Hindu Marriage Act
Restitution of Conjugal Rights - (Right to stay together)
If either the husband or the wife, without reasonable excuses, withdraws from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may approach the Court for restitution of conjugal rights.
The decree of restitution of conjugal rights cannot be executed by forcing the party who has withdrawn from the society from the other to stay with the person who institutes Petition for restitution. The decree can be executed only by attachment of the properties of the judgment debtor. The practice has shown that the decree of restitution is a paper decree.
However, if the decree of restitution of conjugal right is not honored for a period of more than one year, subsequent to the date of the decree, it becomes a ground for divorce.
Judicial Separation: Legal Separation without divorce
Either party to the marriage may present a petition on any of the grounds stated in the provisions for divorce, praying for a decree of judicial separation. A judicial separation is a legal way to stay separate from the spouse, without obtaining a decree of divorce. It also helps in cases to defend a petition for restitution of conjugal rights. A judicially separated spouse cannot be given a meaning to include a spouse merely living separately, and who has not obtained a decree for judicial separation.
In case, there has been no resumption of cohabitation between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards, after the passing of the decree for judicial separation, it shall be a ground for a divorce