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Supreme Court: You Can Divorce Your Wife But Cannot Divorce Your Children

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Divorces are messy. And yes, I’m talking about the ones that are mutually decided. When two people choose to divorce each other, the consequences are faced by everyone involved in the relationship – especially the child(ren). Taking divorce from your wife doesn’t mean that you divorce your children as well. This statement was further affirmed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday when assessing a divorce case.

Recently, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court, while ruling on a divorce case, stated to the man that he can divorce his wife but not his children. The Supreme Court bench also added that he also has to take care of their children as he helped produce them.

The Supreme Court in the matter of the divorce case where children were involved, asked the husband to pay Rs. 4 crores in the settlement. And to do so, the man has to pay it within six weeks. In fact, the Supreme Court also used its plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution and granted the divorce to the couple who mutually agreed upon it. 

As per the ruling of the Supreme Court, the couple who have been living separately since 2019, will complete all the conditions of the divorce settlements that both of them have agreed upon. But during the divorce proceedings, the husband’s counselor said that he needed some more time to pay Rs. 4 crore because his business has suffered a great deal due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to the counselor’s argument in the divorce case, the Supreme Court bench said, “You yourself have agreed in the settlement that the day decree of divorce will be granted, you will be paying her Rs 4 crore. Now, this financial constraint argument will not hold good… You can divorce your wife but you cannot divorce your children as you have given birth to them. You have to take care of them. You will have to pay her the amount to maintain herself and the minor children.”

The husband’s counselor in the case argued with the Supreme Court bench implying that the husband doesn’t mind paying the settlement. But his only request is that he needs some time to do so – that he’ll pay Rs. 1 crore in one month and then pay Rs. 1 crore after three months.

The reason the husband’s counselor stated did not sit quite well with the Supreme Court bench. The Supreme Court bench who were looking over the case observed that the agreement between the couple had already been reached in August 2019. And further added that if the Covid-19 pandemic wouldn’t have hit, then the husband would have paid the entire settlement amount by the end of 2019 itself. 

The Supreme Court bench that was assessing the divorce case that involved children, added that the husband has already paid Rs. 1 crore on the day of the settlement and the remaining amount of Rs. 4 crores will have to be paid to the wife when he gets the decree of divorce.

And to me, the Supreme Court’s judgment on the case is sound. The husband cannot just delay the settlement amount that he needs to pay his wife and children. The amount that he would have had to pay in 2019 itself. Divorces are not easy. It is not just about the emotional bit but also about the practical aspect of it. If a couple is getting a divorce, then that doesn’t mean that the responsibility of their children goes to the partner the children are staying with. Both of them are equally responsible for their children. 

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