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Why does India have such a low Divorce rate?

17th December 2009
By amnorge in Divorce
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Divorce in India is extremely low compared to the United States. In America around half of marriages end in divorce, but in India it is a mere one per cent. It is so low that many have the idea that it is illegal. This is not the case but there are many reasons that could contribute to these contrasting figures.

One important factor could be that divorce is not deemed as socially acceptable in India. It is considered a blemish on your character, meaning it is something a lot of people won't even contemplate no matter what situation they find themselves in. Some would suggest that family values are more important to Indians than Americans. People tend to live in larger family units, and when you marry someone you are in many respects marrying the whole family. It therefore has more of an impact on the wider family if people get divorced which means they tend to feel more shame.

It has been suggested that arranged marriage could be a positive as it means couples are more likely to stay together. Arranged marriage is still fairly common in India but rarely works the way many in the west think, with a man and woman forced to marry each other. Instead, it usually works by a couple being introduced if their respective parents believe they can build a successful relationship. It is more of a compromise between parents and their children to try to find someone compatible. There is therefore a more scientific approach rather than coming down to pure love. But is this a better way of doing things? Many would disagree, but it could mean people who are right for each other are brought together therefore making a break up less likely. Arranged marriage can mean a match-up of characters, rather than two people who are completely different falling in love and then eventually realising they are not right for each other.

Infidelity is seen as more of a sin in India than the US. As far as statistics tell us, it is much rarer. Infidelity is one of the main causes of the break up of marriages in America. Strong religious views are likely to be at the core of this, as is the general reluctance to get divorced.

The ease that a divorce can be obtained as been blamed for much of the increase in marriage break ups in America. It is easier than ever now, especially with the no-fault divorce law, which means couples can seek a divorce just because they simply don't want to be married anymore. Family Law is much more complex in India, with a long and arduous legal process to go through.

It has been argued that the facts are distorted, as many Indian couples have been reported as not living together despite being technically married. This would mean the facts are right (they are still married) but don't give a clear picture. This would also support the idea that divorce is not considered socially acceptable.

The position of women in society could also be a contributing factor. Women in India are generally considered less independent. They have a particular role in society (much like America in the past) and accept this. Is some ways this makes it easier for everyone; men and women have specific roles to play. In America women are more independent and want to have more of a choice in the way they live their lives. This can lead to a couple having conflicting ideas as to how they want to live their lives.

Andrew Marshall ©

Divorce Solicitors London

Family Law London
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