Indian Supreme Court waives six-month cooling off period for Hindu couples seeking divorce

NEW DELHI, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- India's Supreme Court has ruled that the minimum cooling off period of six months can be waived for Hindu couples seeking divorce.

Currently, under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, after a couple files for divorce in a family court claiming mutual consent, it has to wait for 18 months -- first one year of separation followed by a six-month "cooling off" period to explore the possibility of a reunion.

However, the apex court said in its ruling Tuesday that it is pointless to "perpetuate a purposeless marriage and to prolong the agony of the parties," and made it clear it will be upto individual judges to waive off the mandatory six-month wait for couples seeking divorce.

"Though every effort has to be made to save a marriage, if there are no chances of reunion and there are chances of fresh rehabilitation, the court should not be powerless in enabling the parties to have a better option," the Supreme Court said.

"The six-month waiver should apply where the couple has settled differences, including alimony and child custody," it added.

The court's order came in the wake of a plea by an estranged couple who had sought waiver of the six-month period on the ground that they had been living separately for the past eight years and were confident that they would not be reconciled with each other.

[ Editor: meng ]


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