Divorce and Remarriage in India: Things You Should Know and Consider

by Kanika Sharma
Divorce and remarriage in a conservative country like India is more acceptable now

Divorce is a ‘scar’ no one would like to have in the conservative Indian society. Still, many Indians wilfully choose this ‘scar’ than to suffer lifelong in an abusive marriage. But is remarriage the viable next step after a painful divorce? Should divorce and remarriage go hand in hand? This is a question many ‘divorcees’ face in their lives. But remember, you are not alone. After going through a lot of pain, hurt and negative patterns, finally you get back your newfound ‘freedom’, that is, singlehood. How can you compromise it again for a remarriage? According to our relationship counsellors, it is a bit normal to feel scared or ‘commitment-phobic’ at this point of time. You are at your most vulnerable self and wish to not fall into any relationship complications too soon. If you feel so, you are not ready for remarriage. You need time to heal and overcome the torment caused by the painful divorce.

You need to heal post-divorce

Wounds of divorce and heartbreak may take time to heal. This immediate period post-divorce may make you feel depressed and dreadful. But hey! Don’t choose to harbour negative feelings in life. Instead, look on the brighter side of life. It has given you a second chance, so make full use of it. Many see this phase as ‘reinvention’ instead of getting stuck in the past. Here are some tips to help you heal after divorce –

  • Work on leading an overall healthy and fulfilling life. Hit the gym, jog along the beach, ride a bicycle and feel good. Don’t just binge eat, drink or smoke incessantly. Stop thinking of divorce and remarriage in the first place
  • Focus on your career; set up new goals and work towards achieving them. Develop a five-year growth plan; map where you see yourself in the next five years and work on it. Channelling your energies towards work goals will definitely help you shape post-divorce life positively
  • Make time for family and friends. Their relentless support helped you could sail through divorce easily. Cherish the value of your relationships
  • Find comfort in a hobby. Painting, long drives, creative writing, swimming, sports or gardening – choose anything that makes you feel better and is therapeutic for your soul
  • Dare to be alone. Don’t rush into a new relationship, as it might end in a rebound
  • Rebuild your life if you are thinking to move on from a failed marriage. This will help you even prepare for remarriage as well
In India divorce and remarriage is still not openly spoken about. But first you must take the time to heal.

It is important to heal after a divorceImage Source

After you feel you have given yourself enough time and space to introspect and understand why and what went wrong in the marriage, you may feel that a new relationship can be taken up. And you may consider remarriage. Getting married again can be a different and newfound experience, and if you have done a cause and reason analysis you may feel much more confident saying the vows this time.

However, getting remarried in India after a divorce is still a taboo, but the younger generation is increasingly warming up for a fresh start after the first marriage goes wrong.

Here are some pointers for you to help you make your decision of getting remarried easier.

Questions to ask while thinking of divorce and remarriage

Believe it or not, a divorce makes you more realistic, wise and honest in a relationship. You get better clarity on what you want or not in your remarriage. So, before dating or committing to remarriage, ask yourself some crucial questions to get a clearer picture and avoid making any hasty decision.

What’s motivating you to get married?

Are you truly in love with that person? Do you feel that the compatibility and mutual understanding will work well for your relationship? If yes is what you think, then this is a valid reason to get married. Don’t get married just because you are ageing, or want to have kids. If you have a crystal-clear mind-set towards your current partner, then this is a solid reason to think about remarriage.

Have you contemplated the takeaways of a failed marriage?

You must have thought millions of times about what went wrong in your past marriage. Is it the interference from in-laws or betrayal that led you to go through divorce? If you know the actual reasons quite well, then analyse your current relationship from a neutral perspective. Find out if this is also going through the same pattern or not. Talk to your friends for soundboard advice. After being sure that the relationship is flawless, you can proceed with the remarriage.

Have you taken enough time to heal?

Rushing into dating or marriage without healing is actually rebound. So, give yourself proper time to heal and overcome the nasty after-effects or unhealthy emotions from the divorce.

Give yourself 1, 2, or 3+ years; try to stay happy, calm and creative. Don’t just rush to marry again.

Marry only if your heart agrees to it. A little delay goes a long way. If you are in a steady relationship, ask them to wait. This will not be an issue if they are truly in love with you. It is way better than marrying hastily and then suffering from marital problems again.

Have you battled any challenges together?

How to find out if your current partner is supportive of you? While dating, everyone presents their best version, but the real character comes to the surface only in the times of crisis. So, talk about potential problem-solving scenarios after wedlock with your partner. Ask them how they will be dealing with it. This would prepare you for any unwanted scenarios post remarriage. When you are considering divorce and remarriage this is very important. Also check on how long one has to legally wait in India before one can remarry. Also check out the new rules of divorce and remarriage in India and you need to know your legal rights in your second marriage.

Do they make an effort to bond with your children/parents?

Many middle-age individuals looking for remarriage have to check their understanding and compatibility with the children as well. If you have children, they should not feel insecure about your remarriage. Give them enough time to accept your current partner. Let them bond over little occasions like a picnic, or a movie date. Proceed for remarriage only if children or your parents are happy with this union. Else, it will be again a same old toxic story with different characters.

Are your finances compatible?

Many marriages in India dissolve because of financial incompatibility.

Try to find out if your current partner is a spendthrift, or is in debt. Who earns more between you both? Will you be able to support each other, in case of job or business losses?

Talk about such issues and then decide whether you would like to proceed further. Divorce and remarriage need one step at a time.

When can you remarry in India after a divorce?

Once the decree of divorce has been handed over, you can remarry as and when you want. There is no specific bar on remarriage after divorce has happened. However, many times estranged spouses appeal to the court that the divorce has been forced upon them since the partner wanted to get married soon. Plus, a hasty decision can complicate your new relationship because you have not yet healed and are not sure about what you want from the marriage.

The Indian law states that when a marriage has been dissolved by a decree of divorce and either there is no right of appeal against the decree or, if there is such a right of appeal, the time for appealing has expired without an appeal having been presented, or an appeal has been presented but has been dismissed, it shall be lawful for either party to the marriage to marry again.

Possible complications of remarrying post-divorce

The decision to get married after divorce is definitely a difficult one. It is more so in case the divorce was a contested one with complications like alimony. It can get even more complicated when there are children involved. However, it is not uncommon.

Many individuals have found a new lease in life after committing to remarriage. But, before you say ‘I do’, try to look into certain potential complications that may arise due to your ‘move on’ decision.

How soon is too soon for remarrying after divorce?

There is no right time for remarrying after a divorce. Legally, you can remarry the day you sign your divorce papers in India. But, you need to prepare yourselves to trust the partner of the opposite sex emotionally, financially, etc. To achieve that level of understanding, you can choose to wait for as long as you want. There is no rush to tie the knot again. Don’t let society play with your mind and force you to marry. Or don’t just hastily commit to the man/lady you are in love with. Let your love blossom, and also try to understand the person better, before you decide to remarry.

Remarrying after divorce with children

Many people who have got a divorce have gone on to find another partner and remarry. Among them, there are many instances where one partner has children from the previous marriage. In such a case, it is important for both the biological parents, as well as the new step-parents, to help the children better understand the reasons for divorce and remarriage after a divorce.

Remarrying for love

Divorce doesn’t automatically make a person incapable of falling in love again. Many people who have chosen to remarry after a divorce have done so because they fell in love with their new partner. Love can overcome all the odds, provided there is the right company and the right time. If you are sure of your love for each other, then nothing can stop you from remarrying for love.

Financial compatibility

Agree or not, financial compatibility and understanding is the key to many successful couple relationships. A lot of divorced women find it hard to manage children financially. Some do not even get enough money in childcare support or by the way of alimony. Many divorced singles decide to remarry based on the financial compatibility they share with their new partners. Knowing that the joint financial situation is good enough to keep your blended families running smoothly is a great boost for people, especially those paying for child support.

Remarrying when you want to

Soon after the divorce, you may feel the need to get remarried for all the wrong reasons. But once you have completely healed from the emotional and psychological trauma of divorce, then remarriage becomes more of a ‘want’. A second marriage after divorce can best withstand the test of times, when it is done out of want and not need.

Not everybody in the world gets a second chance to change their life. Those who suffered from a divorce should consider themselves lucky. Not only do they get a chance to correct their past mistakes, but also enjoy a newfound understanding to overcome any complications in a couple relationship. There are new rules in the marriage act in India which makes divorce and marriage possible with less fuss. With the proper healing and thoughtful investment, remarriage can be the successful venture you all are looking for.


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