This week, judges at the Delhi High Court were pondering over whether changing your mind in the course of divorce proceedings amounted to contempt of court. Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act spells out a two step process for divorce: the first motion of divorce is filed if both parties consent to filing for divorce and the couple has been living apart for at least a year, followed by a 6 month waiting or cooling-off period. At the end of this period, the couple can either withdraw their consent for divorce if they’ve changed their minds, or finalise the separation by filing the second motion for divorce.
The contention in this case was whether it amounts to contempt of court to change your mind after signing an undertaking in court to file the second motion. Eight cases were brought up in the matter, including one in which the wife refused to sign the second position after changing her mind on the amount of alimony she was to receive, and another in which the husband changed his mind after the wife took back an FIR against him for cruelty.
Given that the point of the 6 month cooling off period is for couples to explore the possibility of continuing their marital lives together, Justice Manmohan said that it “would not be proper to force the party who has developed second thoughts in accordance with the option given by the statute, to go ahead with the divorce at the pain of contempt.” However, it has also been ruled previously that spouses cannot take advantage of or profit from this option in mutual consent cases. Therefore, due to contradictory ambits of similar cases in other High Court and the Supreme Court judgements, the issue will be resolved by a two or three member judge Bench.
But really, why go through all this trouble when you can, like this woman, practice some extreme self-love and just marry yourself? Sologamy, or self-marriage, has reportedly been on the rise over the last decade, and the people who practice it have only happy stories to tell. Women who have married themselves say that sologamy gave them subversive power in a marriage-centric world, and reaffirms their commitment to really caring for themselves. Plus as one of Erika Anderson’s self-wedding cards said, “you and yourself must be great in bed!”.