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What to do to get a divorce in India?

Q. What to do when you have decided it’s time to get a divorce?

When you come to the situation that you no longer able to continue with your marriage relationship, and wanted to get divorce from your spouse, you should go to a good lawyer, who is having much experience particularly in handling divorce matters, and consult about your problems in detail without any suppression of facts, even the trivial issues that are closely related to your problem.  Brief the issues why you are unable to continue with the marital relationship from day 1 of your marriage life till facts that led to break down of  your marriage.  Based on your issues, Advocate may think whether it would be solved through any amicable settlement if the matter involved any trivial issues for the welfare of the family, by arranging counseling session for both of you in the presence of your elders.  If advocate realized the futility of counseling in bringing you and your spouse closely, may assist you in applying the divorce petition in proper court.

In India various marriage and divorce laws are existed for different religions.  Hindu Marriage Act,1955 is mainly applicable for Hindus which also constitutes Sikh, Jain and Buddhists.  Christian Marriages and divorce come under the purview of Indian Divorce Act, 1869 & The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872.  Muslims have their own personal law that governs their marriage and divorce issues like personal law for Divorce, Dissolution of Marriage Act,1939 and The Muslim Women(Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act,1986.  Another section in our country are Parsis, whose matrimonial relationships are being governed by The Parsi Marriage & Divorce Act-1936.  Above all, Parliament enacted Special law in general called Special Marriage Act,1954, marriages solemnized under the said Act are called as Registered Marriages like Inter-caste marriages.  Divorces for these kind of marriages are governed by the same Act.

It is to be noted that depending upon your religion, and the solemnization of marriage, one of the above laws applicable for filing divorce. Compiling all our Indian laws for divorce, we could draw a conclusion that, divorce in our country can obtain in two forms:

  1. Divorce by mutual consent – also called as “no-fault divorce”.  Condition should that both partners of marriage should have been lived separately for one year and should be consented by both parties of marriage for obtaining divorce.  However, once if your case complied both conditions , this is the fastest way to obtain divorce.
  2. Divorce by contesting the case (contested divorce) . In this both parties have to contest the case and need to establish the grounds for seeking divorce that are contemplated in the concerned laws. Grounds such as cruelty, adultery, desertion, mental disorder, renunciation, communicable disease, conversion of religion, and inability to cohabit, not heard for seven years (for Muslims it is 4 years)

In the above two forms of divorce, one can chose any one option, which may depend on the reliefs you sought from your spouse.  Therefore you should be clear on the reliefs you are about to sought from your spouse.

by Anitha Gutti.