What is judicial separation in India is a question often asked by people who are not aware of this legal phrase and its implications. Marital life can be bliss for most couples. Two individuals come together to tie the nuptial knot and share their lives, happiness, and sorrow together as they raise a family and work hard to fulfill their social obligations. However, the same marital life can become a nightmare if there is discord and divergence of behavior, thoughts, and opinions. Divorce is the commonly resorted option by these couples in India. There is another option available to these unfortunate couples and it is called judicial separation. To provide you with more information about this topic this article attempts to find an answer to the question, what is judicial separation in India.
Judicial Separation in Indian Marriage Act
There is a provision under the Indian Marriage Act to give some time to both individuals to do some retro inspection if they are facing troubles in their marriage. This is a legal instrument that is called judicial separation. Judicial separation gives time to rethink about the relationship. It allows both the husband and the wife to live separately and give time to their strained relationship so that it heals with passage of time. Husband and wife get some time to live alone and think about their relationship. They can continue the marital relationship if they decide to live as a husband and wife after the expiry of this term that is described in the judicial separation. As such, judicial separation is a feature (section 10) under the Indian Marriage Act that gives the much needed peace of mind, space, and independence to both the husband and wife facing troubles in their marriage.
What is the Legal Status during Judicial Separation
Judicial separation is an attempt to save the institution of marriage, it is not divorce. Divorce leads to the actual breakup of the man and the woman in a marriage while judicial separation does not annul marriage at all. It is a last ditch attempt to save the marriage at any cost. This instrument under Indian Marriage Act reflects the desire of the lawmakers to prevent dissolution of this institution of our society. Judicial separation allows the couple to rethink about their relationship while living separately and also prevents them from facing the strain of living together. The legal status of the man and the woman does not change during the period of judicial separation and they remain husband and wife.
Grounds upon which one can get judicial separation
There are many grounds upon which judicial separation can be ordered by a judge in a law court. These include cruelty, adultery, desertion, forced conversion of religion, incurable diseases like leprosy, insanity, venereal diseases that are communicable, renunciation of the world by a spouse on religious grounds, either of the spouse not alive and seen for more than seven years. If the individual applying for judicial separation is wife, she has another ground upon which she can do so. If there is proof that her husband married another woman before her marriage and that woman is alive while this petition is being presented, the woman can easily get judicial separation from her husband. A woman can also apply for judicial separation from her husband on grounds of rape, sodomy, and bestiality. A girl who has been married to a man before the age of 18 can also apply for judicial separation.
To conclude, judicial separation is a decree from the court that prohibits husband and wife to cohabitate and orders them to live separately for a certain period. It does not dissolve the marriage of the concerned couple.