How long does it take to get a divorce?

Marriage is a bond of love, commitment, respect for one another and a vow to care for each other for many lifetimes to come. Although any marriage starts with the good intention on following up on those vows with utmost dignity and honesty, it can sometimes come crashing down due to any reason.

Tackling an unhappy marriage and finding their way through it can be extremely difficult for a couple. Especially in a society like India, where unhappy and abusive marriages are normalized and both the spouses are advised to adjust by friends and family, it becomes extremely difficult for a person to navigate their life through such a situation.

As a result, many religions, especially in India have their own laws set up in accordance to their customs and traditions for a couple to separate either amicably or through a contested divorce.

How can I apply for divorce in India?

Now, as per the law, there are certain prerequisites which are to be fulfilled before applying for a divorce through either of the methods.

  1. For Mutual Divorce:
  • Both the partners must have lived separately for one year or 12 months. Living separately does not mean in different houses or different location, rather it means that they have not been living as husband and wife for at least a year.
  • The second important prerequisite for obtaining a mutual divorce is that both the partners do not feel that reconciliation or mending of relations is possible at any cost.
  • The most important essential, as the name suggests mutual consented divorce means that both the partners have given their free consent for the dissolution of their marriage.
    1. For Contested Divorce:
  • In a contested divorce, one partner wishes to no longer live with their spouse but the spouse is not ready to separate legally, yet.
  • Various grounds can be considered as the reason for filing a contested divorce petition such as cruelty, adultery, mental illness, conversion of religion, venereal diseases, etc.
  • There is no such timeline as per the minimum time to file a contested divorce in the court of law. It can also be filed after 30 years of marriage and also after 24 hours of marriage.

How much time does it take to get a mutual divorce?

The best way to get a decree of divorce from the court is through a mutual divorce. It is the fastest and far less toiling way to get a divorce as well as keep the respect and dignity of both the persons intact. The Hindu law provides that no couple shall be allowed to apply for dissolution of marriage before completion of one year of marriage. Apart from this, the couple must be residing separately in non- marital capacity for a period of at least 1 year. It is only after fulfilment upon these two conditions and attachment of evidences and witnesses to affirm to the above two conditions, a couple can apply for dissolution of their marriage on the ground of mutual divorce.

Further, after filing of such an application, it takes around 12-18 months to get a mutual divorce decree from the court. The time mentioned is reduced by a lot, if the court through its discretionary power waves-off the 6-month cooling period. The cooling period is a time given to the couple to take one last chance to think about reconciliation and if even after a 6-month period, they believe that their differences are irreconcilable, then the court passes the decree of divorce. 

How much time does it take to get a contested divorce?

The process involving a contested divorce is an extremely lengthy and toiling one as the name suggests, its where one partner is ready to separate, while the other partner does not want wish to separate. The process involving a contested divorce is a lengthy one as first, the spouse seeking divorce must choose the right lawyer, who shall represent their concerns and interests in the court, judiciously. Before filing for an application for contested divorce, the contesting spouse must be able to collect sufficient evidences and witnesses to make their petition iron clad on their accusations against their spouse. Preparation of such a petition, itself is a heavy task and takes a good amount of time to complete. After filing of the petition in court, the judge hears the arguments and contentions of both the sides and moves forward with the petition only if satisfied. Various hearings takes place over the months, which can also take years to complete in presenting and scrutinizing of the evidences and witnesses. The process not only involves presenting one side of the case but also gives a fair chance to the other spouse to defend themselves.

The entire process of a contested divorce case typically takes 2-3 years and in some complex cases even 5 years to bear any fruitful result.

It all goes to waste if the aggrieved spouse then appeals to the high court against the order of the family court, then the entire process is repeated again and can take a long time for the divorce to get finalised.

How can I apply for mutual divorce?

A lot of the steps mentioned below take place at the same time and thus, the couple seeking divorce does not need to visit the court again and again for the proceedings.

  • Filing of a joint divorce petition
  • Appearance of both the parties in the court
  • Scrutiny of evidences & Recording of statement on oath
  • Passing of the First Motion
  • Discretionary Cooling off period
  • Passing of the Second Motion
  • Decree of divorce passed by the court

How can I apply for contested divorce?

Applying for a contested divorce can be a lengthy and a tedious task as while you may wish to get a divorce, your spouse might not be ready to agree to it, yet. In such a case, contested divorces take time as all the decision-making power regarding the divorce proceedings are surrendered by the couple and given to the judge. Such a task might also require regular brainstorming sessions with your lawyer and frequent visits to the family courts.

  • Filing of petition by the husband or wife
  • Issuing of Summons and appearances
  • Reconciliation attempt by the Court
  • Reply/counter reply from the respondent spouse
  • Examination and cross-examination of witnesses and evidence.
  • Counsels for both parties present final arguments.
  • Decree of divorce passed by the court.
  • Petition of Appeal, if any.

How can GS Bagga & Associates help you?

Greetings! When people marry, they do so with a hope of spending a lifetime together, sharing joys and sorrows together. Sometimes, marriages do not work out as while living together, its realized that they are not able to cohabit together or with their spouse and it would be best to part their ways. In such situations, lawyers play a major role in getting you a divorce. The offices of G.S. Bagga & Associates have been experienced in family law and matrimonial issues for over 7 years now. If you’ve found the above information satisfying, you can get in touch with us and can book a free consultation. We would love to support you with our legal expertise in the matter. Feel free to contact us, anytime.