Divorce is the legal dissolution of marriage by a court or other competent body. It is the ending of the marital relationship. India is a land of different religious communities having their personal marriage laws. All Hindus as well as Buddhists, Sikhs and Jain can seek divorce under the Hindu marriage act, 1955. But the Muslim, Christian and other communities do not come under the purview of the Hindu marriage act, 1955. Such communities are governed under their respective personal laws for the purposes of marriage, divorce and other marriage related proceedings.
Application for Divorce
How to file an application for divorce?
- First step is to make two copies of the application for divorce (which shall be signed by the applicant) and any other court documents you have prepared.
- Application can be filed online, by post, or in person. Payment of filing fee is mandatory.
- The original documents will be kept by the court and two copies will be returned back to you.
When can divorce be filed?
- When one spouse (either husband or wife) is engaged in sexual intercourse with a person outside the wedlock. In legal language, it is referred to as adultery.
- When one spouse (either husband or wife) performs an act of cruelty upon the other spouse. Such cruelty can be either mental or physical in nature.
- When one spouse (either husband or wife) abandons public/family life without justification and without the consent of the other spouse for a period of two or more years, thereby evading from responsibilities and duties and with an intention of never returning back to marital obligations.
- When a spouse (either husband or wife) changes his/her religion and converts herself/himself into another religion.
- When a spouse (either husband or wife) suffers from incurable mental disorder.
- When a spouse (either husband or wife) suffers from leprosy.
- When a spouse (either husband or wife) suffers from venereal disease (serious disease that is easily communicable). For example; sexually transmitted disease like AIDS are accounted to be venereal disease.
- When a spouse (either husband or wife) renounces all worldly affairs by embracing a religious order.
- When a spouse (either husband or wife) is not seen or heard alive by those who are expected to be naturally heard of him/her for a continuous period of seven years. In such a case, the person is presumed to be dead.
- If after the court has passed a decree of separation, the couple fails to resume the co-habitation.
- When the husband has indulged in rape, bestiality and sodomy, the wife can file for divorce.
- When the marriage is solemnized before the Hindu marriage act and the husband has again married another woman in spite of the first wife being alive, the first wife can seek for a divorce.
- A girl is entitled to file for divorce if she was married before the age of fifteen and renounces the marriage before she attains eighteen years of age.
- When there is no co-habitation for one year and the husband neglects the judgment of maintenance awarded to the wife by the court, the wife can file for a divorce.