(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder, a petition for dissolution of marriage may be presented to the District Court by both the parties to a marriage together, whether such marriage was solemnized before or after the commencement of the Indian Divorce (Amendment) Act, 2001 (51 of 2001), on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of two years or more, that they have not been able to live together and they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved.

(2) On the motion of both the parties made not earlier than six months after the date of presentation of the petition referred to in sub-section (1) and not later than eighteen months after the said date, if the petition is not withdrawn by both the parties in the mean time, the Court shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and making such inquiry, as it thinks fit, that a marriage has been solemnized and that the averments in the petition are true, pass a decree declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of decree.

Landmark Judgements:

Saumya Ann Thomas vs The Union of India: Hon’ble Kerala High Court reduced the required separate residence time from two years to one year, aligning it with other divorce laws. This upheld equality and the right to life as per constitutional principles.

Tomy Joseph vs Smitha Tomy: Hon’ble Kerala High Court examined whether the cooling period in Section 10A(2) of the Divorce Act, 1869, could be waived, like in Section 13B(2) the Hindu Marriage Act. It ruled that the Supreme Court’s decision in Amardeep Singh vs Harveen Kaur also applies to petitions filed under Section 10A of the Divorce Act, 1869.

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