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India parliament approves no-fault divorce amendment to marriage law

The Rajya Sabha [official website], the upper house of the Indian parliament, approved an amendment to the Marriage Law [Amendment], 2010 [text, PDF] Monday that would grant both men and woman the ability to file for divorce on the grounds of "irretrievable breakdown" of marriage. Both parties must live apart for three years before being able to file [DNA report] a petition for divorce on the grounds of "irretrievable breakdown." Included in the amendment is the power for women to, "oppose the grant of a decree on the ground that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial hardship to her and that it would in all the circumstances be wrong to dissolve the marriage." The changes also contains additional provisions to ensure the protection of children.

Proposed changes to marriage laws in India have sparked protests. On Sunday members of men's rights groups held a rally [DNA report] condemning proposed changes to the marriage law, citing concerns that divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown is discriminatory and will lead to increased divorce rates. Groups also voiced the opinion that the law discriminates against men by providing that women are to receive at least 50 percent of their husbands assets upon divorce.

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