Below are some other do’s and don’ts that seem like common sense but often during a divorce common sense goes out the window.
The Emotional Don’ts
- Don’t discuss the details of the divorce with your children. They are not equipped to handle the emotional strain being placed on them.
- Don’t make promises to the children that you cannot keep especially extravagant ones.
- Don’t make your children feel like a “guest” in your new home.
- Don’t put your children in the middle of your divorce. The divorce is between you and your spouse.
- Don’t put your spouse down in front of the children.
- Don’t question the children regarding the activities of your (ex) spouse.
- Don’t refer to your visitation with your children “Your time” and base things around your schedule.
- Don’t rehash the things that have happened in the past, you can’t change what has already ready happened
- Don’t use the children as messengers. This puts them right in the middle. Not only are you risking their love and affection you are also relying upon the child to get the message to your spouse correctly and in the manner you meant it.
- Don’t use your children as a bargaining chip during the settlement process.
- Don’t stop the children from seeing the other parent because he or she owes you money.
The Emotional Do’s
- Do get professional help if you need it to cope with your divorce.
- Do make the children feel that your new home is also their home. That should include whatever chores they were responsible for at your prior home they should also be responsible for at your new home.
- Do remember that the children have a social life. They have cricket, birthday parties and friends. It is important that their social life be as normal as possible. They are not the ones who are divorcing, you are. So let them maintain a normal social calendar.
- Do show respect towards your spouse in front of the children.
- Do make sure that the children know they are not the reason for the divorce.
- Hire an experienced divorce attorney.
- Compile a fact-based list or collection of documents that you will use as the grounds for filing for a divorce. While grounds for divorce vary depending on the religion of the divorcing parties, general grounds include adultery, abandonment, physical or mental abuse, sexual impotency, if one party has a terminal or incurable disease and if one party is clinically insane.
- File (or have your lawyer file on your behalf) the divorce petition at the court in the jurisdiction where the marriage license was originally issued. In addition to the grounds for divorce, you must also provide income tax statements, salary information, details on living arrangements with children and family members and any property or assets that you own separately or jointly.
- Sign a Vakalatnama, which gives your lawyer the right to represent you in court.
- Answer any additional questions or requests for information that the court or your lawyer may have in regards to your petition for divorce.
What are the Grounds for Divorce among Hindus?
There are 5 specific grounds for divorce. Heading the list is adultery. The next four are spousal desertion, cruelty of one spouse to another, impotence and disease. Disease includes any incurable disease either physical or mental. The discovery that the spouses are closely related also counts as a ground, but these marriages are de jure illegal. Only through fraud can close relatives marry.
How Long do you Need to be Married to Get a Divorce?
This is a major difference between western and Hindu divorce law. The Hindu Marriage Act makes it clear that no court will hear a divorce case within 1 year after the marriage. It is assumed that spats will occur as young couples adjust to co-habitation and married life. However, there are cases of extreme need where divorce cases are heard within 12 months, but these are rare. It is explicitly mentioned in the law that, under some extreme circumstances, a divorce case can be dismissed within the first 12 months without prejudice. This means that the court has found reason for divorce, but still will not hear the case within the 1 year. “Without prejudice” means that the court leaves open the case for filing at a later date, that is, after the 12 months has expired.
Do Courts Enforce “Conjugal Rights?”
In the Marriage Act, it is possible for courts to enforce conjugal relations. The basic principle is this: if the court finds that one partner has refused to sleep with the other for no good reason and the other spouse sues on these grounds, the court can and will demand that the other spouse reengage in marital relations. If there are grounds for the interruption in marital relations, these can then be packaged as a basic divorce case at a later time.
DIVORCE RATES IN INDIA
Divorce has become one of the most commonly used words in India. All over the country, we can find a high tide of divorce. The numerical figures are mounting up obnoxiously. This year there has been an increase of 70% in divorce cases. The couples who separate are mostly of the 25-30 age group and they file their case within the first 2-3 years of marriage.
If you think that divorce is prevalent only in the metros, you are wrong.
There is no such exception. It is there in the semi-urban regions as much in the metros.
In the Indian scenario
We are in the peak of the 21st century and India has achieved great acclaim in the fields of science, technology and medicine. We had approved of western links to our culture long back and it’s no surprise to find divorce as a household term.
In spite of all the crowing glory, we aren’t free from family crisis. Isn’t this a paradox in a traditional country like India? You would be even more surprised to find that the highly educated pairs are those who wish to separate faster.
Financial freedom – India is the land of education and advancement. Youngsters of the modern India seek professional education that qualifies them to have highly paid jobs. They become capable of themselves at a very young age i.e., at 20 or 21. They would have been on a job for years, by the time they marry. This financial freedom they enjoy can induce them to free themselves from unwanted relationships.
Increased acceptance by family- Our families have become broader in their concepts of matrimony to an extent. A lot of families approve of their divorced sons and daughters and have gathered a feeling that they could lead life, (sometimes more peacefully) without a spouse.
- Life in metro cities– The life in a metro city teaches people to be less obligated to others. No one is ‘more than enough interested’ in others’ affairs. This paves way to do things solely upon one’s own discretion alone.
- Deterioration of moral values– It’s evident from now that there has been a pitfall of values. We no longer cling to the traditional values which once were the corner stones of family life. This moral degradation is a profound reason for increased divorce rates in India.
- Stressful modern life– Everything in the modern view is deep rooted in competition. We are strenuously preparing for an ever-winning environment and this requires employees to work 24/7. They are put on pressure by the company and they avenge this frustration and tension on their partner when they get home. Such relationships are not likely to last long.
- Transition of gender roles and professional rivalry– In the past, women were ‘supposed’ to rear family while men worked. But modern advancements have brought about striking changes in the roles of women in the society. In a family where both the husband and wife go for work, a lot of problems are likely to arise related to the sharing of household affairs. This could also ignite professional rivalry if the woman earns more.
Whatever may be the reason, it’s a fact that we need to modify our attitudes for the higher good. Moreover, respect for each other is mandatory to have a better outlook of matrimony.
By Lakshmi Rajes. She is very passionate about writing and she currently works as a part-time faculty of English.
Most parents worry about the emotional effects of divorce on children. They may be worried enough to decide divorce is not “the right thing to do” and try to save their marriage. They may recognize that divorce is inevitable but be plagued with concern about how it is affecting their children.
It is important, then, that parents have a clear idea of what exactly the psychological effects of divorce on their children may be. They can then make a sound decision about divorce and work throughout divorce to minimize or avoid them altogether.
Before looking at the emotional effects of divorce on children, remember:
- They are potential effects
- Some apply to certain age groups more than others.
- The likelihood and extent of these emotional effects depends on a number of factors, almost all of which are within your control.
So what are the emotional effects of divorce on children? Children may experience a wide range of emotions, some of which may be new and therefore doubly distressing.
Insecure and afraid of the future
The many and often unavoidable changes that accompany divorce can undermine a child’s sense of security and make them fearful of the future – about “what’s next?” Will we be poor, will we have enough to eat, will I have to go to a new school, will I lose my pet rabbit, will I still see my friends? In short, they will fret about all the things that are important in their world.
Fearful of being abandoned
From a child’s perspective, the unimaginable has happened – a parent is no longer at home. Children may be deeply afraid that the other parent is going to “disappear” too and leave them alone in the world.
Children of divorce may feel rejected and unloved by the parent who has left. This makes little sense until we remember that children perceive themselves as the center of the universe. Therefore, everything that happens must have something to do with them.
For the same reason, children may believe the divorce is their fault, caused by something they said or did, or just the way they are, and feel a deep sense of guilt and shame. Even difficult teens may be afraid that their behavior has contributed to the divorce and made it easier for a parent to leave.
Children who feel responsible for problems between parents tend to believe they can also fix things. They may go to great lengths to be a “better child” – a more helpful and appealing child – or believe they have the power to “wish” their parents back together again. When this doesn’t happen – when their often elaborate plans and hopes for reconciliation fail – children feel powerless and upset that they cannot make a difference.
Torn in two
The most damaging effect of divorce on children is the emotional trauma caused by parents who fight or belittle each other in front of their children. Children feel expected to take sides but cannot do this without being disloyal to the other parent. However, by not taking sides they fear disapproval and rejection by both. They are trapped in a no-win situation where it is “wrong” to love both parents.
Children of divorce may feel a huge sense of loss and sadness, believing that the absent parent has gone forever and that they no longer have a family – a way of life is at an end. Their feelings mirror those of children who really have lost a parent forever, to accident or illness. However, they are often underestimated or overlooked so that children of divorce do not receive the same kind of support. Unmanaged they can deepen into depression.
During divorce, children may feel stressed and under pressure to do more than they can realistically cope with at a time that is already stressful enough. For instance, they may volunteer to take on extra duties at home or be burdened with extra responsibilities like it or not. They may also be used as a confidante and advisor by one or both parents, a role that even teens are not qualified for or comfortable with. Eager to help out and seem “grown up,” they may hide how stressed they really are.
Children of divorce may feel lonely. They may miss the intimacy, comfort and particular parenting skills of the absent parent. The parent at home may be so wrapped up in their own problems that they are not available to their children. Circumstances may have cut them off from their usual playmates. Children may seek intimacy and comfort elsewhere, or become withdrawn.
Anger is a common emotional effect of divorce caused by lack of understanding or acceptance of the divorce, specific events and changes, emotions that children are not equipped to manage or express, and so on. Children do not always show their anger. It is more common when divorce brings a low-conflict marriage to an end because the reasons for the divorce are not so obvious. Children resent their parents for doing something that in their view is unnecessary.
Depression is not a direct emotional effect of divorce but a “second stage” emotion following on from one or several emotions linked to divorce. For instance, sadness, loneliness, feeling rejected. Depression is a sign that children have not received the support they need to cope with these emotions.
Grounds for Divorce
The following are the grounds for divorce in India mentioned under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Adultery – The act of indulging in any kind of sexual relationship including intercourse outside marriage is termed as adultery. Adultery is counted as a criminal offence and substantial proofs are required to establish it. An amendment to the law in 1976 states that one single act of adultery is enough for the petitioner to get adivorce.
Cruelty – A spouse can file a divorce case when he/she is subjected to any kind of mental and physical injury that causes danger to life, limb and health. The intangible acts of cruelty through mental torture are not judged upon one single act but series of incidents. Certain instances like the food being denied, continuous ill treatment and abuses to acquire dowry, perverse sexual act and such are included under cruelty.
Desertion – If one of the spouses voluntarily abandons his/her partner for at least a period of two years, the abandoned spouse can file adivorce case on the ground of desertion.
Conversion – Incase either of the two converts himself/herself into another religion, the other spouse may file a divorce case based on this ground.
Mental Disorder – Mental disorder can become a ground for filing a divorce if the spouse of the petitioner suffers from incurable mental disorder and insanity and therefore cannot be expected from the couple to stay together.
Leprosy – In case of a ‘virulent and incurable’ form of leprosy, a petition can be filed by the other spouse based on this ground.
Venereal Disease – If one of the spouses is suffering from a serious disease that is easily communicable, a divorce can be filed by the other spouse. The sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS are accounted to be venereal diseases.
Renunciation – A spouse is entitled to file for a divorce if the other renounces all worldly affairs by embracing a religious order.
Not Heard Alive – If a person is not seen or heard alive by those who are expected to be ‘naturally heard’ of the person for a continuous period of seven years, the person is presumed to be dead. The other spouse should need to file adivorce if he/she is interested in remarriage.
No Resumption of Co-habitation – It becomes a ground for divorce if the couple fails to resume their co-habitation after the court has passed a decree of separation.
The following are the grounds for divorce in India on which a petition can be filed only by the wife.
- If the husband has indulged in rape, bestiality and sodomy.
- If the marriage is solemnized before the Hindu Marriage Act and the husband has again married another woman in spite of the first wife being alive, the first wife can seek for adivorce.
- A girl is entitled to file for a divorce if she was married before the age of fifteen and renounces the marriage before she attains eighteen years of age.
- If there is no co-habitation for one year and the husband neglects the judgment of maintenance awarded to the wife by the court, the wife can contest for a divorce.
Based on the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage act, 1939, a Muslim woman can seek divorce on the following grounds for divorce in India.
- The husband’s whereabouts are unknown for a period of four years.
- The husband has failed to provide maintenance to the wife for at least two years.
- The husband has been under imprisonment for seven or more years.
- The husband is unable to meet the marital obligations.
- If the girl is married before fifteen and decides to end the relationship before she turns eighteen.
- The husband indulges in acts of cruelty.
Let us check out the following grounds of divorce mentioned under the Indian Divorce Act, 1869.
- Conversion to another religion
- One of the couples suffering from an unsound mind, leprosy or communicable venereal disease for at least two years before the filing of thedivorce.
- Not been seen or heard alive for the period of seven or more years.
- Failure in observing the restitution of conjugal rights for at least two years.
- Inflicting cruelty and giving rise to mental anxiety that can be injurious to health and life.
- Wife can file a divorce based on the grounds of rape, sodomy and bestiality.
The following are the grounds for divorce in India included in the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 and the amendment of the same in 1988.
- Continuous absence of seven years.
- Non-consummation of marriage within one year.
- Unsound mind provided the other spouse was unaware of the fact at the time of marriage and the divorce must be filed within three years of marriage.
- Pregnancy by some other man provided the husband was unaware of the incident during the time of marriage and that he must not have undergone sexual intercourse after he came to know about the situation. Thedivorce must be filed within two years of marriage.
- Adultery, bigamy, fornication, rape, or any other type of perverse sexual act.
- Act of cruelty
- Suffering from venereal disease or forcing the wife into flesh trade.
- Sentenced to prison for seven years or more
- Desertion for two or more years
- Non-resumption of cohabitation after passing an order of maintenance or a decree of judicial separation.
HOW DO I PLAN FOR DIVORCE
Your marriage is over, and you’re now going to entertain getting a divorce.
I’m here to help you answer the question, how do I plan for a divorce? Well, first of all, recognize that divorce is a very emotional process, but once you get past the emotions, you have to recognize that it is also a business type decision.
You must decide in advance, and hopefully with your other spouse,
- how you’re going to divide your assets and divide your liabilities.
- What you’re going to do with the children?
- Who’s going to take the children?
- Who’s going to have visitation with the children? On what days, what dates?
- What type of child support is going to be paid from one spouse to the other?
- Whether there’s going to be any support from one spouse to the other and things of that nature.
The sooner you can reach a decision on those matters, the sooner you can proceed with your divorce.
What to do when your spouse wants divorce ?
When you are going through a rough patch in your marriage thoughts of separating may creep into your thoughts. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, many people who are at odds with their mate consider a divorce. The thought of it is much different than the reality though. When your spouse wants a divorce and tells you it can feel as though your world is crashing down around you. How you handle the situation will actually determine whether or not the marriage does end in divorce. Your actions can actually influence your spouse’s decision greatly.
Your first reaction when your spouse wants a divorce may be to vehemently refuse. Crying and begging are not beneath anyone when the person they love most in the world has expressed their desire to end the relationship. Doing this can actually damage the relationship even more and further alienate your spouse. When you react in an emotionally charged way to their sharing their feelings about the relationship they may feel even more alienated from you. This can cause them to come to the conclusion that they are indeed making the right decision regarding the divorce and they’ll be more determined to make it happen.
A much more productive approach is to try your best to remain calm. This will likely be incredibly hard but it’s important for several reasons. By not pouting or shouting you are showing your spouse that you understand the seriousness of the situation. If you agree, at least temporarily, to a separation you are also demonstrating that you respect their wishes and want to do all you can to help them. Don’t assume that your spouse will think you want a divorce as well if you agree to a trial separation. Just make it clear that you still love them but you want to do what they feel is best for them right now.
Don’t involve anyone else in your marriage troubles. This includes your parents, in-laws, children and mutual friends. Once you include another party your spouse may feel that you’ve violated not only their privacy but the privacy of your marriage as well. It’s very difficult if your spouse is confronted by another person and asked to talk about your marriage. This can actually cause your spouse to feel resentment towards you that may be very hard for him or her to overcome. Keep your marriage issues between the two of you.
Couples can love one another and yet find themselves drifting apart and headed for a divorce. There are steps you can take, with or without the aid of your spouse to get your marriage back into the loving place it once was. You can save your marriage and rebuild it into a more connected, satisfying relationship.
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