Divorce means dissolution or termination of marriage. It means cancellation of legal duties and responsibilities of marriage between husband and wife towards each other. Among almost all the nations of antiquity, divorce was regarded as a natural corollary of marital rights. Romans, Hebrews, Israelies etc. all had divorce in one or other form. Even though the provision of divorce was recognized in all religions, Islam is perhaps the first religion in the world which has expressly recognized the termination of marriage by way of divorce. In England divorce was introduced only about 100/150 years back. In India among Hindus, it was allowed only by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Before passing of this Act divorce was not recognized by Hindu Law.
For a Hindu, marriage is a SAMSKARA (religious rite or sacrament); thus a Hindu marriage is looked upon as something which is more of a religious necessity, and less of physical luxury. The Calcutta High Court once observed that a Hindu marriage is ‘’more religious than secular in character. ’’According to Vedas, a marriage is ‘’the union of flesh with flesh and bone with bone.’’ It is a union which the Vedas regard, as indissoluble. The wife is declared to be the half of the body of her husband (ARDHANGINI) who shares with him equally the fruits of all his acts good or bad.
Though the concept of divorce was not recognized by ancient Hindu law but this is a vital innovation introduced by the law in the Hindu social framework. Now a days, for various reasons the term ‘DIVORCE’ has become very common between the husband and wife.
It is well-established that the marital relationship should be safeguarded from every possible angle, and that severance of a marriage tie should be allowed only on substantial grounds. Under the uncodified Hindu law, divorce was not recognized, except where allowed by custom. Under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 also, divorce is neither favoured nor encouraged, it is permitted only on serious specified grounds. Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 discussed the grounds of divorce.
There are various important reasons as to why Hindu religion does not permit divorce between husband and wife. Though in this modern and advanced era people do not find any wrong in getting divorce as everybody has his/her own independent choice , has right to live independently . But in my personal opinion divorce may make happy to the divorced couple but its adverse effect falls upon the children of that divorced parents. For the children of divorced couple, the divorce can be stressful, sad and confusing event. At any stage kids may feel uncertainty, insecured or may be angry at the prospect of splitting up of their parents. For healthy living and growing up of a child both father and mother have equal necessity. Even bad relation between the parents has adverse effect on the mental health of a child. In case of divorce between the parents there starts a tag of war between the parents regarding their child and the unlucky child has become the victim of it having no fault of his own.
The children might display psychological and behavioral problems after their parent’s separation. During the short period after divorce many children go through an emotional roller coaster. Emotions of fear, anger, bitterness disappointment, guilt, betrayal and stress are followed by those like acceptance and relief.
The divorce itself does not affect children in a negative way. The effects results more often from the feeling of uncertainty of what is going to be happen after divorce. In most of the cases the children will have to live with their mother and they will see their father less where as children also depend on their father for so many things.
The age of the children plays an important role in how they will react to the divorce. The children below 9 years start to blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, for pre-schoolers, the family and especially their parents are the center of their universe. Father is the king and mother is the queen of their world. They need a lot of attention, care, love and confirmation from them. As a result of the divorce, they might become dependent on their parents. They cannot or do not want to do simple tasks that were able to do before.
Adolescents react in the opposite direction. They tend to behave more independent. Mistrust enters into their relationship. They feel that they have to take care of themselves in their own hands. Boys may show aggressive behavior. Girls have the tendency to become more anxious and they become sexually more active at young age.
Among effects of divorce on children are negative emotions like bitterness, stress, emotional pain, anxiety, fear, feeling abandoned, feeling betrayed and loss of self-esteem.
Though from recent researches it reveals that divorce has positive outcome too because when children get matured , the outcome of divorce on children become less negative rather they show a strong desire to repair the mistakes of their divorced parents . Children that lived in families with high levels of conflict suffer more from the negative effects than the children of divorced parents.
But, whatever may be the positive effects of divorce, its negative sides are much more serious than that of positive sides. So , though in many cases the marital tie between the husband and wife have become irretrievably broken down but at least for the sake of children the parent should sacrifice and should try to abstain themselves from severance of their marital tie . Children do not come to the world as per their own wish or choice and so why should they suffer for no fault of their own ? Every children have the right to live a healthy and joyful life and every parent have the responsibility to give their children a healthy atmosphere to live happily. Hence, effective measures should have to be taken by all to lessen the number of divorce between the couple having children.