India as a country is still bonded into its old traditions very deeply, and divorce in itself is usually seen as a taboo, and if not that, then at least avoided. Divorce is a sensitive and complex process that requires careful consideration and adherence to legal procedures.
Apart from the many social hurdles that divorce comes with, there are a lot of legal hurdles that an individual faces in the process of divorce. The concept of online divorce initially made it easier, but post the pandemic there have been different stances.
In India, divorce has various legal steps to deal with. Make sure you consult a good lawyer to stay on the right path and avoid hassles. There must be the presence of a professional to present you in the Court as well. This article will give you a better idea of the current state of online divorce in India.
Can I File Divorce Online In India: Myth Or Reality?
The advent of technology has transformed various aspects of our lives, and legal procedures are no exception. In recent times, there has been a growing myth surrounding the possibility of filing for divorce online in India. While discussions with lawyers revealed that an online divorce process was implemented during the pandemic, the current scenario suggests that couples are now required to seek permission from the court, subject to certain conditions.
The Pandemic-Induced Online Divorce Process
It is understood that during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court’s proceedings were held online when this system first started. This measure which was initially temporary and for social distancing, ended up helping people in far apart jurisdictions too. In the process, everything from document submissions to court hearings was held online in terms of electronic method and virtual methods.
Current Situation: Seeking Permission from the Court
As of the present scenario, the online divorce process in India is not a blanket reality but rather contingent on obtaining permission from the court. Couples are required to demonstrate valid grounds for seeking divorce through an online platform. The court, upon reviewing the application, may grant permission for online filing based on specific criteria.
Conditions for Online Divorce Filing
Since the court doesn’t allow divorce proceedings to be held online entirely. Here are a few conditions, where the Court makes exceptions if it deems to be fit, and can help you gain more knowledge about online divorce filing and how to apply for divorce online in India.
1. Mutual Consent:
One of the common grounds for online divorce filing is mutual consent. If both parties agree to the divorce and the terms of separation, the court may permit the process to be conducted online.
2. Geographical Constraints:
The couples are in far apart jurisdictions and for some reason cannot travel regularly. To ease that logistical difficulty, the Court allows the divorce filing to be online.
3. Special Circumstances:
The special circumstances are entirely subjective, and at the discretion of the court, but usually involve health issues or the times when urgent legal intervention is needed but the parties cannot be physically present for that.
While the concept of online divorce filing in India was indeed a reality during the pandemic, the current scenario requires couples to seek permission from the court based on specific grounds. As technology continues to shape legal procedures, individuals contemplating divorce need to stay informed about the evolving processes and seek professional legal advice to navigate the complexities of online divorce filings in India.
Practical Steps For Exploring Online Divorce
Exploring online divorce in India involves several practical steps, from understanding the eligibility criteria to navigating the digital platforms. Here is a guide to help you explore online divorce in India:
1. Understand Eligibility Criteria:
Confirm whether you meet the eligibility criteria for online divorce. In many cases, mutual consent or specific circumstances like geographical constraints are essential for online filing.
2. Research Your Jurisdiction:
You need to research your jurisdiction carefully when thinking of online divorce. Geographical constraints are one of the factors that play a role in terms of seeking permission for online divorce.
3. Consult with a Divorce Lawyer:
Seek consultation with a Divorce lawyer to understand online divorce's legal implications and ensure that you meet the requirements. A lawyer can guide you through the process and help you prepare the required documents.
4. Prepare Necessary Documents:
Make sure you have all the important documents, like a marriage certificate, financial documents, etc. Also, ensure that these documents are in the right digital format for the submission, so that you do not face any administrative or logistical issues.
5. Initiate the Process Online:
Once you have gathered the required documents, check the official website of the relevant family court or legal services portal for information on initiating the online divorce process. Some jurisdictions may have dedicated online platforms for filing divorce cases.
6. Fill Online Application Form:
The application form is to be completed online with the right and detailed information. The information is largely related to spouses and their facts.
7. Pay Fees Online:
Pay the required court fees online, as specified by the jurisdiction. Many courts now accept online payments, so ensure that you follow the designated payment process.
8. Submit Supporting Documents Electronically:
Upload the supporting documents in the online portal, like Divorce Affidavit for Divorce, financial statements, and any other evidence supporting your case.
9. Wait for Court Approval:
After submitting the application and documents, wait for the court to review your case. The court may grant permission for online divorce based on the grounds of divorce provided.
10. Participate in Virtual Hearings:
As and when required and instructed, ensure that you attend the virtual hearings. If you do not attend them in the right manner or end up disturbing the time of Court, it can be heavily harmful to your case. Make sure you have the necessities like a laptop and internet connection, so you can attend the hearings without disturbance and properly.
11. Follow Court Instructions:
Adhere to any additional instructions provided by the court throughout the online divorce proceedings. This may include responding to court queries, providing additional documents, or attending virtual mediation sessions.
12. Receive Digital Decree:
As per the Court’s decision, a digital copy of the decree is released. If the document is approved, it becomes a legally binding document of divorce and terminates the marriage entirely.
Remember, the availability and process of online divorce may vary across different regions in India. Always consult with a qualified family lawyer and stay informed about the specific requirements and procedures in your jurisdiction.
To conclude, the Indian divorce process is a combination of physical and online processes. The pandemic sped up the creation of online divorce, which allowed couples to start the process via digital channels and provided some brief respite. But as things stand right now, Indian couples seeking an online divorce must apply for approval from the court based on certain criteria, such as consent from both parties, geographic limitations, or exceptional circumstances. Application rigor, electronic document filing, virtual hearings, and compliance with court directives are all part of the process.
Practically speaking, investigating online divorce entails learning about eligibility requirements, looking into jurisdiction-specific laws, speaking with a family lawyer, putting together the required paperwork, starting the online procedure, and taking part in virtual hearings. Online divorce is convenient, but its terms and availability may change depending on where in India you live.