Q: Can I file for divorce on the grounds of incompatibility? Do I need to prove any grounds? If it is mutual consent (in Chennai), will we need to have counselling?
A: Incompatibility cannot be used by one applicant as grounds for divorce. Some grounds that are possible are 1. Cruelty inflicted by spouse (mental and physical), 2. Medical problems that were not disclosed at the time of marriage or 3. Incompatibility but only with mutual consent. Grounds will have to be substantiated and proved for any case of divorce, under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Under Section 13D of the same Act, if there is mutual consent, grounds will not have to be proved; however, the couple must have been living separately for a year before filing the application, and then there will be counselling for six months before the decree is issued. Counselling is statutorily compulsory, for example in Gujarat, although it might not be prescribed in Chennai.