Statistics tell that broken marriages are on a rise. Which is both positive and negative. Positive, as people are becoming more aware of their rights and individualism, and are strongly rejecting the regressive practices and silent oppression such as misogyny, patriarchy, and role-biding. While negative, because the current prevalent emotional quotient for a rebel is higher than the intellectual understanding of responsibility, justice, and forgiveness.
Nevertheless, getting a divorce in India is not an easy affair. One has to comply with plenty of legal obligations. The judicial system works on evidence and particular frameworks. In case of the dissolution of marriage, one must prove his/ her point in the court accompanied by a valid reason. Since marriage is observed as a sacrament in India, there are only a few legal grounds for divorce. Other than these legal grounds, some other valid reasons can also be considered by the court if found genuine.
Male spouses distressed about how to take divorce in India from the wife, or a female victim who is seeking divorce on any of the grounds will surely get an idea from this article regarding how to proceed further. Even though one must get assisted by an expert divorce lawyer, but, getting acquainted with the basic legal compliances beforehand can be a helping hand and can save from being misdirected or misguided by a lawyer for their vested interests. Let’s start by knowing the legal grounds for divorce in India:
Grounds For Divorce:
It is important to bear an understanding of the Applicable Law:
- Indian Divorce Act, 1869 governs the divorce procedure for Christians.
- Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for Hindu, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs.
- Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 is followed for divorce procedure in Parsi couples.
- Procedure and grounds for divorce under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 are taken into account for Muslim couples.
In addition to these personal laws, lawmakers keep introducing amendments as needed.
Following are the 9 common legal grounds for divorce which are widely present in all current enactments on divorce law:
- Venereal disease
- Presumption of death
Recently introduced Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 has removed leprosy as a divorce ground. Some other legal reasons for divorce can be – sodomy, bestiality, bigamy, and conviction for an offense of moral turpitude such as Rape, etc.
How Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 Describes the Grounds for Divorce?
Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, provides for the grounds on which divorce can be sought. A decree of divorce can be obtained on the following grounds:
- Where the spouse has, after the solemnization of the marriage had voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse.
- Where the spouse has, after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty.
- Where the spouse has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.
- Where the spouse has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion.
- Where the spouse has been incurable of unsound mind or has suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.
- Where the spouse has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form.
- Where the spouse has renounced the world by entering any religious order.
- Where the spouse has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive.
Besides the above grounds, there are certain more grounds which are specifically available to wife, mentioned as follows:
- At the time of marriage, the husband is already married, has not divorced his wife and his wife is alive at the time of marriage.
- Where the husband is found guilty of unnatural offenses i.e. sodomy or bestiality or guilty of an offense of moral turpitude i.e. rape, corruption, etc.
- Where her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnized before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years.
This article is written by Ambransh Bhandari. The author can be contacted via email at email@example.com
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