Divorce Laws in India

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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

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