Divorce also known as the dissolution of marriage or legal separation of husband and wife, effected, for cause, is entirely handled by the family law attorneys. Dissolution is defined as “divorce from the bond of matrimony”, initiated proclamation by the Indian Judicial System on the basis of secular mind-set based on different religious faiths. Hindus, Muslims and Christians are regularized under respective marriage acts and grounds for divorce in India.
According to Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
According to Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, a marriage can be terminated by obtaining declaration that the marriage did not take place on the valid grounds or other provisions mentioned in Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Under Hindu Marriage Act, there are grounds of Adultery, cruelty, desertion, Mental Disorder, Conversion into another religion, no resumption of co-habitation, leprosy,Virulent and incurable form of leprosy, venereal Disease in a communicable form, renunciation of world entering any religious order, and Not Heard Alive under which the couple can contest for the divorce.
The expression for “cruelty” is not clearly defined. According to section 13(1)(ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, provides:
- Any marriage solemnised whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party.
- (ia) has, after the solemnisation of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty.
A Muslim woman can seek divorce based on Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 on the following grounds:
- If the husband’s whereabouts are unacknowledged for the period of four years.
- If the husband has failed to provide maintenance to the wife for at least two years.
- If the husband is unable to meet the marital obligations.
- If the husband is under imprisonment for seven or more years.
- If the girl is married before fifteen but decided to end the relationship before she turns eighteen.
- If the husband indulges in cruelty.
These grounds explain the importance of reasons to get a divorce. In western countries, there are two different “no-fault grounds” and seven “fault” grounds. The Fault grounds mean that the reason is strong enough that the marriage is needed to be ended. “No-fault ground” which elucidate that the marriage is needed to end but neither of the spouse is blamed.
But filing the divorce in India without any reason is not possible and the court more likely to dismiss such a decision. In case of divorce through mutual consent, both the husband and wife is entitled to get their marriage dissolved by a decree of divorce on more than one ground adverted in Section 13.
Section 13-B makes the provision for divorce by mutual consent on the ground that-
- Both the parties to the marriage have been living separately for a period of more than one year.
- They have not been able to live together.
- They are mutually agreed for the termination of the marriage.
In case the couple find it incompatible to live together, then they can file for a petition of divorce through mutual consent but the parties are needed to undergo some procedure in order to file a petition for divorce by mutual consent:
- Both the parties are needed to file a petition before the district court.
- Married couple is needed to ensure that they are living separately for more than one year before filing for the petition seeking divorce. As the divorce is allowed, parties are required for filing for statement.
But the couple seeking divorce by mutual consent is expected to produce valid reason why they are unable to live together and mention it clearly in the petition that the on the basis of following grounds they have not been able to live together.
So, while dealing with the applications of judicial separation, the court bears in mind all the specific grounds raised in order to grant relief and establish the same by insisting on valid proof. Court has, therefore, discretion in respect to the grounds other than the grounds enumerated under section 13 (1A). Instead of granting divorce straightaway some other grounds are considered to accord restricted relief of judicial separation.