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Divorce under Hindu Marriage Laws in India

Online Legal India LogoBy Online Legal India Published On 09 Nov 2020 Updated On 11 Aug 2021 Category Divorce

Divorce in India holds a lot of emotional outbursts and empathetic subject. Nonetheless, one should never succumb to a failed marriage. Learn to know more about the official process and norms that allow one to seek a divorce in India under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The various grounds on which a decree of divorce can be obtained are as follows-

  • Adultery: It is not considered as a criminal offence in many countries across the globe. But adultery has a valid ground of divorce. The offence of adultery may be proved by:
  1. Circumstantial evidence
  2. Contracting venereal disease
  • Cruelty: As the modern concept of includes both mental and physical cruelty. While the acts of cruelty are behavioral manifestations stimulated by different factors in the life of spouses, and depending on the surroundings. Therefore, each case has to be judged on the basis of its own set of facts. Here are a few instances of cruelty are laid down as follows:
  1. False accusations of adultery or unchastity
  2. Demand for dowry
  3. Refusal to have marital intercourse/children
  4. Impotency
  5. Birth of a child (if pregnant without consent)
  6. Drunkenness
  7. A threat to commit suicide
  8. Wife writing false complaints to an employer of the husband
  9. Incompatibility of temperament
  10. Irretrievable breakdown of a marriage
  • Desertion: Desertion means the non- acceptance of one partner by another partner without any reasonable cause and without the consent of the other. Which further means a total repudiation of marital obligation?
  • Conversion: When the other party has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to any other religion for e.g. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, a divorce process can be granted.
  • Insanity: Insanity as a ground of divorce has the following two requirements:

1. The respondent has been incurable of unsound mind.

2. The respondent has been suffering continuously or intermittently from a mental disorder. Due to which the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.

  • Leprosy: Contagiousness of leprosy and repulsive outward manifestations are responsible enough as a ground for divorce. The onus of proving this lays upon the petitioner.
  • Venereal Disease: In the current times it has a ground for divorce if it is communicable by nature­ irrespective of the period for which the respondent has suffered from it.
  • Renunciation: 'Renunciation of the world' is a ground for divorce only under the Hindu law, such an act of renunciation is considered to unequivocal and absolute according to typical Hindu notion.
  • Presumption Of Death: The marriage act also lays down if a person is presumed to be dead if he/she has not been heard of as being alive for a period of at least seven years. A decree of divorce granted under this clause is valid & effective.
  • Wife's Special Grounds for Divorce: A wife has been vested with four additional grounds of divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act. These are as followed:

a. Pre-Act Polygamous Marriage

b. Rape, Sodomy or Bestiality

c. Non-Resumption of Cohabitation after a Decree/Order of Maintenance

d. Repudiation of Marriage

How can we help you?

Online Legal India™ expert team of highly qualified advocate will assist you from sending a legal notice to filing for divorce. To know more about the process contact our in house experts who will guide the client with the lawyer based on expertise, location, etc.


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