What is divorce

The most significant social relation is created by marriage. A marriage brings in a new social unit. A family is created. This is the smallest unit of society. On this depends the whole social structure of society. If this basic unit is weakened, needless to say the entire society and nation suffers. Whatever you do, whether you are at home, in office, market or even in battle front, it is the family ties that encourage and guide you. Who would forget the song in the movie Haqueat 'Ho ke majboor usne mujhe bhulaye hoga'  (She would have erased me from her mind under compulsion). 

Break up of the basic family unit is painful to individual and society both. That is why this is not allowed in orthodiox Hindu and Christian tradition. There is only union and no disunion. The Hindu marriage bind the couple for seven lives. Christian marriage is decided in heaven and performed on Earth.  Significantly, no marriage is disolved either in a church or a temple.  This is done in Islamic tradition only. 

Divorce may be defined as termination of responsibilities arising from marital relation. The responsibilities related to marriage are alimony or maintenance, custody of child and property distribution. Divorce differs from annulment of marriage. Annulment means that the marriage was null and void ab initio. Divorce brings the marital relation to an end. 

Grounds and procedure

As stated above, there is no room for divorce in Hindu tradition. Special Marriage Act was passed in 1954 and Hindu Marriage Act in 1955. The Hindus were for the first time legally permitted to divorce. Divorce can sought by husband or wife on following grounds:

  1. Adultery
  2. cruelty
  3. desertion for two years
  4. religious conversion
  5. mental abnormality
  6. veneral disease (sexually transmitted disease)
  7. leprsoy

Husband and wife may also file divorce petion with mutual consent one year after living separate. Such divorce cannot be appealed against. There is a minimum time lag of six months for grant of divorce which is counted from date of application to grant of divorce.  

How divorce affects 

Divorce is most unpleasant event. In India, a marriage is not between two individuals only. This is in affect between two families. Termination of marital relation is painful not only to husband and wife but to everyone in two families joined by the marital relation. When wife is wholly dependant on ger husband being mere house wife without and independent income, she is badly affected by divorce. The children are most affected. In most cases, this is a gross irresponsible act.  As long as a couple is issueless, divorce is not a big issue. But when they beget as child, they have social responibility to upbring future generation.  Divorce is nothing but turning a blind eye to this great social responibility. This is nothing but a treachery towards own children, the society and nation.

Children are the biggest casualty of divorce.  Repeated and multiple divorces are common in west. These are now more frequent in India as well. It goes without saying that a child is best brought up and groomed by own parents. Divorce ens the joint responsibility. If one of the divorced spouses marries another person, a child is brought up by one real parent and another whom the child's parent remarries. It may also happen that both parents are both divorcees and have seprate children of their own. Then there will be three teams of children. First of the father, second of the mother and third of both. Once a divorced person marriefd another divorces woman. a year later both had a child. The three children would ofteh quarel. Once the elder children were beating the third one. The wife complained-  "My child and your child are beating our child."  We may recall the movie- 'Thoda hai thode ki jaroorat hai.'   Husband and wife both had children of own born out of previous marriage. The children could adjust with difficulty. This created a comic scene.  In America, this is very common situtation.       

 Divorce should be sanctioned in very rare cases

Whenyou buy a commodity, the principle of caveat emptor or Buyer beware applies. This is more so in case of marriage. The vendors generally display in bold and prominently that goods once sold will not be taken back. Is marriage not much more significant?  why not consider all pros and cons of selecting groomort bride before marriage. It is better to take even one year to decide suitable match rather than marrying in haste and then rependting and seeking divorce. Many are too eager to marry at spur of moment but feel it difficult to adjust later. One cause of increase in  divorce is greater awakening in women about their rights and refusal to accept male supremacy. Also many morewomen have independent sourceof income and they depend very less on husband for survival. The attitude of individualism and lack of social responsibility also is a cause of divorces. One important caise of increase in divorce is break up of joint family. First joint family disintegrated. This gave rise to nuclear families. Now nuclear families are also disintegrating. There is no end to disintegration unless ultra individualism is checked and social responsibility stressed.  


There is need for greater social responsibility. When the couple become parents, divorce should be very difficult. Most appropriately, if divorce is granted this should be subject to adequate safegurds for child rights. The children could be brought up in state supervision and cost be recovered from the divorcing couple. For children, divorce of their parents is akin to death sentence, which is in rarest of rare cases. Then why divorce also be given easily. Courts should frant divorce also in very rare cases. 

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