Mutual Consent Divorce in India is a kind of divorce in which the husband and wife decide to dissolve the marriage mutually. In a mutual divorce, the husband and wife can file a divorce petition after deciding the terms of divorce together. The terms relating to divorce by mutual consent including maintenance/alimony to be paid to the wife, child custody and division of property jointly owned by both are finalised amicably.
Mutual divorce is also known as uncontested divorce as the spouses decide to separate peacefully, without either of them contesting the divorce application in the court. To file a mutual consent divorce, it is pertinent that at least one year has been passed from the date of the marriage. The process of mutual divorce is simpler and faster, and the husband and wife can file a joint divorce petition and get a divorce in just 1-7 months.
- A petition for divorce by mutual consent can be filed by the spouses who have been married for at least 1 year. A joint petition can be filed by hiring a common divorce lawyer who can represent the interests of both the husband and wife.
- Once the divorce petition is allowed by the court, the spouses file a joint statement relating to the amount of alimony/maintenance decided, custody of children and division of property.
- After the First Motion is filed, the court may order a reconciliation period of 6 months and give the spouses some time to reconsider their decision. However, after the recent judgment in Amardeep Singh vs. Harveen Kaur, the Supreme Court has decided that this ‘cooling-off’ period is not mandatory and a mutual consent divorce can be awarded in just 1 month as well.
- Once the cooling-off period is over or an application to waive-off the cooling-off period is filed, the Second Motion is filed and final statement is recorded.
- The court awards the decree for mutual divorce to the spouses.