Highly-educated couples are quickly parting ways

The Gujarat State Commission for Women, which has the powers of a civil court, is being approached by an increasing number of highly educated estranged couples seeking separation. A case in point is that of a woman doctor from Nadiad, based in Ahmedabad, who married a Jaipur super-specialist. After three months of marriage, the couple diagnosed their incompatibility and the woman applied for separation to the women's commission.

In another case, a dentist couple from Anand opened a dispensary but separated within a year of marriage. The woman alleged that her husband did not attend to patients and often beat her. The commission did its best to effect reconciliation between the couple, but in the end it had to allow separation.

In 2014-15, around 2,000 cases were received by the women's commission of which around 300 were related to the demand of divorce or martial discord. Leelaben Ankoilya, the chairperson of the commission, said: "It's unfortunate but the number of cases of highly educated couples appealing for separation in just a few days or months of marriage is increasing." The main reasons are ego clashes and incompatibility, she said. "We try our utmost to save a marriage," she said. "In more than 50% of cases we succeeded; but the rest ended in separation. ''

Sometimes, divorce is the inevitable option. Take for instance a woman from Ahmedabad who married a man based in Australia. Three days after the wedding, the man returned to Australia with her all 'dahej' money, promising to bring her soon to Australia. But he did not show up for almost two years and stopped communicating with the woman. She then registered a complaint with the women's commission. The commission summoned the man through the Indian embassy and forced him to return. However his indifference and the woman's unwillingness to stay in the marriage made the commission order a divorce. The commission helped the girl get back the 'Stridhan'.

In the case of the Ahmedabad doctor who was married to the Jaipur super-specialist, the wedding took place on December 2014. However, by February 2015, they realized that they didn't have a future together. The commission summoned the doctor husband and heard them both for almost four hours. In June, the couple wrote, "Due to our different lifestyles, thinking, ideology and cultural differences we cannot stay together as a couple." The woman did not claim any alimony

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