Couples who divorce by mutual consent subject to contempt if they don’t abide by conditions of compromise: SC

A couple who choose to divorce by mutual consent will be susceptible to contempt of court if they do not abide by the various conditions of compromise finalised by the court, the Supreme Court has said.

In a recent order by a Bench led by Justice R. Banumathi, the apex court used its extraordinary powers and allowed a couple based in Uttar Pradesh to part by mutual consent after 20 years of marriage, provided they withdraw the several criminal cases filed against each other.

“In case of non-compliance of the terms of compromise, parties would be liable for contempt of this court in addition to other remedies available under law,” the order warned them.

The appeal filed by the husband, after his divorce petition was dismissed by the lower courts, in the Supreme Court took an amicable turn when the Bench referred the case for mediation.

The parties agreed to part by mutual consent and agreed to file a separate application agreeing for dissolution of marriage invoking the powers under Article 142 of Constitution.

The case was settled after the husband agreed to pay his estranged wife ₹10 lakh in full and final settlement of her claims “towards monthly maintenance past, present and future and in full quit of all other claims”. He also agreed to put fixed deposits worth ₹3 lakh for his daughter and contribute ₹1 lakh for her wedding.

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