6-month waiting period not necessary for divorce, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has made a big change to the rules for Hindu couples looking to divorce.

The court said that individual judges can now decide if they can do away with the six-month wait for couples who agree that they no longer want to stay married.

Currently, under the Hindu Marriage Act, after a couple files for divorce claiming mutual consent, they have to wait for 18 months to actually get the divorce.

This includes 12 months of separation that have to be established, followed by a six-month cooling off period that is intended to allow for them to get back together if they so desire.

The Supreme Court said that if there are no chances of reunion, this six-month period need not apply. It also need not apply in cases where the couple has settled differences including alimony and child custody.

The verdict came in response to a Delhi couple who asked for the six-month waiting period to be waived because they had been living separately for eight years and were confident that they would not get back together.

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