Couples increasingly calling it quits in sunset years

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 05, 2014 13:38 IST

The young couple tied the nuptial knot way back in 1977 and now, 37 years later, after having raised their children, have decided to unhitch due to “irrevocable differences.”

This is not an isolated incident in which both husband and wife decided to call it quits after living together for years.

There are about such 1,200 such cases pending in the courts, which received a sizeable number of divorce or separation petitions filed by couples who had been married for a lengthy period, unlike earlier when most couple filed for divorce within the first two years of marriage.

In another such case a government employee sought separation from his wife, alleging he was being subjected to “torture” at her hands almost every day.

Lawyers dealing with matrimonial disputes are seeing a significant rise in cases in which couples file for legal divorce after meeting their parental responsibilities and discharging financial liabilities, a trend which they claim began about a decade ago.

“This can be attributed to changing values, erosion of traditional joint family system and a change in the perception that divorce is a stigma,” said Savita Saxena, a lawyer.

“After trying to keep the marriage intact for years together for the sake of the kids, couples are now realising they need to resolve irreconcilable differences by parting ways and seeking a new life. In my case it’s the support of my children that has given me courage to end a dead marriage and start life afresh. It’s never too late,” said a woman residing in Sector 46, who decided to file for a divorce after remaining married for over three decades.

Another lawyer, Amit Kumar, said: “Both men and women are initiating divorce proceedings in equal numbers and, in most cases, it’s mutual. It’s ironical but true that, after so many years spent in trying to compromise both reach an understanding to allow the other partner to stay apart.”

“One should understand couples resort to divorce or separation only after all efforts of reconciliation have failed. In most cases the marriage is already dead and divorce is only a formality,” said advocate Manjit Kaur.

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