Divorce Laws in India
With the rise in matrimonial conflicts among the couples, they fail to fulfill their
desires and needs. Another biggest problem that women face nowadays is violence
against her. In male dominated society women have been victim of violence and
exploitation which is another reason for the rise in number of divorces in India.
Divorce laws in India are broadly categorized into Divorce by Mutual Consent,
Contested Divorce and Void Marriages.
Divorce by Mutual Consent is recognized under many personal laws such as Hindu
Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act, Parsi Marriage, Divorce Acts and the
provision is identical. Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act deals with Divorce by
mutual consent and provides for certain requirements for the presentation of the
petition by mutual consent. They are
That the spouses have been living separately for a period of one year.
That they have not been able to live together and
That they have mutually agreed that their marriage should be dissolved.
The expression living separate means that parties are not living together as
husband and wife, irrespective of the fact that they are living in the same house or
in different house and are not being able to live together because the marriage has
broken down irretrievably.
After the presentation of the petition, the parties must wait for six months and after
the expiry of six months, the parties should move a motion in the Court that a
decree of divorce dissolving their marriage be passed. The parties are also free to
withdraw their petition. In case no motion is made within the period of eighteen
months after the presentation of petition for divorce, the petition shall stand
dismissed. The Court in every such case satisfies itself that consent of neither party
has not been obtained by force, fraud or undue influence. Furthermore, once the
consent is given, one of the parties to the petition cannot withdraw the consent.
In Contested Divorce, there are specific grounds on which petition before Court
can be made. Under section 13(1) of The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, there are nine
fault grounds given to both husband and wife on which a divorce petition can be
filed. They are Cruelty, Adultery, Desertion, Conversion, Mental Disorder,
Communicable Disease, Renunciation of the World, Presumption of
Death. Moreover, two additional fault grounds are given to wife alone
under section 13(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. These are as follows-
Pre-Act Polygamous Marriage
Rape, Sodomy Or Bestiality
Non-Resumption Of Cohabitation After A Decree/Order Of Maintenance
Repudiation Of Marriage
Another category is Void Marriages which can be declared void or illegal in case
of Bigamy and persons falling within degrees of prohibited relationship. None of
the parties to the marriage should have a living spouse from their earlier marriage
as it would result in void marriage. The lineal ascendants of both father and
mother’s side fall under the category of prohibited relationships which can be
declared void in the Court of Law.
For more details, visit our Divorce Page
If you are looking for help on Domestic Violence visit Criminal Law Page