Sticking to the stigma, India still feels divorce is a social taboo which is reflected in less than 1% of the divorce rate in India. Yet, there is a wider Indian population yearning for divorce but stopped in various cases and conditions.
This article is to help such people who expect liberty from married life without taking the ‘divorce’ tag. This article will talk exclusively about the legal separation process, a prominent alternative to divorce aided by the best divorce lawyer in Chandigarh and others.
What is Legal Separation?
Legal separation is a legal status that allows a married couple to live separately while remaining legally married. It is an alternative to divorce and provides a middle ground between marriage and divorce.
This step is taken by married couples at the stage where they are uncertain to amend or part ways, yet wish to establish financial and responsibility boundaries on various factors such as property, child custody, etc. This process offers couples a thinking period where they can analyse and clarify their life’s further move.
Even the Matrimonial Lawyer in Chandigarh suggests this option for couples struggling to make decisions on their divorce grounds.
What is the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?
There are some prominent differences between legal separation and divorce which are detailed below.
- Legal separation offers a legal break from matrimonial duties and obligations for a certain time scale while divorce completely dissolves the marital bond permanently.
- Legal separation can be applied at any point in time after marriage but divorce can be applied only after completion of 1 year of marriage.
- In case of legal separation, it is granted if the grounds of application are justified. But in the case of divorce, even if the grounds are justified the marriage is considered for reconciliation before granting the divorce.
- In case of legal separation, the couples hold the space to consider reconciliation of their marriage but in divorce, the marriage cannot be reconciled.
- Legal separation falls under section 10 of the HMA, 1955 while divorce falls under section 13 of the act.
- Legal separation can also be the ground for future divorce.
What are the Grounds for Legal Separation in India?
In India, legal separation can be applied on certain grounds which are as follows:
- When one spouse is physically or mentally harmful to the other;
- When one spouse has deserted the other;
- When one spouse has been repeatedly guilty of adultery or of an act that renders him or her unfit to be married;
- When one spouse is subject to a mental disorder;
- When there is a serious threat to the physical or mental health of either spouse.
What are the Key Factors of Legal Separation?
Living Apart: Legal separation typically involves the spouses living separately and independently from each other.
Division of Assets and Debts: The legal separation agreement may address the division of marital property, assets, and debts, similar to divorce proceedings.
Child Custody and Support: Legal separation agreements often outline arrangements for child custody, visitation rights, and child support.
Spousal Support: The agreement may also address spousal support (alimony) payments, if applicable.
Health Insurance and Benefits: In some cases, a legal separation may allow one spouse to retain certain benefits such as health insurance that they would otherwise lose in the event of divorce.
Decision-Making Authority: The legal separation agreement may specify how decisions regarding major issues, such as education and medical care for children, are to be made.
Religious Considerations: For couples whose religious beliefs prohibit divorce, legal separation may be a viable option.
These key factors of legal separation make it the best alternative option to divorce as per the notable divorce lawyer in Chandigarh.
What are the Advantages of Legal Separation?
Legal separation holds a range of advantages in the marriage grounds. Some of them are mentioned below.
Thinking and Reflection Space:
Legal separation provides spouses with the opportunity to live apart and reflect on their marriage without the finality of divorce. It allows time for individuals to assess their feelings and evaluate the possibility of reconciliation.
Preservation of Marital Status:
Certain people prefer liberty from marriage commitments, yet are not ready to discard their marital status which may affect their other commitments. In this case, legal separation is advantageous.
Financial and other benefits:
Legal separation agreements often address the division of assets, debts, and financial responsibilities. This can help protect each spouse’s financial interests and ensure a fair distribution of resources.
Remaining legally married through a legal separation may enable one spouse to retain certain benefits, such as health insurance or social security, which could be lost in the event of divorce.
Safer Transition Zone for Children:
Legal separation agreements can provide clarity and structure regarding child custody, visitation, and support. This can help minimize the disruption for children and maintain stability in their lives.
Potential for Reconciliation:
Legal separation may serve as a period of trial separation during which couples can work on their issues. Some couples find that the time apart helps them address problems and potentially reconcile without going through the divorce process.
Escape from divorce stigma:
In some social or cultural contexts, divorce may carry a stigma. Legal separation can provide a more socially acceptable alternative, allowing couples to lead separate lives without the negative connotations associated with divorce.
On the whole, legal separation holds a great range of advantages over divorce as per the best divorce lawyer in Punjab.
Many top legal firms such as AM Partners provide services for the legal separation process in India.
It is not always necessary to break a marriage when feeling reverted, instead one can take a break from marriage life via legal separation seeking the help of the best divorce lawyer in Chandigarh and others. Think about it.
1) What are the benefits of legal separation in India?
- Potential for reconciliation of marriage.
- Temporary break from marital duties and responsibilities.
- Reflecting space for couples.
- Escape from divorce stigma
2) How can one take legal separation from a spouse in India?
One should apply a petition for legal separation in district court under Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
3) How long does legal separation take in India?
Legal separation takes about 2-3 years same as divorce in India as the procedures for both are almost similar.
4) Is it better to get separated or divorced?
Legal separation is a pause in the process of divorce. As divorce will have an unrepairable change in the marriage life, legal separation can be a prognostic part of making stronger decisions.