Different dimensions of Divorce procedure in India

Submitted by asandil on 3/8/2014

There are different types of law imposed on different religions to get divorce. Hindus are governed by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Muslims are governed by personnel laws of divorce and also the dissolution of marriage act, 1939 &The Muslim women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act,1986. Christians are governed by Indian Divorce Act-1869 & the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872.

Similarly, Parsis are governed by The Parsi Marriage & Divorce Act-1936. And there is also a secular law called Special Marriage Act, 1954. As per the Indian laws, it is clearly mentioned that divorce can be done in two ways:

It is a simple way to dissolves the marriage legally where a minimum six months time is needed for the period of prosecution. The mutual consent of the husband & wife is required to get the divorce. As per Law there is no fixed maintenance amount, it can be either any figure or no figure. Child Custody is an important issue that can be worked out mutually between husband and wife. Depending on the understanding of the parties child custody can be joint, shared or exclusive. However, it is necessary for the husband and wife to live separately for at least one year to file for a divorce.

2. Contested Divorce:

One will have to contest to get the divorce. Indian laws in general recognize cruelty, Desertion, Unsoundness of mind, Impotency, renouncing the world, etc. Aggrieved party has to take one of the above grounds of divorce and will have to file the case in the Court of appropriate jurisdiction. The party who files the case has to submit all the supportive documents and evidence to prove the case. On successfully proving the case, divorce will be granted and divorce decree will be drawn up accordingly.

Marriage in India can also be dissolved by means of Annulment. Procedure for annulment is same as that of divorce except that the grounds for annulment are different than that of divorce. Grounds for annulment are fraud, pregnancy of wife by person other than the husband, impotency prior to the marriage and subsist even at the time of filing the case. Once annulment is granted by the Indian Court, status of the parties remains as it was prior to the marriage.

There are certain form of marriages which are null and void despite the performance /solemnization of the same. Marriage is void under following circumstances:-

  • Neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage
  • The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two;
  • The parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two.
  • Time duration for obtaining divorce varies from case to case & place to place. Generally speaking, contested divorce proceedings take approximately 18 to 24 months. Mutual Consent Divorce varies from 4 weeks to 7 months and more.