How to file for a divorce in India?

Team Bonobology

Once either party decides to get a divorce, the next step is to figure out the steps of how to file for a divorce. It is important to consult a good divorce lawyer who will help you know your legal rights in a divorce case.

There are different proceduces for filing for divorce, depending on the type of divorce it is. In case of a mutual divorce case, the process is simple, and quicker. However, if the divorce is contested, one may be up for a long drawn-out process.

In India, the rules of getting a divorce are connected to religion. For couples who are Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists, divorce laws are guided by the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. In case of Muslims, it is governed by The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939.

For Christians, it is the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, and for the Parsi community, divorce laws are governed by the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936. In the case of inter-community and civil marriages it will follow the guidelines laid out by the Special Marriage Act, 1956.

What are the major grounds considered for divorce?

There are certain recognised major grounds for divorce. These can include:

  • Desertion of either spouse for two years or more
  • Adultery by either party
  • Physical or mental abuse
  • Forceful conversion to other religion, in case of a religious marriage
  • Insanity, mental disorder, or unsound mental condition of either spouse
  • Venereal or incurable disease in a communicable form
  • Unheard of being alive for a period of seven years and above
  • Renouncing the world and joining any religious order (possible in case of a religious marriage)

Procedure to file for a divorce in India

  • Hire a divorce lawyer who will file your divorce petition in the court, after being presented with all the relevant details.
  • The spouse will receive a copy of the petition.
  • Depending on the nature of your divorce, your spouse can either agree to or contest the petition.
  • In case of a divorce with mutual consent, you need to prove that the couple have been living separately for more than one year.
  • Once these proceedings are over, the court gives the couple a period of six months to reconsider their decision.
  • In case the petition is not withdrawn, a decree of divorce is granted by the court.

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