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Filing for Divorce in India


Filing for Divorce in India

There are certain phases in your life that affect you mentally and psychologically and ultimately bring about a significant change in your identity. Marriage is certainly a memorable event in your life that assists you in shaping yourself as a new individual. On the other hand, a divorce will lead you to unravel, the unexplored chaotic facets of life. Once you are determined to get separated, or all set to put an end to the conventional blissful marital relationship, you should first file a divorce petition before the court.

The partners must have gone through a long phase of emotional turmoil before making up their mind for filing a divorce. Filing divorce in India is even more distressing as the whole procedure may take few months to several years. Due to intricate Indian divorce laws, a divorce can drain you out both financially and emotionally.

Hiring a Lawyer

If you have decided to get separated, in spite of being aware of the elaborate legal divorce processes, the very first step is to hire a lawyer who would be acting as your legal advisor throughout the long process. While hiring a lawyer, you must make sure that he/she is experienced enough to handle your divorce case tactfully and efficiently. Your lawyer should take interest in your case and he/she must devote a substantial time to execute all the legal proceedings of your divorce. It is always advisable that you enter into an agreement regarding the fee structure at the very first day of your meeting with the lawyer.

The procedure of filing a divorce

According to the Indian divorce laws, there are mainly two ways to obtain divorce; mutual divorce and contested divorce. In case of a mutual divorce, you can have a talk with your estranged spouse to come to a settlement and get a “no-fault divorce”. If you are seeking a contested divorce, you can file your divorce on the grounds that are specified under the particular Indian marriage act that you are entitled to. There are separate divorce laws for Hindus, Christians, Parsis and Muslims. Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists are governed by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 for filing divorce in India whereas Christians, Parsis and Muslims have their have their own laws for filing divorce and Inter-caste marriages/ divorces are governed by the Special Marriage Act, 1956.

The following are the grounds on which divorces are commonly filed.

·         Involvement of the spouse of the petitioner in adultery or indulging in sexual relationships outside his/her marriage.

·         Willfully deserting or abandoning the petitioner for a continuous period of two years prior to the filing for divorce in India.

·         Inflicting physical and mental abuses that may cause danger to life and health.

·         Sexually impotent or inability to involve in sexual intercourse.

·         Suffering from incurable diseases and insanity

Your lawyer will draft a divorce petition based on the grounds for filing a divorce in India as mentioned in the Indian divorce laws. You will be expected to provide your lawyer every necessary details and documents that would facilitate him/her to file the case in the relevant court.

For filing divorce in India, you are required to hand over the following photocopies of documents to your lawyer;

·         Income Tax statements for the past 2 or 3 years

·         Details of your profession and your present remuneration

·         Your birth and family related information

·         Details of properties and assents possessed by you

Along with the above mentioned documents, you need to provide your lawyer with a detailed account of your marriage that includes, how and when you got married, and what went wrong that led to the breakup of the marital bonding with your spouse. If you are more honest in your pleadings, it will be easier for the lawyer to file a strong petition for a contested divorce. For further proceedings you will have to sign ‘vakalatnama’ to give authority to your lawyer to represent you in the courtroom. Shortly, the court will send a notice and a copy of your petition by registered post to your former spouse asking him/her to appear in the court on a specified date.

The consequence of filing a divorce in India is quite challenging, as it requires tremendous mental strength to fight against various social stigmas and economical threats. You should be well prepared to deal with all the impediments that will arises, once you file a divorce in the court.



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