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 tumultuous facets of life. Once you are determined to get a divorce or all set to put an end to the conventional blissful marital relationship, you should first file for a divorce.

You might have gone through a long phase of emotional turmoil before making up your mind for divorce, filing for divorce in India is even more distressing as the whole procedure may require from few months to several years. Due to intricate Indian divorce laws a divorce can drain you out both financially and emotionally. If you are firm in your decision in spite of being aware of all the elaborate legal divorce processes, allow us to provide you brief information on steps involved in filing for divorce in India.

Hiring a Lawyer

The very first step in getting a divorce is to hire a lawyer who would be acting as your legal advisor through out the long process of divorce. While appointing 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 you divorce, the mutual divorce and the 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 for divorce in India. Laws are even laid down for Inter-cast marriages under 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 enable him/her to file the case in the relevant court.

For filing for 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 break up of the marital bonding you once shared with your spouse. The more honest you are in your account the easier will be 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.

Facing the consequence of filing for 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 confront all impediments that will arise once you file a divorce in court.