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Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

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  • Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

    All major religions have their own laws which govern divorces within their own community, and separate regulations exist regarding divorce in interfaith marriages. Hindus, including Buddhists, Sikh

    Grounds for Divorce
    In most Western nations, there are approximately 16 distinct reasons for which divorces are granted. In India, however, only five main reasons are generally accepted as sufficient grounds for divorce (Choudhary 90).

    Adultery. While no formal definition of adultery exists, it does have "a fairly established meaning in matrimonial law" (Diwan 171), namely "the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married man or woman with a person other than the offender's wife or husband" (Choudhary 91). While the law considers it valid grounds for either sex, adulterous women are "judged more harshly" than men (Kapur and Cossman 102). The various religious regulations a e not unanimous on this issue. The law regarding Hindus allows divorce to be granted on the grounds of infidelity of either husband or wife. The Christian law, however, would traditionally not have granted a divorce to a woman solely on the grounds of adultery. She would have had to prove another violation, such as cruelty (Kapur and Cossman 102-4). A recent Bombay High Court decision "recognised cruelty and desertion as independent grounds for the dissolution of a Christian marriage," striking down a section of the law that allowed for an unconstitutional distinction between the sexes (Raiker-Mhatre 1).

    Desertion. The three main components of desertion are the "disruption of cohabitation, absence of just or reasonable cause and their combination throughout three years" before the abandoned spouse may petition for a divorce (Virdi 71). There also must be an obvious intent on the part of the offending spouse to remain permanently apart from the other. This statute also applies to cases in which a spouse has been heard from for at least seven years (Choudhary 91).

    Cruelty. As with adultery, "the definition of the type of behavior that constitutes cruelty varies according to the gender of the petitioner" of the divorce. "Despite the fact that cruelty is often equally available to husbands and wives, the way in which the law is interpreted and applied suggests that women and men are evaluated by rather different standards" (Kapur and Cossman 105). This category includes both physical and mental abuse and neglect (Choudhary 91). A court decision made in early May 1997 made cruelty sufficient grounds for a Christian woman to obtain a; previously, the law required both adultery and cruelty to be proven. The national Indian Christian community seems to have embraced this judgment (Raikar-Mhatre 1-2.

    Impotency. This refers to the physical inability of the couple to consummate the marriage (Choudhary 91) or the refusal by one spouse to do so (Diwan 136). Some cases have established that sterility can be construed to mean non-consummation if the other partner is not aware of the condition before the marriage (Diwan 139).

    Chronic Disease. Both mental and physical illnesses are included in this category, as well as sexually transmitted diseases (Choudhary 92). Not all religions recognize identical diseases as grounds for divorce. Christians and Parsis do not allow divorce for a sexually transmitted disease or leprosy while the other communities do (Diwan 204-5).

    Consequences of Divorce
    Economic. There is great disparity between the economic ramifications of divorce between men and women. Men remain relatively unaffected while women, especially those with children, have difficulty "providing food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their children." The government in urban areas usually provides some form of public assistance to single mothers, but this service is not fully taken advantage of because most do not know of its existence (Amato 210). Often a woman is not able to rely on her family for support because many parents "feel they have discharged their obligations to a daughter by arranging her marriage and providing a dowry." Dowries are not returned after a divorce. Also, due to the social stigma of divorce, women find it difficult to remarry and usually attempt to establish an independent household (Amato 211).

    Social. While India feels that one should have the right to divorce, it is still a highly stigmatizing action. Women are looked upon more harshly than men in this regard. There continue to be segments of Indian society that feel divorce is never an option, regardless of how abusive or adulterous the husband may be which adds to the greater disapproval for women. A divorced woman often will return to her family, but may not be wholeheartedly welcomed. She puts, especially if she has children, an economic burden on her family and is often given lowly household tasks to perform. There is also the risk that a divorced woman's presence would ward off possible marriages for other daughters within the household. Unavoidably, the overall status of the family and household are lowered by having a divorcee living with amongst them. A woman's class and caste are a major factor in her acceptance back into society. Women from higher classes tend to have an easier time than middle or lower class women in returning to the social order after a divorce. An exception to this model is the extreme bottom of the society who have experienced little rebuff from peers after a divorce. This results from their already atypical status in society (Amato 212-4).
    Adv Smita Dave
    Lawyer - India

  • #2
    re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

    My brother married a girl in India and she was from India, he is a US citizen. If he divorces her in the US is the divorce valid in India too?


    • #3
      divorce law in india

      my sister was married to an Tanzanian from dar-es-salam, they were married in india by hindu tradition and got a registered marriage in tanzania.within a year of marriage they had a baby boy who is the only child.she was married in 2005.
      my brother-in-law has been torturing my sister physically and mentally.they have not had any physical relation since 2yrs.he and his mother keeps her child away from her to an extent that the mother-in-law sleeps with the baby and my brother-in-law and my sister sleeps on another bed in the same room since the child was born.
      kindly advice on how divorce can take place on mutual consent.


      • #4
        re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)


        Can somebody help me, We got married in India in Nov 2005, and just after married I did't like my wife because of many reasons and one of the major reason is that her family (brother & mother) was influancing in my day to day life, we got moved to US in 2008 and I have to take her forcefully with me to India.
        But the situation did not improve and I filled the divorce in India in last Dec 2008.
        Can you please help me to understand the following issues

        1. After filling the divorce in India, court has issued 3 notice to my wife, they send all three notice to our US address and three notice to her mom address in India but they have not responded to any notice yet, and I know that they have received this notices, what will be the court action if they don't respond repeteadly ?

        2. Bcz she is staying forcefully with me in the same house in US and sometime she is trying to talk to me and whenever she is trying to talk to me I trying to push her not to talk to her and we always has a fight, even she has called police also 2 times and blaiming me that I was tourchering her, Is there anyway to stop this drama ?
        3. Can I apply for divorce in US ?

        4. Is there any law that I can cancel her visa bcz I am on L1 visa and she is on L2 visa ?

        Please help me to get the response of there answers I would really apriciate your response



        • #5
          re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

          You can divorce in the US if you now reside here.

          You cannot cancel her visa yourself but the divorce will normally do so.


          • #6
            re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

            Brother - Interference from Wife's mother/brother/Sister in one's family life living in US is horrible, i too am going through it. She doesn't understand what she is doing ... in which route she is going god knows why people are so, they think they are correct, though u accept there horrible behavior still they create trouble ... and its never ending. I though she will be back to normal after having baby but things worsened she started thinking that she made a big achievement giving birth to baby, well my say was there are millions who give birth and struggle so hard in life to raise the baby and make there living we are far better, god has given us all that we can give to our baby and live happily --
            (But No, because she is regularly feeded from here family with every stupendous information which triggers a fight between us for all silly matter).

            Her side ppl became more confident, here divorce is not the solution, keeping distance also is not a solution. Think for what does she show mercy upon, hold her feet no problem she is ur Wife, say pardon me, no ego problem please. Tell here what to be done ask her for what to be done next , and do what she says ... Thats Mahatma Gandhi Style ... will work for your freedom of life ... every human being will realize there mistakes at some-point of life and you will enjoy yours when they are repenting .
            Mean while have good number of friends, so that you can keep your life going on.


            Hey Ram


            • #7
              Re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

              I fear your advice of 'Mahatma Gandhi style' does not work in US. If your marriage does not work, do not try to hang on, unless you want to see yourself in the US jail one day. If the relationship is not working and there are frequent outbursts of verbal/emotional/physical abuses, you may be better of to get out of the relationship as early as possible, so that you have time to survive the disaster. You may be able to hang on and manage if you are in India. In US you may end up paying a bigger price if you hang on and postpone the inevitable.


              • #8
                Re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

                Divorce is a final termination of the marriage and dissolving a bond of the matrimony between the married people. Legal process for the divorce in India can also involve the issue of the child custody, division of debt, distribution of property, child support and spousal support.


                • #9
                  Re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

                  Your Guide to Divorce Laws
                  Going through a divorce is never easy, and divorce laws are supposed to be in place to make the process simpler and less painful. This is the theory at least - it may not always work out that way. This article is going to discuss many aspects of divorce - why it happens, how it happens, and the consequences - in relation to divorce laws. You will see that the place in which you live and file for divorce can have an impact of the outcome of your case and affect the rest of your life. We will also look in detail at the marriage problems that can lead to divorce, and how to be sure if the problems in your marriage are a legitimate grounds for divorce. We will also look at the process you must go through when filing for divorce, the differences in laws between various states, and how to recover from going through a difficult divorce.

                  Why People Divorce
                  The reasons why people divorce are many and various. In a lot of cases, the divorce comes simply because of the fact that the two spouses realize they have differences that they can't possibly resolve, on their own or through marriage counselling. This is often the case with couples who get married young. They make the decision to get married before they truly understand who they are and what their priorities in life should be. As they get older and these things come to the surface in their personalities, they realize that they simply don't work as a couple. In the best case scenario, this kind of couple can agree amicably to part ways and negotiate the dividing up of any marital property, as well as coming to a mutually satisfactory arrangement concerning any children produced by the marriage. Unfortunately, this best case scenario rarely happens.

                  There are several other common reasons for divorce that don't result from mutual differences. One of these covered by most state divorce laws is adultery, or one spouse having sexual relations outside of the marriage. When the other spouse finds out about this, it can be a heartbreaking experience. Some couples are able to resolve the underlying problems and move forward, but for many this act signifies an irreversible breaking of the bond of trust and it leads to the end of the marriage.

                  Of course, there are plenty of other things that can go wrong in a marriage. The dependence of a spouse on drugs or alcohol is another big issue. When someone becomes addicted to a substance, it typically impairs their ability to function properly as a spouse and a parent. Alcohol and drugs have accounted for many marriage breakups over the years.

                  Domestic violence, or cruel an inhuman treatment of one spouse by the other, is sadly also a big cause of divorce and the breakup of families. These are more or less universally covered by state divorce laws. Acts of domestic violence or attempts to kill a spouse are grounds for divorce all over the United States, and some states also make provisions for psychological bullying or general acts that make the other spouse's life miserable.

                  How to File For Divorce
                  Filing for divorce can be a complicated process, and you should always look to enlist the help of a lawyer. You must gather documents pertaining to any property that will be divided up if the divorce goes ahead. You need to organize and establish who owns what, and have documentary proof of this, before you start on divorce proceedings. Decide on the grounds on which you want to file the divorce - you will either be filing on a No Fault grounds, like irreconcilable differences, or a grounds relating to something one spouse has done wrong in the marriage. You should also try to obtain any evidence you may have relating to the grounds for divorce.

                  There is typically a fee involved with actually filing the divorce papers, but it is usually less than $100. It will differ depending where you are. The process of filing the paperwork will be made a lot smoother with your lawyer's assistance. Also, make sure before you even start that you meet the residency requirements needed to file a divorce in your state.

                  State Divorce Laws
                  It's important to realize that in the United States, divorce laws are made on a state level and the divorce laws differ from state to state. Differences can include the residency requirements for filing in the first place, the grounds on which you can file, and the guidelines used for dividing property and determining who will have custody of the children. There are some similarities across most states - for instance, most states use the principle of "equitable distribution," meaning the courts will divide up property based on what the court views as being a fair division between the spouses. However, the guidelines used to determine fairness may differ in subtle ways from state to state. The same if true for determining things like child custody and alimony payments.

                  As mentioned above, most states use a principle of fair distribution, and the definition of fair can differ from state to state. However, there are a few general factors that tend to be true no matter what state divorce laws the proceedings are governed by.

                  For instance, in many cases if one spouse has a much lower income than the other, with fewer prospects for continued education or good future employment opportunities, that spouse may be awarded slightly more than the other. The reasoning behind this is that it is easier for a spouse on a high income to acquire new property and assets after the divorce.

                  Another factor that is commonly used in determining property division is who will retain primary custody of the children. It's not uncommon for a spouse to be awarded the family home if they have also been given full custody of the children, as it's deemed to cause less emotional impact on the children if they are allowed to stay in the place where they already live.

                  Child Custody
                  All across the country, the decisions a court will make concerning child custody and parental visitation rights will be made based on the best interests of the child or children.

                  Now, ideally you want to organize child custody out of court between you and your spouse, or at least through court mediation. However, in the worst case scenario, you will end up in a custody battle in court. In this situation, there are a few general tips to keep in mind to help your chances of winning custody:
                  • Always emphasize the loving bond between you and your child
                  • Emphasize your intention to maintain the bond between the child and the other parent, unless there is a safety reason why there should be no contact between them.
                  • Emphasize that you will do your best to keep the child's life as normal as possible - in other words, if you plan to uproot the child to a new city after the divorce, that will harm your chances of winning custody

                  Alimony (Spousal Support) and Child Support
                  The issues of ongoing payments after the divorce are also of a big concern to many people considering a legal split. Different states use different principles and calculations for determining child and spousal support payments.

                  One factor that is taken into the account more or less universally across all state divorce laws is the length of the marriage. Other factors include things such as the relative wealth and earning power before and after the marriage. In most instances, the parent who does not win custody of any children will be expected to pay child support unless there is some large disparity of incomes between the parents. For instance, if the custodial parent has a high income and the non-custodial parent is unemployed, imposing child support payments would be largely meaningless.

                  Life After Divorce
                  For some people, the divorce itself is not even hardest part - it's surviving after the fact which can be really difficult. It's completely natural to go through a period of mourning after a divorce. After all, there was a person who was once extremely close to you who is no longer around - that can wreak having on your psychology.

                  There are a few things you can do to help you get through the divorce. First of all, make sure you get out of the house. You may not feel like it, but you ought to force yourself to go out with your friends. Keep your good friends close - don't allow any bitterness you may have over the end of the marriage to affect your existing friendships. A few good friends can make a huge difference when you're working through an emotional event like a divorce.

                  A divorce is difficult, but it's not the end of the world. You will recover, and as long as you put yourself out there, you will find someone else who appreciates you for who you really are.

                  Divorce Laws By State


                  • #10
                    Re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

                    reading this, brother i felt that i am not only the person suffering from this kind of interference from wife' parents. now they are threatening me saying "Anti dowry law" some law should be introduced to protect males.


                    • #11
                      Re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

                      Really i am impressed from this post....the person who created this post is a genius and knows how to keep the readers connected..Thanks for sharing this with us. I found it informative and interesting. Looking forward for more updates..
                      India divorce is granted mainly on 4 different grounds. (You can see the grounds for divorce for Muslims here (section number 2):
                      1. Adultery
                      2. Desertion
                      3. Cruelty
                      4. Impotency
                      5. Chronic Diseases
                      Miami Matrimonial, Family and Divorce Lawyer


                      • #12
                        If one finds spouse cheating and finds some pornography material on net is that evidence considered legal n sufficient evidence for divorce?

                        Originally posted by theodoreenfield View Post
                        Really i am impressed from this post....the person who created this post is a genius and knows how to keep the readers connected..Thanks for sharing this with us. I found it informative and interesting. Looking forward for more updates..
                        India divorce is granted mainly on 4 different grounds. (You can see the grounds for divorce for Muslims here (section number 2):
                        1. Adultery
                        2. Desertion
                        3. Cruelty
                        4. Impotency
                        5. Chronic Diseases


                        • #13
                          Re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

                          The secular mind-set of the Indian judicial system has initiated proclamation of various personal laws based on different religious faiths. Hindus, Christians and Muslims are governed under separate marriage acts and grounds for divorce in India.
                          Let us have a look at the various grounds for divorce in India.
                          The following are the grounds for divorce in India mentioned under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
                          Adultery – The act of indulging in any kind of sexual relationship including intercourse outside marriage is termed as adultery. Adultery is counted as a criminal offence and substantial proofs are required to establish it. An amendment to the law in 1976 states that one single act of adultery is enough for the petitioner to get a divorce.



                          • #14
                            Re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

                            My brother married one month ago in India. The girls side kept insisting he should marry in 2011 as some superstitious belief 2012 is a leap year. Her mother used to encourage her girl to have physical relations with the boy before marriage. The boy was all emotionally involved. The girl used to always say my parents are bad, we are poor so we don't get to enjoy life. She used to keep fooling around getting the boy to spend on expensive things and fighting with him saying he does not care for her if he would sometimes say no. The girl came one month before the marriage uninvited saying her parents did not agree. She took free clothes, asked for foreign items, ate free in our house and slept all day and in hush hush tones was talking to her mother. On the marriage day, the girls mother was behaving funny. Everyone's face was solemn at the wedding from the girls side including the girl. Within minutes of the wedding she started showing her true colors and fighting in front of guests and basically acting cheap. She married for money and property. The girl is keeps visiting her parents and writing dirty emails saying we are torturing her and all sorts of false allegations with just no limits. All sorts of false allegations and now claims she has no place to go and wants all the property and money. Can anybody advice what recourse we have with a girl who has no qualms lying, sleeping with men to involve them emotionally and cheating them of their hard earned money. To add to it she has left her job and has made no effort to find one either.


                            • #15
                              Re: Divorce Laws In India (Grounds for Divorce)

                              I am not gonna tell not to take divorce, because if you are here then the marriage is already broken down emotionally and physically, if not officially.

                              I went to India and got married to a girl who was much much richer than me and i didn't take any dowry. Infact her mom made us give them a lot of expensive jewellery, while they didn't even offer a pair of clothes for me. It's not her wealth that i married her for, it was because she seemed well educated and from 'good' family while their reason for getting into this relation was because our horoscopes matched pretty good and i was an NRI !
                              By then i have been working for many years in USA and i went to India and got married. After i came back to US i realized i and my wife couldn't go together well. We had many fights and most of the times i would leave the house to be alone for an hr or two so that the neighbors don't call the cops hearing our fights. While i did my best not to make scene at home or out, my wife used every opportunity to raise hell. If i wasn't calm, the cops would have visited us everyday.
                              While we both wanted an immediate divorce, the stigma that runs about divorce in Indian culture kept us silent. My wife would scream everyday that she would leave me after getting a job herself, but she wouldn't look for a job and wouldn't consent for divorce (even though she would say she will divorce me). While she was obviously unhappy with me, she had the security of living under my roof and eating on my table. But she never cooked any single meal in 3 years for me, never cleaned the house, all she did was spend time on orkut/facebook chatting with her boyfriends from college in India or take my money and shop all weekends.
                              Now, i felt i was being abused, being tortured while being in my house and she not doing anything towards the household but only insulting me all the time.

                              And her mother started harassing my mother in India. Finally i saw divorce lawyer and showed my wife the separation agreement, that's when she came to reality. She cried and said she will be a good wife, blah, blah, .... but she didn't really change. And then i took her to attorney to clear her doubts. She was under the opinion that if i divorce her she can take all my property and put me in jail (WTF !)
                              When her parents knew that we went to the attorney they threatened to kill me and my family (except her daughter ofcourse)

                              She first promised she will cooperate with divorce but after listening to her parents she refused to cooperate unless i give her Rs. 1crore. So basically her family was trying to make money out of this. On my attorney's advice i left the home immediately and transferred couple of 1000s of USD in her account. I left home because her friends were giving her advice to call the cops and complain that i abused/harassed her and my attorney said that's what girls do, they put false complaints at the time of divorce. I gave her money so if we go before the judge they cannot prove that i left her in financial crisis.
                              We are not yet over with divorce. She first said she will sign the agreement if i pay $10,000, i paid that and now she's saying she wants the wedding expenses reimbursed. So now i am going to go to trial and fight. She got a job after i left home, because she got green card for marrying me and she put fake 7years of SAP experience. I think the company took her because she had green card and they were willing to train her. Anyway, now she's making as much as i do, so i don't know why i should support her when she has more money than during our marriage tenure. Moreover i also paid her $10000 after i left home. So now i am going to fight for fairness.

                              Guys, this what some girls do (not all), esp the spoiled irresponsible daughters of rich greedy mothers. Not only do they pass time at home doing nothing productive, they would try to milk your money to the last drop. If i knew this could have happen, i would have probably gone for pre-marriage contract which clearly states that in an event of divorce i will not pay my wife anything. Well, if you have such contract before marriage, it means you lost belief in the marriage already, pretty understandable !


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