Marriages could end with divorce
Love Matters

Divorce

Just a mention of the ‘D’ word might send shivers down your spine. It’s a scary prospect. After all, you promised that you would stay with each other for better or worse. Many of us with dysfunctional marriages still shudder at the thought of divorce.

It’s challenging to give up on something that you once believed was going to last forever. You still hold on to your dream of living in a happy marriage one day. On top of that, there’s the societal stigma attached to divorce that might just push us to live in an unhappy marriage.

Key indicators for divorce

Sometimes these beliefs can be misleading. Some marriages are better ended. If you’ve been in a troubled marriage and are wondering what the signs are to start thinking about divorce, here are some key indicators:

  • You’ve lived separately from each other for over six months and have realised that it’s for the best. You’re happy as an individual and don’t need your spouse’s company to complete your life.
  • There has been a history of violence and abuse in your marriage, from one or both sides.
  • You’ve tried couple therapy and it doesn’t seem to work.
  • Your spouse is into heavy substance abuse and there are no signs of improvement.
  • You and/or your partner have been cheating in your marriage. You don’t wish to be faithful and the thought of being part of the marriage is discomforting.
  • You don’t communicate with your spouse. It’s been ages since you’ve discussed your marriage or life in general. You also keep secrets from each other.
  • Whenever you speak to each other, it ends up in a fight.
  • You lack mutual trust and respect.
  • You’ve had to give up on your personal ambitions because your spouse doesn’t find them appropriate.
  • You and your spouse no longer share common values that once made you feel close to each other.
  • You’ve changed into a person you dislike.
  • Your partner has nothing good to say about you, and you can’t think of anything you like about them. 

Before you file for divorce

Filing for a divorce will bring a permanent change in your life. So before you take the plunge, re-consider all your options. Be entirely sure that this is what you want to do.

We’ve prepared a checklist for you that might come in handy before you go to court.

  • Be certain that you cannot mend the problems with your partner.
    Fights and difficult times in a marriage can make it seem as though you hate each other’s guts. But are you sure that you don’t care for each other anymore?
     
  • List your reasons for filing a divorce.
    Are these reasons valid? Will they hold in the court of law? Sometimes you can get so carried away by emotions that you fail to see the situation objectively. Share your reasons with a third party to get their opinion.
     
  • Think how the divorce would affect your kids.
    Who is likely to get custody of the children? And how is that going to alter their lives? Have you looked at all the ways that you can make it easier on the kids? In the course of separation, you may not have had the responsibility of the kids, full time, but with a divorce you may. What plans are you making for that? Will you be able to manage it, with jobs and changing schedules?
     
  • Think about how the divorce will affect other relationships in your life.
    How will this impact your family, friends and community? How will you cope with these changes? In India, there’s a lot of social stigma attached to divorce, especially for women. It also depends on what part of society you come from. Divorces are seen differently among people from the affluent class, compared to the middle class or lower economic strata. What is your coping mechanism for this?
     
  • Think about how you will prepare for the difficult times ahead.
    Divorces are an emotional roller coaster. Once you divorce from your husband or wife, you will have to deal with loneliness and solitude. Who will be there to support you through this tough transition in your life?
     
  • Be prepared for the financial changes that come along with a divorce.
    Do you know your spouse’s income and whether you’ll be required to pay maintenance? Sort out the finances before you go ahead.
     
  • Try separating before you divorce.
    Separation might be an option before you get into full blown divorce proceedings.
     
  • Ask a lawyer what steps you need to take. 
    Divorce proceedings can be long, sometimes unpleasant and cumbersome and having professional advice will prove helpful.

If you are feeling confident about divorce, seek legal assistance to go ahead with your choice. Here are some helplines that you can call:

Human Rights Law Network runs Madhyam Helpline and provides Legal Services: (011) 09250808040                         

Lawyers Collective Women’s Rights Initiative LC WRIruns a pro-bono legal aid cell for domestic violence cases: (011) 24374830           

MARG (Multiple Action Research Group): (011) 26497483 / 26496925

Delhi Police HELPLINE: 1091

Delhi Commission for Women: (011) 23379181/ 23370597

Women’s Cell, Delhi Police: (011) 24673366 / 4156 / 7699

National Commission for Women: (011) 23237166/ 23236203 / 23236204

National Human Rights Commission: (011) 9810298900 http://nhrc.nic.in/

Pratidhi: (011) 22527259

If you are in an abusive marriage, read this guide to help you put a case together with or without a lawyer. 

Filing for divorce

Apart from being a tough emotional journey, filing for divorce can be a cumbersome legal process. Once you’ve made up your mind to file for divorce, get yourself acquainted with the financial, legal and emotional aspects. Be aware that filing for divorce in India can take anywhere between several months and several years.

Under Indian law, there are two main ways of getting divorced: you can file for either a ‘mutual’ divorce or a ‘contested’ divorce. With a mutual divorce, the two partners come to an agreement over the divorce with no objections from either side. With a contested divorce, one of the two partners disagrees with the grounds for the divorce. To make things more complicated, a contested divorce is governed differently for different religions (Hindu, Muslim, Christian) and for inter-religious and inter-caste marriages.

Common grounds

Some of the common grounds on which divorce cases are filed in India are:

  • Adultery – if you have sufficient proof that your partner has been involved in an extra-marital relationship.
  • Abuse – if you have been in a mentally or physically abusive relationship.
  • Addiction – if your partner has been involved in substance abuse.
  • Impotence or inability to have sex – if your partner is unable to have sex with you.
  • Insanity or disease – if your partner suffers from an incurable mental disease or physical disability.
  • Incompatibility – if you have differences that are so big your relationship just won’t work.

Find a lawyer

No matter what kind of divorce procedure you’re likely to go through, it’s extremely important to have a reliable and experienced lawyer by your side. Someone you can trust and depend upon. Your lawyer should have experience with cases similar to yours and be committed to your case. Discuss the fee before your lawyer starts working on the case.

Once you’ve found a lawyer, ask them to help you answer the following questions:

  • How much is your divorce going to cost you?
  • Will the divorce be mutual or contested?
  •  On what grounds will you be filing for divorce?
  •  Will you have to pay for your spouse’s maintenance?
  • Will your spouse have to pay you maintenance?
  • Will you have to pay for child support?
  • Will your spouse have to pay for child support?
  • What are your legal rights during this process?
  • How long is it going to take for the divorce to be sanctioned?

Keep asking these questions until you have satisfactory answers. If you have doubts about how to proceed, here are some helplines you can contact:

Human Rights Law Network runs Madhyam Helpline and provides Legal Services: (011) 09250808040                         

Lawyers Collective Women’s Rights Initiative LC WRI runs a pro-bono legal aid cell for domestic violence cases: (011) 24374830          

MARG (Multiple Action Research Group): (011) 26497483 / 26496925

Delhi Police HELPLINE: 1091

Pratidhi: (011) 22527259

If you are in an abusive marriage, read this guide to help you put a case together with or without a lawyer. 

Life after divorce

A divorce brings a huge sense of loss to your life. No matter how difficult your marriage turned out to be, it was meant to be something beautiful. When most of us get married, we dream of living ‘happily ever after.’ A divorce crushes those dreams.

However difficult life becomes after divorce, it’s important not to see it as the end of the world. It’s easier said than done, but you should think of your marriage and divorce as two events in your past life. Nothing positive can come out of blaming yourself for what went wrong. In fact after a divorce, you need to pick up your self-confidence and take strides into new beginnings.

Here are some tips to help you recover from a divorce:

  • Mourn your loss.
    Ending a marriage brings immense grief and there’s nothing wrong with feeling and expressing that grief.
  • Meet with friends and family and ask them to be part of this transition phase in your life. Let them know your fears and insecurities. Create a good support base for the future.
  • Don’t let it destroy your confidence.
    In a lot of societies, there’s a lot of stigma associated with divorce, especially for divorced women. When you are married you also make common friends and when you get divorced, friends are forced to take sides, or so they feel. If people have cut off contact with you at this difficult time in your life, they perhaps didn’t deserve to be your friends anyway. And it’s very likely they may come back into your life again later – welcome them, if and when they do.
  • Get help from a counsellor if you feel like you lack support.
  • Avoid negative thoughts, like ‘my life is ruined’ or ‘I’ll never be able to be happy again’. Remember that a lot of people have had better lives after divorce.
  • Stay away from substance abuse like drinking excessively or using drugs.
  • Make plans for the future. Make a financial plan. Make plans to find that ideal job or to get fit. Start working on your plans by setting weekly or monthly targets.
  • Find time for yourself.
    Be selfish and try out all those things that your marriage wasn’t allowing you to do. Become comfortable with being single again. Rediscover yourself.
  • Find a passion or a hobby.
    It will help you think less about what went wrong in the past, and rebuild your inner core. And it will introduce you to new people outside your circle of older friends.
  • Meet people, old and new.
    Don’t confine yourself to your home and kids, trying to sort things out, alone. Talk to people. Seek advice from people who may be in your own situation.
  • Love yourself.
    Do what it takes to find yourself attractive. The end of your previous marriage doesn’t mean you’ll never find anyone again. Take a chance at flirting and dating. Gain confidence and be positive.

While recovering completely from a divorce is achievable for some people, it can be a lengthier and much more painful process for others. If you have been trying but can’t get over your marriage, you can contact the following helplines:

IFSHA – Interventions For Support Healing & Awareness: (011) 26253289

Swaasthya: 09717055332                                          

SNEHI: (011) 65978181

Sanjeevani: (011) 26862222/ 26864488

Sumaitri: (011) 23710763

Comments

बेटे इसमें आपकी सहायता सिर्फ एक वकील कर सकते हैं. कृपया उनसे संपर्क करें. यदि इस मुद्दे पर आप और गहरी चर्चा में जुड़ना चाहते हैं, तोह हमारे डिस्कशन बोर्ड, " जस्ट पूछो" में ज़रूर शामिल हों. https://lovematters.in/en/forum
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