Breaking up: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Divorced

Breaking up: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Divorced


Yesterday I received a call from a young woman.She has separated from her husband of only a few years. She has returned to her parents home with her two-year-old daughter. She quit her job last year. Now she has filed for maintenance from her husband.

She is a young girl whom I have not heard from in some years. I do recall hearing her out on many occasions about the pressures of getting married, being wooed by a man in the same industry as her, and then the wedding happened. She was happy. Slowly the pressures to have a baby began. She used to look miserable. When she finally conceived she was ecstatic. Then she had a girl.

Apparently “this” — the daughter– is the root cause of the misery at home. So the girl walked out.

In every story there are many stories. So I am merely reporting what I was told yesterday. It is not a pleasant situation to be in. Instead I did recommend Breaking up: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Divorced. It is NOT a book I would want to recommend for the simple reason it is wading into very unpleasant waters and the break up of a young family. But it is handy manual that through the anecdotes, case studies and stories presents different scenarios, different laws etc pertaining to divorce cases. The lawyers who have written it, Mrunalini Deshmukh and Fazaa Shroff-Garg are highly experienced. While browsing through the book, you get a fair idea of the rights both men and women can exercise. There is a fantastic article about this book in the 30 march 2013 issue of OPEN magazine: http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/waiting-forever-to-break-free . Yet, the sobering fact that they reiterate is that 70-80% of the divorce cases ultimately get settled through mutual consent, given how long it can take to fight a court case in India.

My only concern is that the people who actually need to read this book, will they be able to absorb the information since they are bound to be emotionally agitated. Also it would truly help to have a website dedicated to this issue, linked to the book. A website that is only has a standalone page of relevant links to divorce cases, the broad category of laws relevant to divorces with a list of police updates + a short profile/interview with the authors. Nothing more. It would help in disseminating information. At the end of the page there could probably be a button leading to the page from where the book could be ordered online.

Mrunalini Deshmukh and Fazaa Shroff-Garg Breaking up: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Divorced Sde, Penguin Books India, 2012. Pb. Rs. 250.

20 April 2013

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