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‘Incompatible’ couple in their 80s fight for divorce, remain adamant to part ways in Ludhiana

Several attempts by counsellors to ensure that the elderly couple reaches a compromise went in vain.

punjab Updated: Sep 09, 2018 22:57 IST
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Divorce in India,elderly couple divorce
While the man is now staying at an old age home, his wife lives in a separate house.

It is never too late to ‘divorce’. At the Ludhiana district courts, it has emerged that there has been an increase in the number of couples in the evening of their lives filing for divorce.

In a peculiar case witnessed at the National Lok Adalats held on Saturday, an 85-year-old man and his 83-year-old wife, contesting a divorce case after over five decades of their marriage, were exhaustively counselled by judicial officers. However, the attempts went largely unsuccessful with the couple adamant to part ways.

While the man is now staying at an old age home, his wife lives in a separate house. The major reason for which the two are seeking legal separation was incompatibility.

What came as a shock to the judicial officers hearing the case was that the elderly couple has three daughters — all of whom are well-settled.

After several attempts by counsellors to ensure that the elderly couple reaches a compromise went in vain, the bench decided to summon their daughters on the next hearing so that the children can make an attempt to counsel their parents to stay together.

“We are used to seeing young couples fighting a divorce. It surprises us when couples in the evening of their lives want to separate. This is the time when couples need each other the most and the trend is thus alarming. One reason for such cases is an increased awareness especially among women. Rising intolerance is another cause,” said Gurpreet Kaur, chief judicial magistrate-cum-secretary, District Legal Service Authority.

Kaur added that earlier couples feared a divorce will bring stigma to their family, but not anymore. “In the past, husbands and especially wives were expected to put up with undesirable behaviour and ‘adjust’ for the sake of the family, but not anymore. Increased awareness is another reason for the couples seeking divorce in the sunset of their lives,” added Kaur.

Ludhiana district and sessions judge Gurbir Singh said growing intolerance is the major reason for the rising divorce rate. “Marriage is about adjustment, couples are just not willing to adjust with each other. It’s indeed shocking and disappointing to see aged coupes with their children settled take to courts,” he said.

In the previous lok adalats held in July, a 75-year-old man and his wife, who were seeking a divorce, were similarly counseled, but to no avail.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 20:56 IST