Wherever there are two or more parties involved with a common interest, there is always a potential for a situation where a dispute may arise. Whether it is a business relationship or something as amicable as friendship or even love. As such, there are different avenues to resolve differences in opinion. As the saying goes, ‘There is no one medicine for all ailments.’
However, in the case of family matters and more so in the case of prolonged differences in opinion between a husband and wife this case can be rendered very sensitive. This is because not only is the bond and relationship special but also because there may be a child or more children involved. The issue becomes all the more fragile when the children in question are young.
It is in such cases that mediation or settlement out of court is advisable since, because of the other pending cases in any court as well as time needed to gather evidence for both the parties, the time taken to arrive at a decision may be protracted. In such a case, the children affected by the case have been seen to undergo not only mental and emotional traumatic situation but also their physiological condition deteriorates.
In order to avoid such deterioration, it is not only advisable but also recommended by the family courts as is evident by cases such as K. Srinivas Rao v. A.Deepa (2013) 5 SCC 226 where directions were issued by the Supreme Court to the lower courts and instructing them to resolve family disputes through the process of mediation in the first instance. A second instance (out of many others) that can be cited is the case of Jagraj Singh v. Bir Pal Kaur (2007) 2 SCC 564, the Supreme Court held that under section 23 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the court is bound to make all attempts and endeavours of reconciliation between the parties seeking for divorce.
Hence, with reference to the above discussion as well as the examples seen above, it is highly imperative for courts to suggest mediation as a first recourse for the settlement of family issues, failing which litigation can be initiated.
To conclude, it is common knowledge and an age old wisdom which says ‘Never wash your dirty linen in public.’