Six months cooling period in divorce cases can be waived off: Supreme Court
September 13, 2017

The Supreme Court (SC) on 12 September 2017 held that the cooling period of six months for granting the decree of divorce under the 1955 Hindu law can be waived off by a trial court if there is no possibility of settlement between a couple. 

The ruling was given by a Supreme Court bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit.

The main aim of the cooling off period was to safeguard the marriage against a hurried decision if there was a possibility of differences being reconciled. 

However, if there are no chances of reunion and there are chances of fresh rehabilitation, the court should enable the parties to have a better option. 

The estranged couples, who are seeking divorce with mutual consent, can file waiver application after a week of filing the first motion. While conducting such proceedings, the trial court can use the medium of video conferencing.

Comment

The Supreme Court ruling came when the bench was hearing a plea filed by an estranged couple who had sought waiver of the six month cooling period on the ground that they have been living separately for the past eight years and there was no possibility of their re-union.

Section 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 provides for a statutory cooling period of six months between the first and the last motion for seeking divorce by mutual consent so that the couple can explore the possibilities of settlement and cohabitation.