Save Taxes with Expert Assisted ITR filing.
Starts from ₹799 onwards

Is The Cooling Off Period Same for All Couples That Apply For Mutual Divorce

The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 originally stipulated a 6-month cooling-off period before divorce, but the Supreme Court recently waived this requirement.

Sometimes, couples who have decided to file for mutual divorce change their minds. The couple can reconsider their decision and withdraw the mutual divorce application during the cooling-off period.

How long the cooling-off period lasts depends on where you live. In some states, it’s a few days; in others, it’s a few weeks. If you’re unsure how long the cooling-off period is in your state, check with an attorney or legal aid organisation.

Neither spouse can take any legal action during the cooling-off period to finalise the divorce. This means that assets cannot be divided, and no one can be evicted from the family home. If either spouse violates this agreement, they could be charged with contempt of court.

If you and your spouse have decided to file for mutual divorce, it’s important to understand how the cooling-off period works in your state.

Understanding Mutual Divorce

You might be wondering, what is a mutual divorce? In a mutual divorce, both the husband and wife agree to the divorce and the terms and conditions of the separation. This type of divorce is generally faster and less expensive than a contested divorce.

Most couples choose to apply for a mutual divorce because they want to avoid long and costly legal battles. As long as both spouses agree to the terms of the separation, the court will usually approve the divorce without too much trouble.

There is one catch, however: for the mutual divorce to be approved, both spouses must agree on all the terms of the separation. This includes the division of assets, child custody, and alimony. The couple will have to file for a contested divorce if even one issue is unresolved.

What Is the Cooling-Off Period?

The cooling-off period is a mandatory waiting period that all couples who apply for mutual divorce must undergo. During this time, the couple is given a chance to reconsider their decision and potentially reconcile.

The cooling-off period is typically six months long, but there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if one party can prove that the other party is at fault for the marriage breakdown, they may be granted a shorter cooling-off period.

It’s important to note that the cooling-off period can be extended if both parties agree. This can be useful for couples needing more time to finalise their divorce agreement or for those having trouble communicating amicably.

Verdict of Supreme Court 

Section 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 specifies a 6-month “cool down” or awaiting term after filing the divorce petition before the issue continues in situations of divorce by mutual consent to allow the couple one final opportunity to mend fences. Whether the 6-month cooling-off period is required or if courts can waive it in certain circumstances has been hotly contested, and civil proceedings across the nation have consistently taken opposing positions.

In the case of Amardeep Singh v. Harveen Kaur, the Supreme Court of India recently clarified the position on this issue by interpreting the law regarding the mandatory cool-off period required for couples divorcing by mutual consent as per the Section mentioned above 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. In this case, the couple had already reached mutually agreeable property and custody agreements before filing the divorce petition. 

They had been living apart and separated from one another for nearly eight years. The court then had to decide whether the six-month cooling-off period was still applicable when there had already been a significant amount of time and reflection on the part of the divorcing spouses.

Does the Cooling-Off Period Differ Between Different Couples?

No two couples are the same, so it’s only natural that the cooling-off period differs for each.

Some couples might need more time than others to think things through and decide if they want to go ahead with the divorce. For others, the cooling-off period could be a way to test the waters and see if they can still live together.

The bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It all depends on the couple and their circumstances.

Tips for Navigating the Cooling-Off Period

The cooling-off period is an important part of the mutual divorce process. It can be a difficult and emotionally charged time for both parties, so you must take steps to ensure the process goes smoothly. Here are some tips to help you navigate the cooling-off period:

  • First, ask your lawyer to explain the specific rules that apply to your case and ensure that you understand them.
  • Second, take time away from your spouse during this period and avoid discussing contentious issues.
  • Third, use this time to reflect on the situation and consider whether mutual divorce is truly the right path for you or whether there may be another solution.
  • Fourth, if you decide to move forward with a mutual divorce, consult with your lawyer regarding how best to proceed to ensure all legal requirements are met.
  • Finally, remember that the cooling-off period is temporary, and things will eventually settle down – so stay calm and patient during this period.

When Can We Begin the Divorce Proceedings After the COOLING-OFF Period?

At this point, you may be wondering when to begin the divorce proceedings after the cooling-off period. This depends on the specific case, as each couple’s situation differs.

Generally speaking, the process can move quickly if the couple has worked out the details of their divorce agreement outside of court and both parties fully agree with its terms. In this case, the couple can apply for a mutual divorce to the court right away. The court will assess their application and grant a decree if everything is in order.

However, if there is any disagreement between the parties about any of the clauses in their divorce settlement or process—such as issues involving alimony or division of assets—then they will likely have to go through a more lengthy and complex legal process that could involve mediation or hearings before a judge.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the idea behind having a cooling-off period is to give couples time to think about their decisions and come to an amicable agreement, if possible so that everyone involved in this process can move forward with their lives in peace.


When it comes to mutual divorce, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the cooling off period. Each couple’s situation is unique, and the cooling-off period will be based on the specific circumstances of the divorce. However, in general, the cooling-off period is meant to allow couples to reflect on their decision to divorce and ensure that it is the right decision for both parties. 

Contact the legal experts at Vakilsearch if you require assistance regarding the cooling-off period for all couples applying for mutual divorce.

Read More:



Back to top button


Remove Adblocker Extension