegroom; %)M, - am taking my seat. ( )
!he bride shall take her seat to the right of the bridegroom. !he bridegroom
performs the %chamana and %ngasparsha with water.
%ll 2indu religious ceremonies begin with two observances, namely %chaman
or sipping a small uantity of water and angasparsha or touching oneVs limbs
with oneVs right hand middle two =ngers with a little water. %chaman is
puri=catory and conducive to peaceful attitude of mind. %ngasparsha is
intended to pray for physical strength and alertness. %chaman and
%ngasparsha are performed with the aid of Mantras.
Madhuparka #eremony
2olding with his left hand a cup of Madhuparka (composed of honey, curd and
ghee or clari=ed butter), after removing the cover and looking at the
!he bridegroom says;
May the bree8e be sweet as honey9 may the streams Low full of honey and
may the herbs and plants be laden with honey for usS May the nights be
honey4sweet for us9 may the mornings be honey4sweet for us and may the
heavens be honey4sweet for usS May the plants be honey4sweet for us9 may
the sun be all honey for us and may the cows yield us honey4sweet milkS
M2oney4sweetM, in this case, means pleasant, advantageous, and conducive
to happiness. !he bridegroom shall pour out the Madhuparka into three cups
and then partake a little of it from each of the cups reciting the following
!he bridegroom; !he honey is the sweetest and the best. May - have food as
sweet and health4giving as this honey and may - be able to relish itS
"resentation of a ceremonial cow
!he bride father symbolically o<ers to the bridegroom a cow as a present. -n
olden times sons4in4law received real cows as gifts, since that was the most
precious asset with which a newly wedded couple could start life. !his part of
the tradition has been preserved by a symbolical presentation. %t the
conclusion of the =rst part of the wedding ceremony, it is customary to
present gifts to the bride. !he bridegroom presents the bride with gifts of
clothing and >ewellery thereby acknowledging his life4long duty to provide her
with the necessities of life.
!he father of the bride, o<ering to the bridegroom the present of a cow, a
=nger4ring or some other suitable article says;
!he father of the bride; %)M, ("lease) accept these presents.
!he bridegroom; %)M, - accept (these presents).
mangala snaanam and the wearing of the wedding clothes by the bride
Five $eda mantras are recited to sanctify the bride in preparation for the
subseuent stages of the marriage. !his aspect of the marriage is known as
mangala snanam. !he sun god (.urya), water god ($aruna), and other gods
are invoked to purify the bride in preparation for a harmonious married life.
,e:t, the bride wears the marriage clothes to the accompaniment of
additional $eda mantras. !he bridegroom then ties a darbha rope around the
waist of the bride and leads her to the place, where the sacred =re is located
for conducting the rest of the marriage ceremony. !he bride and the groom
sit on a new mat in front of the =re. !he groom recites three mantras which
invoke .oma, &andharva and %gni to confer strength, beauty, and youth on
the bride.
maangalya dhaaranam
!here is no $eda Mantram for tying the mangala sutram (auspicious thread)
around the neck of the bride by the groom. !he latter takes the mangala
sutram in his hands and recites the following verse;
m%ngalyam tantun%nena mama >-van% hethun% `
ka,!he; badhnami subhageS san>-va .arada; .atam ``
!his is a sacred thread. !his is essential for my long life. - tie this around your
neck, / maiden having many auspicious attributesS May you live happily for a
hundred years (with me).
paani grahanam
%fter maangalya dhaaranam, the groom lowers his right palm and encloses it
over the right hand of the bride. 2e covers all the =ve =ngers of the right
hand of the bride with his right palm through this act of paani grahanam. 2e
recites mantras in praise of 3haga, %ryama, .avita, -ndra, %gni, .uryan, $ayu
and .araswati, while holding the bride1s hand. 2e prays for long life, progeny,
prosperity and harmony with the bride during their married life. !he closed
=ngers of the right hand of the bride is said to represent her heart. !he paani
grahanam ritual symboli8es the bride surrendering her heart in the hands of
the groom during the occasion of the marriage.
sapta padi
During this ritual, the groom walks with the bride to the right side of the
sacred =re. %ll along, he holds his wife1s right hand in his right hand in the
way in which he held her hand during the paani grahanam ceremony. 2e
stops, bends down and holds the right toe of his wife with his right hand and
helps her take seven steps around the =re. %t the beginning of each step, he
recites a $eda mantra to invoke the blessings of Maha $ishnu. !hrough these
seven mantras, he asks Maha $ishnu to follow in the footsteps of his wife and
bless her with food, strength, piety, progeny, wealth, comfort and health. %t
the conclusion of the seven steps, he addresses his wife with a moving
statement from the $eds summari8ed below; Dear WifeS 3y taking these
seven steps, you have become my dearest friend. - pledge my unfailing
loyalty to you. 'et us stay together for the rest of our lives. 'et us not
separate from each other ever. 'et us be of one mind in carrying out our
responsibilities as householders (grihasthas). 'et us love and cherish each
other and en>oy nourishing food and good health. 'et us discharge our
prescribed $edic duties to our elders, ancestors, rishis, creatures, and gods.
'et our aspirations be united. - will be the .aaman and may you be the (k
(.aaman here refers to the music and (k refers to the $edic te:t that is being
cast into music). 'et me be the upper world and let you be the 3humi or
Mother +arth. - will be the .ukla or life force and may you be the bearer of
that .ukla. 'et me be the mind and let you be the speech. May you follow me
to conceive children and gain worldly as well as spiritual wealth. May all
auspiciousness come your way. !his series of $eda mantras starting with
Msakhaa saptapadhaa bhava ...M and ending with Mpumse putraaya ...M are rich
with meaning and imagery.
pradhaana homam
%fter sapta padi, the couple take their seat on the western side of the sacred
=re and conduct pradhaana homam. During the conductance of this homam,
the bride must place her right hand on her husband1s body so that she gets
the full bene=t of the homam through symbolic participation. .i:teen mantras
are recited to the accompaniment of pouring a spoon of clari=ed butter into
the sacred =re at the end of recitation of each of the mantras. !hese mantras
salute .oma, &andharva, %gni, -ndra, $ayu, the %swini Devas, .avita,
3rihaspati, $iswa Devas and $aruna for blessing the marriage and beseeches
them to confer long wedded life, health, wealth, children and freedom from
all kinds of worries. /ne prayer 44 the si:th mantra 44 has a sense of humor
and provides deep insight into human psychology. !he te:t of this mantra is;
Mda.aasyam putraan dehi, patim k(tiM. 2ere, the groom asks
-ndra to bless the couple with ten children and reuests that he be blessed to
become the eleventh child of his bride in his old age.
stepping on the grinding stone
%fter pradhaana homam, the husband holds the right toe of his wife and lifts
her leg and places it on a Lat granite grinding stone known as MammiM in
!amil. !he ammi stands at the right side of the sacred =re. !he husband
recites a $eda mantra when he places the right foot of his wife on the ammi;
May you stand on this =rm stone. May you be rock4=rm during your stay on
this grinding stone. May you stand up to those who oppose you while you
carry out your time4honored responsibilities as a wife sanctioned by the
$edas and tradition. May you develop tolerance to your enemies and put up a
fair =ght to defend your legitimate rights as the head of the household in a
=rm manner, eual to the steady strength of this grinding stone.
laa>a homam
%fter ammi stepping, a ceremony of doing homam with parched rice is
conducted. 2ere, the wife cups her hands and the brothers of the bride =ll the
cupped hands with parched rice. !he husband adds a drop of ghee to the
parched rice and recites =ve $eda mantras. %t the end of each of the
recitation , the parched rice is thrown into the sacred =re as havis (o<ering)
to %gni. !hrough these mantras, the wife prays for long life for her husband
and for a marriage =lled with peace and harmony. %t the end of the laa>a
homam, the husband unties the darbha belt around the waist of his wife with
another mantra. !he husband states through this mantra that he unites his
wife and ties her now with the bonds of $aruna and invites her to be a full
partner in his life to en>oy the blessings of wedded life.
griha pravesam
!his ceremony relates to the >ourney of the wife to her husband1s home. !he
husband carries the sacred =re (homa agni) in a earthern vessel during this
>ourney home. !here are many $eda mantras associated with this >ourney.
!hese mantras pray to the appropriate $edic gods to remove all obstacles
that one can e:perience in a >ourney. !he bride is reuested to become the
mistress of the house and is reminded of her important role among the
relatives of her husband. %fter reaching her new home, she puts her right foot
=rst in the house and recites the following $eda mantra;
- enter this house with a happy heart. May - give birth to children, who
observe the path of righteousness (dharma)S May this house that - enter
today be prosperous forever and never be de=cient in food. May this house
be populated by people of virtue and pious thoughts.
praavisya homam
%fter griha pravesam, a =re ritual known as praavisya homam is performed
by the couple to the accompaniment of thirteen $eda mantras from the (g
$eda. Iayaadi homam is also part of the praavisya homam. !his homam o<ers
the salutation of the newly married couple to %gni Deva and asks for strength
and nourishment to discharge the duties of a grihasthas for the ne:t one
hundred years. %fter that, the bride shifts her position from the right side of
her husband to his left side. %t that time, once again, she recites a $eda
mantra invoking the gods for blessings of children and wealth to perform the
duties of a householder. %t the end of the above homam, a child is placed on
the lap of the bride and she o<ers a fruit to the child, while reciting a
prescribed $eda mantra. Jet another mantram asks the assembled guests to
bless the bride and then retire to their own individual homes peacefully.
During the =rst evening of the stay in her new home, the couple see the stars
known as Dhruva (pole star) and %rundhati. !he husband points out the pole
star and prays for the strength and stability of the household through a $eda
mantra. ,e:t, the husband points out the %rundhati star to his wife and
describes to her the story of %rundhati and her legendary chastity.
!he rich and meaningful ceremony of the 2indu marriage (*alyana
Mahotsavam of the temples) is thus carried out in concert with sacred $eda
Mantras. !he bride and bridegroom should enunciate clearly the $eda
mantras and reLect on their meanings during the di<erent stages of the
marriage ceremony. !his way, they can be sure of a long, happy and
prosperous married life and play their appropriate role in society to the fullest
e:tent. .rinivasa *alyanam is performed in the temples to remind us of these
hoary $edic traditions behind a 2indu marriage.
lok%; samast%; sukhino bhavantu sarva manga'aani santu
!he giving away of the bride (*anya Daan)
*anya means daughter or girl. Daan means giving away. !his is an important
part of the marriage ceremony in which the brideVs parents give her away to
the groom by entrusting her to the bridegroom. !he oNciating priest chants
appropriate verses in .anskrit. !he people in the audience (the public) are
now noti=ed that the parents have willingly e:pressed their wish and consent
by reuesting the groom to accept their daughter as his bride. %s soon as the
groom indicates his acceptance the brideVs parents place their daughterVs
right hand into the bridegroomVs right hand. !he parents now bestow their
blessings on both the bride and the groom and pray to the 'ord to shower 2is
choicest blessings on them.
!he father of the bride, placing her right hand on the right hand of the
bridegroom, says;
!he father of the bride; 3e pleased to accept hand of my daughter (name of
the bride) of the &otra (here the surname of the family). !he bridegroom;
%)M, - do accept.
!he bridegroom makes an /<ering of the garment and the scarf to the bride
to wear. !he bridegroom wears the garments and the scarf o<ered by the
parents of the bride.

!hen facing each other !he bride and the bridegroom speak as follows;
Je learned people assembled at this sacred ceremony know it for certain that
we two hereby accept each other as companions for life and agree to live
together most cordially as husband and wife. May the hearts of us both be
blended and beat in unison. May we love each other like the very breath of
our lives. %s the all4pervading &od sustains the universe, so may we sustain
each other. %s a preceptor loves his disciple, so may we love each other
steadfastly and faithfully. 4 (ig$eda b.DC.GA
%ddressing the bride, the bridegroom says;
Distant though we were, one from the other, we stand now united. May we be
of one mind and spiritS !hrough the grace of &od, may the eyes radiate
benevolence. 3e thou my shield. May thou have a cheerful heart and a
smiling face. May thou be a true devotee of &od and mother of heroes. May
thou have at heart the welfare of all living beingsS 4 (ig $eda b.DC.GG

!he bride;
- pray that henceforth - may follow thy path. May my body be free from
disease and defect and may - ever en>oy the bliss of your companionshipS
!he ,uptial 2oma ($ivah4homa)
$ivah4homa is also called the Msacred =re ceremonyM. %ll solemn rites and
ceremonies commence with the performance of 2oma (sacred =re ceremony)
among the followers of $edic religion. !he idea is to begin all auspicious
undertakings in an atmosphere of purity and spirituality. !his atmosphere is
created by the burning of fragrant herbs and ghee and by the recitation of
suitable Mantras.
!he %chaman and %ngasparsha are performed for the second time. !he bride
also participates.
!he three %chaman mantras involve sipping of a little water three times.
!he seven %ngasparsha mantras involve touching water with the right hand
middle two =ngers apply the water to various limbs =rst to the right side and
then the left side as follows;
?. Mouth
E. ,ostrils
H. +yes
G. +ars
C. %rms
F. !highs
A. .prinkling water all over the body.
%cceptance of 2and ("ani4&rahanam)
!he bridegroom rising from his seat and facing the bride, shall raise her right
hand with his left hand and then clasping it says;
- clasp thy hand and enter into the holy state of matrimony so that we may
be blessed with prosperity and noble progeny. Mayst thou live with me
happily throughout lifeS !hrough the grace of the all4mighty 'ord, who is the
#reator and .ustainer of the universe and in the presence of this august
assemblage, thou art being given away in marriage so that we may together
rightly perform our duties as householders. With all my strength and
resources, - have clasped thy hand9 and thus united, we shall together follow
the path of virtue. !hou art my lawfully wedded wife and - am thy lawfully
wedded husband. &od, the protector and sustainer of all, has given thee to
me. From today, it devolves upon me to protect and maintain thee. 3lessed
with children, mayst thou live happily with me as thy husband for the full
span of human life (a hundred years). Following the divine law and the words
of wisdom uttered by the sages, may we make a good couple and may &od
vouchsafe unto us a shining life of virtue and happiness. %s &od nourishes
and sustains all creatures through 2is great forces like the sun, the moon, the
earth, the air etc., so may 2e bless my wife with healthy and virtuous
progeny and may you all assembled here bless herS
a - accept thee as my partner for life.
a - will not keep away even mentally anything from thee.
a - will share with thee all - en>oy.
a We will persevere in the path of virtue, surmounting all obstacles.
.olemn vows ("ratigna4*aranam)
!he bridegroom taking the palm of the bride into his hand helps her to rise
and then they both shall walk round the altar, the bride leading. !hen facing
the east take the solemn vows;
!he bridegroom; bloc
%scending the slab 7 .tepping on the stone
!his ceremony is referred to as .hilarohanam (.hila; stone 9 %rohan; stepping
upon). -n it, the mother of the bride assists her to step onto a stone and
counsels her to prepare herself for a new life. !he stone signi=es strength and
trust. % married couple is likely to encounter ups and downs, >oys and
sorrows, prosperity and adversity, sickness and health. -n spite of the
diNculties facing them, they are en>oined to remain steadfast and true to
each other.
!he bride places her right foot on the slab (stone), assisted by her mother or
her brother. !he priest recites a Mantra from the %tharva $eda (%$ --.?H.G)
!he fried4rice o<erings ('a>a42omah)
'a>a means pu<ed rice or barley like popcorn. !he bride shall place the palms
of her hands over those of the bridegroom and make three o<erings (ahutis)
of fried rice soaked in ghee (clari=ed butter).
!he bride;
a - adore &od, the uni=er of hearts. ,ow that - am leaving my parentsV home
for my husbandVs, - pray that 2e may keep us perpetually unitedS
a With these o<erings - pray for 'ong life for my husband and for the
prosperity of all our relationsS
a (%ddressing her husband) -n making these o<erings for your prosperity -
once again pray that &od may bless this union of our heartsS
#ircumambulation of the sacred =re ("arikrama, "radakshina, or Mangal fera)
!his is an auspicious and important part of the marriage ceremony. -t consists
in walking around the sacred =re (clockwise) four times. !his aspect of the
ceremony and the one that follows, namely .aptapadi (seven steps)4
constitute the most important part, in as much as it legalises the marriage
according to 2indu custom and tradition. !hese two aspects of the marriage
ceremony establish an indissoluble matrimonial bond between the couple.
-n the =rst three rounds the bridegroom leads the bride as they circle
together around the sacred =re. -n the fourth (last) round, the bride leads the
bridegroom around the sacred =re.
-n each round around the sacred =re, an appropriate mantra is recited which
e:presses noble sentiments in relation to their future matrimonial life. +ach
round culminates in both the bride and the bridegroom placing o<erings or
ahutis of fried rice in the sacred =re. !he 2indu religion emphasises
en>oyment of life as well as the discharging of family, social and national
During the =rst three rounds, &odVs blessings and help are sought9 loyalty to
each other is emphasised and9 a promise to keep in mind the well4being and
care of the future children is made.
-n the fourth (last) round (led by the bride) the bride promises that she will
lead her life according to the tenets of the 2indu religion, namely .atya and
Dharma or !ruth and devotion to duty, and that she will always ensure that
the bridegroom can rely on her to carry out her family, religious and
household duties.
!he bridegroom then places his hand on the brideVs head and states that
henceforth she will be his wife and he will shield her against any danger or
%t the end of the four rounds they shall e:change seats, the bride taking her
seat to the left of the bridegroom.
.even .teps (.aptapadi)
3esides a religious meaning behind the seven steps, there is also a
mathematical rationale on performing the A rounds circling the =re. % circle is
HFB degrees, all the numbers between ? and @ divides HFB e:cept the
number A. -t becomes a non4terminating number, hence symboli8ing the
marriage as indivisible.
!he ends of their garments (the bridegroomVs scarf and upper garment of the
bride) are tied together by the priest (signifying marriage knot).!hen both
shall stand facing the north. !he bridegroom shall place his right hand upon
the right shoulder of the bride.
!hey shall take the =rst step in the north easterly direction.
-n taking these seven steps, the right foot shall always lead and the left foot
be brought forward in line with it. )ncooked grains of rice (about a small
handful) are placed in a line at eual distance at seven places. !he bride and
the groom take seven steps together, stepping upon =rst mound of rice with
the right foot as the priest recites a mantra. !hen stepping upon the second
mount of rice with the right foot as the priest recites a mantra. (%ll seven
steps are done the same way).
a May the =rst step lead to food that is both nourishing and pure.
a May the second step lead to strength (at the physical, emotional,
intellectual and spiritual levels).
a May the third step lead to prosperity.
a May the fourth step lead to all round happiness.
a May the =fth step lead to progeny (noble and virtuous children).
a May the si:th step lead to long life.
a May the seventh step lead to bondage (through harmony, understanding).
!he bridegroom says;
2aving completed the seven steps, be thou my life long companion. Mayst
thou be my associate and helper in successful performance of the duties that
now devolve upon me as a householder. May we be blessed with many
children who may live the full duration of human lifeS
%fter the completion of the seven steps ceremony, the couple (with knots tied
to each other) take their seats. !he wife now takes her rightful place on the
left side of her husband as the marriage is now religiously solemni8ed in its
entirety. ,ow the couple are husband and wife. !he husband garlands the
wife and she in turn garlands her husband.
.prinkling of water (%bhishek)
!he priest (or a brother of the newly wedded wife) shall sprinkle water on the
foreheads of the bride and the groom. !he priest recites mantras from the (ig
$eda (($ b.@.?7E7H) during the sprinkling of water.
Meditating on the sun (.oorya Darshanam dhyaanam va)
'ooking at or mentally visualising the sun, to give them power to lead a
creative, useful and meaningful life.
!he bride and the bridegroom together pray;
/ &od, who art the illuminator of the sun, may we, through thy grace live for
a hundred years, hear for a hundred years, and speak for a hundred years.
%nd may we never be dependent upon anybody. May we likewise live even
beyond a hundred yearsS 4(ig $eda, $--. FF. ?F)
!ouching the 2eart (2riday sparsh)
!ouching the heart of the bride, the bridegroom says;
May - have hearty co4operation from these in the performance of my duties.
May thou be of one mind with me. May thou be consentient to my speech.
May the 'ord of creation unite thee to meS
!he bride;
May - have hearty co4operation from these in the performance of my duties.
May thou be of one mind with me. May thou be consentient to my speech.
May the 'ord of creation unite thee to meS
Meditating upon the "ole .tar and the %rundhati .tar (Dhruva dhyaanam
darshanam va)
!he "ole .tar is stationary and =:ed in its position, likewise the couple is
e:pected to be steadfast and =rm in ful=lling their vows and responsibilities.
!he bride;
Iust as the star %rundhati is attached to the star $asishtha, so may - be ever
=rmly attached to my husbandS "lacing his hand upon the brideVs forehead
!he bridegroom;
%s the heavens are permanently stable, as the earth is permanently stable,
as these mountains are permanently stable, and as the entire universe is
permanent stable, so may my wife be permanently settled in our familyS 4(ig
$eda b.?AH.G (%ddressing the bride); !hou are the "ole star9 - see in thee
stability and =rmness. Mayst thou ever be steadfast in thy a<ection for me.
!he great &od has united thee with me. Mayst thou live with me, blessed with
children, for a hundred yearsS
"artaking of food (%nna praashanam)
-n the last symbolic rite the couple make o<erings of food with chantings of
$edic 2avan Mantras (oblations of food in the .acred =re). 2aving done that,
the couple feed a morsel of food to each other from the residue of the
o<erings. !his being the symbolic e:pression of mutual love and a<ection.
3enediction (%ashirvadah)
"lacing his hand upon the forehead of the bride, the bridegroom says;
Je men and women present here, behold this virtuous bride possessed of high
attainments, and before ye disperse, give her your blessingsS %ll the people
present shall pronounce the following blessings upon the couple.
?. / 'ord, may this couple be prosperousS
E. / 'ord, may this couple live in perpetual happinessS
H. / 'ord, may this couple be ever infused with love for each other. May this
couple be blessed with children and grandchildren and live in the best of
homes for the full period of their livesS
G. May you two live here together. May you never be parted. May you en>oy
the full span of human life in the delightful company of your happy sons and
/m .hantih, .hantih, .hantih.
!he 2indu wedding ceremony may vary in minor details from region to region
and di<erent priests may adopt some variations.
$ivaha as a sacrament (sanskara)
.acraments constitute an important part of 2indu religion. .acraments in
2induism are designed to build a solid foundation for righteous living. !hey
are known as X.anskarasV.!heir purpose is to create and develop a religious
and spiritual outlook in life. !he 2indu religion has instituted si:teen di<erent
.anskaras (sacraments) meant for di<erent phases of life from conception to
marriage to old age and death. !he word sanskara in .anskrit means Xto
cause indelible impressions on the mind and to develop every aspect of oneVs
personality.V !herefore it is necessary to understand and appreciate their
signi=cance and to derive bene=t from their performance. /f the si:teen
sanskaras in 2induism, the sacrament of marriage or $ivah .anskara is the
most important. Marriage inLuences the personality of man and woman as
life partners, enabling them to take their rightful place in society.

+ssentials %nd 'egal (ules For % $alid %gency
Wednesday EDth of March EB?E ` 3y; )mar 2afee8 ` $iews; EB?F ` #omments;
B ` (ating; H .tar #ontentH .tar #ontentH .tar #ontentH .tar #ontentH .tar
#ontent `

!he legal de=nition of the term XagencyV, discussed in the last article, reveals
the essential element of agency, and a valid agency must satisfy these
essential reuirements. !he essential features of agency relationship are
discussed in points - to H below, and the rests are its legal rules.
?. !here should be an agreement between the principal and the agent;
-t is an essential element of a valid agency. %ccording to this element, the
agency must be created by an agreement between the principal and the
agent. !hus, there must be an agreement by which a person is appointed as
an agent by the other. !he agreement may be e:press (i.e., by words of
mouth or of the case.
E. !he agent must act in the representative capacity;
-t is the most important essential element of a valid agency. !he agent must
act in the representative capacity, i.e., he must represent his relationship of
his principal with the third persons.
!hus the true nature of the relationship should be seen if the agent acts in
representative capacity and had the power to bind his principal with the third
persons, the relationship is that of XagencyV.
H. !he principal must be competent to contract;
-t is another important essential element of a valid agency. !he principal must
be competent to enter into a valid contract, i.e., he must be of sound mind,
and have attained the age of ma>ority (i.e., he should have completed ?D
years of age). !hus, a minor or a person of unsound mind (i.e., insane person)
cannot appoint an agent to act on his behalf 5.ection ?DH6. %n appointment
of an agent, made by an incompetent person is void. -t may be noted that an
agent acting on behalf of an incompetent principal will be personally liable,
for his acts, to third persons with whom be contracts.
G. !he agent need not be competent to contract;
&enerally, an agent incurs no personal liability while contracting on behalf of
his principal. !herefore, it is not necessary that he should be competent to
contract. !hus any person may become an agent and he need not be
competent to contract 5.ection ?DG6. +ven a minor can be appointed as
agent, and the principal shall be bound by the acts of such an agent. -t may,
however, be noted that such an incompetent agent shall not be liable to the
principal. !hus, the principal cannot recover any compensation from an
incompetent agent for losses caused by misconduct or unauthori8ed acts of
such agent. -t is, therefore, in the interest of the principal to appoint a
competent person as his agent.
C. !he consideration is not necessary;
%n agency is valid even without consideration. !hus, no consideration is
reuired for the creation of a valid agency relationship 5.ection ?DC6.
&enerally, an agent is remunerated by way of commission for the services
rendered by him. 2owever, no consideration is necessary for the validity of
the appointment of the agent
Supreme Court of India
Devinder .ingh ,arula vs Meenakshi ,angia on EE %ugust, EB?E
%uthor; % *abir
3ench; %ltamas *abir, I. #helameswar
`(+"/(!%3'+ `
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#-$-' %""+''%!+ I)(-.D-#!-/,
#-$-' %""+%' ,/.C@GF /F EB?E
(%rising out of .'"(#),o.E?BDG of EB?E)
? Devinder .ingh ,arula %ppellant
E Meenakshi ,angia (espondent
I ) D & M + , !
%'!%M%. *%3-(, I.
?. 'eave granted.
E. !his appeal arises out of an order passed by the %dditional District Iudge4
B?, West Delhi, on ?H.G.EB?E in 2M% ,o.EBG7EB?E, while entertaining a >oint
petition =led by the parties under .ection ?H43 of the 2indu Marriage %ct,
?@CC. /n such petition being presented, the learned #ourt below posted the
matter on ?C.?B.EB?E for the purpose of second motion, as contemplated
under .ection ?H43 of the aforesaid %ct, which is e:tracted hereinbelow for
reference;4 ?H43.Divorce by mutual consent T (?) .ub>ect to the
provisions of this %ct a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of
divorce may be presented to the district #ourt by both the parties to a
marriage together, whether such marriage was solemni8ed before or after the
commencement of the Marriage 'aws (%mendment)%ct, ?@AF, on the ground
that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that
they have not been able to live together and that they have mutually agreed
that the marriage should be dissolved.
H. !he .ection itself provides for a cooling period of si: months on the =rst
motion being moved, in the event the parties changed their minds during the
said period. %ccordingly, after the initial motion and the presentation of the
petition for mutual divorce, the parties are reuired to wait for a period of si:
months before the second motion can be moved, and at that point of time, if
the parties have made up their minds that they would be unable to live
together, the #ourt, after making such inuiry as it may consider =t, grant a
decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with e<ect from the
date of the decree.
G. %ggrieved by the said order of the learned %dditional District Iudge, =:ing
the date of the End motion after si: months, the petitioner has moved this
#ourt by way of this appeal, relying on a decision of this #ourt in %nil *umar
Iain vs. Maya Iain 5(EBB@) ?B .## G?C6, whereby after arriving at a conclusion
that the marriage between the parties had broken down irretrievably, this
#ourt felt >usti=ed to invoke its powers under %rticle ?GE of the #onstitution.
C. /n behalf of both the parties it was urged that since more than ?D months
had elapsed since the original petition under .ection ?H of the 2indu
Marriage %ct, ?@CC, have been =led, the said period could be counted
towards the cooling period of si: months stipulated under .ection ?H43 of the
above %ct. -t was urged that by such reckoning the parties have already
completed the waiting period of si: months, as envisaged under .ection ?H43
of the %ct.
F. -t was also urged that the other conditions contained in .ection ?H4 3(?) of
the %ct had also been satis=ed as the parties had been living separately for
more than a year and had mutually agreed that the marriage should be
dissolved. -t was urged that e:cept for the formality of not having made an
application under .ection ?H43, the other criteria had been duly ful=lled and
having regard to the language of .ection ?H43, a decree of dissolution of the
marriage by way of mutual divorce should not be denied to the parties, since
four months out of waiting period of si: months contemplated under .ection
?H43 had already been completed.
A. -t was contended that as was done in the case of %nil *umar Iain (supra),
this #ourt could invoke its powers under %rticle ?GE of the #onstitution in the
best interest of the parties. -t was urged that technicality should be tampered
by pragmatism, if substantive >ustice was to be done to the parties.
D. /n behalf of the .tate it was submitted that in view of the statutory
provisions, the prayer being made on behalf of the petitioner and the
respondent wife should not be entertained as that would lead to confusion in
the minds of the public and would be against the public interest.
@. We have carefully considered the submissions made on behalf of the
parties and have also considered our decision in %nil *umar Iains case
(supra). -t is no doubt true that the 'egislature had in its wisdom stipulated a
cooling period of si: months from the date of =ling of a petition for mutual
divorce till such divorce is actually granted, with the intention that it would
save the institution of marriage. -t is also true that the intention of the
'egislature cannot be faulted with, but there may be occasions when in order
to do complete >ustice to the parties it becomes necessary for this #ourt to
invoke its powers under %rticle ?GE in an irreconcilable situation. -n fact, in
the case of *iran vs. .harad Dutt 5(EBBB) ?B .## EGH6, which was considered
in %nil *umar Iains case, after living separately for many years and ??
years after initiating proceedings under .ection ?H of the 2indu Marriage %ct,
the parties =led a >oint application before this #ourt for leave to amend the
divorce petition and to convert the same into a proceeding under .ection ?H4
3 of the %ct. !reating the petition as one under .ection ?H43 of the aforesaid
%ct, this #ourt by invoking its powers under %rticle ?GE of the #onstitution,
granted a decree of mutual divorce at the stage of the .'" itself. -n di<erent
cases in di<erent situations, this #ourt had invoked its powers under %rticle
?GE of the #onstitution in order to do complete >ustice between the parties.
?B. !hough we are not inclined to accept the proposition that in every case of
dissolution of marriage under .ection ?H43 of the %ct the #ourt has to
e:ercise its powers under %rticle ?GE of the #onstitution, we are of the
opinion that in appropriate cases invocation of such power would not be
un>usti=ed and may even prove to be necessary. !he uestion with which we
are faced is whether this is one of such casesO
??. %s will appear in the averments made in this appeal, the appellant =led a
petition under .ection ?E of the 2indu Marriage %ct on ?.F.EB?? on the
ground that the marriage contracted on EF.H.EB??, was a nullity9 that the
parties had been living separately since their marriage and have not
cohabitated with each other since ?.F.EB?? and in future also they could
never live together under one roof. %ccording to the parties, they are residing
separately from each other for the last one year and the respondent was
presently working overseas in #anada. -t is with such ob>ect in mind that
during the pendency of the proceedings under .ection ?E of the %ct the
parties agreed to mediation and during mediation the parties agreed to
dissolve their marriage by =ling a petition under .ection ?H43 of the above
%ct for grant of divorce by mutual consent. -n the proceedings before the
Mediator, the parties agreed to move appropriate petitions under .ection ?H4
3(?) and ?H43(E) of the %ct. % report was submitted by the Mediator of the
Mediation #entre of the !is 2a8ari #ourts to the #ourt in the pending 2M%
,o.EH@ of EB??. -t is pursuant to such agreement during the mediation
proceedings that an application was =led by the parties in the aforesaid
pending 2M% on ?C.?E.EB?? indicating that they had settled the matter
through the mediation centre and that they would be =ling a petition for
divorce by mutual consent on or before ?C.G.EB?E. /n the strength of the
said petition, the 2M% proceedings were disposed of as withdrawn.
.ubseuently, on ?H.G.EB?E the parties =led a >oint petition under .ection ?H4
3 of the %ct on which the order came to be passed by the learned %dditional
District Iudge 4B?, West Delhi, =:ing the date for the second motion on
?E. -t is uite clear from the materials on record that although the marriage
between the parties was solemni8ed on EF.H.EB??, within H months of the
marriage the petitioner =led a petition under .ection ?E of the 2indu
Marriage %ct, ?@CC, for a decree of nullity of the marriage. !hereafter, they
have not been able to live together and lived separately for more than ? year.
-n e<ect, there appears to be no marital ties between the parties at all. -t is
only the provisions of .ection ?H43(E) of the aforesaid %ct which is keeping
the formal ties of marriage between the parties subsisting in name only. %t
least the condition indicated in .ection ?H43 for grant of a decree of
dissolution of marriage by the mutual consent is present in the instant case.
-t is only on account of the statutory cooling period of si: months that the
parties have to wait for a decree of dissolution of marriage to be passed.
?H. -n the above circumstances, in our view, this is one of those cases where
we may invoke and e:ercise the powers vested in the .upreme #ourt under
%rticle ?GE of the #onstitution. !he marriage is subsisting by a tenuous
thread on account of the statutory cooling o< period, out of which four
months have already e:pired. When it has not been possible for the parties to
live together and to discharge their marital obligations towards each other for
more than one year, we see no reason to continue the agony of the parties
for another two months.
?G. We, accordingly, allow the appeal and also convert the pending
proceedings under .ection ?E of the 2indu Marriage %ct, ?@CC, before the
%dditional District Iudge4B?, West Delhi, into one under .ection ?H43 of the
aforesaid %ct and by invoking our powers under %rticle ?GE of the
#onstitution, we grant a decree of mutual divorce to the parties and direct
that the marriage between the parties shall stand dissolved by mutual
consent. !he proceedings before the %dditional District Iudge4B?, West Delhi,
being 2M% ,o.EBG of EB?E, is withdrawn to this #ourt on consent of the
parties and disposed of by this order.
?C. -n the facts of the case, the parties shall bear their own costs.
I. (%'!%M%.
*%3-() I. (I.
#2+'%M+.W%() ,ew Delhi Dated;EE.D.EB?E.