The civil court that houses the family redressal forum in Ranchi. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The nuptial knot is going through knotty times in Ranchi if the rising number of divorce cases being lodged at the family court is anything to go by.
By the end of August this year, the family court had registered as many as 490 such cases, mostly matrimonial title suits (divorce) and maintenance pleas. According to sources in the court, every day at least two to three cases are filed though efforts are made to settle the disputes through conciliation and mediation between the sparring partners.
“In 2005, the number of cases recorded at the family court was just 175, while in 2006, it jumped to 238. In 2007 and 2008, the figures were 258 and 267, respectively. The climb continued and the cases numbered 305 in 2009 and 400 in 2010. It was 421 in 2011 and 494 last year,” the source said.
Manisha Rani, a conciliator associated with the mediation centre of the civil court, who had handled more than 500 cases of marital disputes, agreed. She pinned the blame on lack of tolerance, extramarital relationships, disintegration of joint family, misunderstanding, financial crisis, sexual exploitation, high expectation, cruel behaviour and alcoholism as some of the reasons behind marriages breaking down.
“At present, I am handling a case of a mother of two, who is struggling to arrange two square meals a day, after her husband started having an affair with a married woman working in Jharkhand police. The lady, who has lost all hopes of getting back her husband, just wants maintenance so that she can survive with her two children,” she said.
It’s not only women who are turning to courts.
A CMPDIL employee, who did not want to be named, said that he wanted to lead a peaceful life after divorcing his wife as she was not interested in discharging any of her domestic duties.
“She refuses to cook for guests. The situation turned worse after she, under the influence of her mother, started demanding a hefty amount from me for her personal expenses. She even threatened to commit suicide if I don’t give her the money,” he said.
Editor of Indian Journal of Clinical Psychology and additional professor of department of clinical psychology at Rinpas K.S. Sengar identified the root of the problem, saying that “emotional binding, which is a strong adhesive binding husband and wife for ever, was getting eroded quickly”.
“With western values pervading the Indian society, marriage has become a contract between husband and wife and is saleable like any other consumer item. Many can’t come to terms with the changes post marriage. This gives rise to ego clash and causes separation,” Sengar said.
He also offered some suggestions to prevent a happy marriage from disintegrating.
“Both husband and wife have to accept the existence of each other and should maintain regular communication. One can use child as a communication bridge to improve relationship. The helping attitude of either’s parents, without interfering in the personal life of couples, also solve problems to a large extent.”