31st March 2023, Mumbai: There has been a rise in divorce cases in India. It has definitely raised a concern. Celebrity Matrimony Lawyer Anagha Nimbkar opens up about the situation.
“With the constant updates on social media and on the news, there might be an assumption that there are a lot of people around us parting ways. On average, the percentage is still drastically lower compared to other countries of the world. As Indians we believe that marriage is a holy bond made in heaven. Till death do us apart and is not a contract you could walk out of so easily. While, yes, nowadays a lot of people are showing the strength to walk out of a marriage that just isn’t working for them anymore, for many others, it is still a taboo. In today’s world unfortunately, divorce has increased due to lack of tolerance and impatience. The lack of commitment and the shrugging off of any responsibility often leads to an unfortunate fate to a marriage that could have been saved by just communication and bearing responsibility. It is due to the same reason that the Hon’ble Court, at every stage of proceedings, makes an attempt for reconciliation or for at least mutual settlement,” she says.
There are numerous divorce cases pending which go on for years. Suggesting a solution, she adds, “The infrastructure needs to be enhanced and replaced with better mechanisms for speedy trials. Despite Family Courts being established as special courts they lack resources and machinery to speed up the trial, which are meant to be summary trials. Thirdly, counseling and pre-mediation efforts are crucial before filing for divorce like western countries. Unlike in countries abroad, one person cannot just unilaterally file for divorce and get the decree without due diligence hence an effort should be taken before logging heads. Only if counseling and mediation fail, is when a contested petition should be filed. And, lastly, any matrimonial law of the country does not recognise irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a grounds for divorce. So, primarily the laws need to be amended. It must be first taken into consideration that if you love someone, you need to let them go as you cannot obviously force anyone to love you.”
Anagha strongly believes and advocates divorce via mutual consent. “My first attempt is always bringing the parties to the table to explore amicable settlement. The undealt rage and the need for revenge for pain will consume you emotionally, physically, mentally and morally and financially too. You will see yourself change into someone you don’t recognise anymore. Why on earth would anyone put themselves to such a fate? In mutual divorces, you write your own judgement and give yourself the chance to a fresh start,” she says.
About what one should keep in mind while going for divorce with mutual consent, Anagha explains, “Weigh out your genuine needs with your leisurely needs first. Remember that you are exploring mutual settlement so the goal is not extortion or deprivation but reaching a solution where both of you are satiated enough to move on in life but have compromised enough to let go of the things/issues that do not in any way hold you from living your life. As parents, opt for joint parenting and try to maintain at least cordial relations for the sake of your children. Put their happiness above your need for ego satisfaction.”
Sharing a case history, she adds, “This one matter I am dealing with is an ongoing battle between the parties for over 25 years simply because the spouse chose petty revenge over the chance of a fresh start. Now they are old, alone and mentally deranged to the point of no return. All of this pain that they hold on to, should have been let go long ago, not for anyone else, but for themselves. If there was enough self-love, there would have been salvation.”