Hindu Separation


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All You Need to Know about Judicial Separation

Judicial separation is when you get a court order permitting you to live separately from your spouse. Under the law, once a couple is married, they are expected to cohabit. Each spouse automatically gets the right to cohabit with the other spouse. Therefore, if you want to formally stop living with your spouse (in case of problems in your marriage), then you can opt for judicial separation.

In judicial separation, you still remain legally married to your spouse. You only start living separately. In a divorce, your marriage itself is put to an end.

  • In a divorce, you are not legally bound as a married couple anymore, but in judicial separation, you continue to remain husband and wife.
  • Divorce can be asked after judicial separation but judicial separation cannot be asked after divorce.

Judicial separation grants a couple the space and time to live separately and resolve their issues. Since the marriage continues to exist, you can let go of the judicial separation at any time and go back to your marriage if you want.

People usually opt for judicial separation in two situations:

  1. If you feel that there is scope to reconcile your marriage, but you don’t want to live with your spouse. The separation gives both parties space and time to think and resolve the issues.
  2. If you don’t want to get a divorce but also don’t want to live with your spouse. For eg- Couples with children often choose to be separated instead of divorced for convenience.

When a couple gets married, they are expected to live together. If one of them wants to live separately, without the consent of the other, they can do so, but, the other spouse can always file for Restitution of Conjugal Rights.

The Hindu Marriage Act, Section 10.

  1. On what grounds- On the same grounds as a contested divorce. See Divorce
  2. Where- The same District Court where you would file for a divorce. See Divorce
  3. When- Any time after the marriage. There is no one year waiting period like in divorce.

Yes, you can, but only one year after the date when judicial separation has been granted and if you and your husband have not started living together during the separation period. For example, if the court passed the order for judicial separation on 1 st January 2020, then you can file for divorce only after 1 st January 2021, provided you both have not been living together during this period.


Please note: This information has been made available to you for your benefit on an ‘as is’ basis, and is only for your information. It does not constitute legal advice and cannot substitute professional legal advice. Our disclaimer policy can be viewed here ( disclaimer policy)

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