When and where can I file for divorce?

divorce legal help

An individual’s life is full of rollercoaster of emotions, opportunities, moments and setbacks. All of these arrive in various phases of life which affects us mentally, socially and physically.

One such phase is of marriage. A person gets married with extreme high hopes in heart, ready to shift the paradigm of individualistic life towards a more inclusive and holistic relationship with their partner.

Regulation of religious institutions and their belief system also plays an important role in an individual’s life. In India, marriage has been considered as the ultimate religious duty of both men and women and not a means to enjoy companionship support or compatibility. Due to this, many couples have lived in an unhappy marriage.

The Hindu Dharma does not provide for divorce, and thus, for the longest time, divorce has been considered a taboo in the Indian society.

With the world advancing, the societies and the mindset of people is also slowly evolving and changing. Rational and practical thinking is becoming the core area of decision making.

This has led to a revolutionary change where women are standing up for themselves and no longer feel the need to stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of family and society. Many men and women are going their separate ways amicably, be it after only a few years of marriage or 20 years of marriage. This is being done upon the realization of not being able to provide the right kind of companionship that each other demands.

India has come a long way in accepting divorces or separation of people within marriage into the society but still has a long road ahead in terms of raising societal eyebrows in other various marital customs and traditions.

How to file for divorce in India?

Hindus are synchronized with the divorce law in India through the Hindu marriage act. Divorce for Hindus as per the act, can be of two types. – Mutual or contested.

  1. Mutual Divorce- Divorce by mutual consent, basically means a divorce not involving the courtroom, where both the husband and wife mutually decide to separate and sign a joint petition whereby stating that they have bene living separately for more than a year.

While applying for a mutual divorce, no petition within the first year of marriage can be accepted. After submitting the petition for divorce, the couple has to be present in front of the judge, for the judge to evaluate the mutual divorce proceedings. In this entire process, a cooling-off period takes place which was mandatory earlier, but now, as per the discretion of the judge, it can be waived off.

In India, divorce by mutual consent is the fastest, respectful and dignified way to get separation as in this case both the partners who believe that they cannot live together harmoniously and voluntarily agree to all terms and conditions of their joint petition to separate legally. Such a joint petition contains matters of maintenance, custody of child, division of assets, shelter of the spouse etc.

  1. Contested Divorce- A contested divorce is the type of divorce where one partner applies for the divorce and is ready to separate, while the other partner does not want wish to separate. In such a case, the divorce proceedings are heard in front of a judge and matters such as property dispute, child custody, maintenance and alimony are decided not by the partners but by the judge.

A contested divorce can be filed only on certain grounds which are mentioned under the law. Such grounds are – cruelty, adultery, dissertation, conversion, mental disorder, communicable general diseases, etc.

Where to file for divorce in India?

When a couple or in case of a contested divorce, one of the spouses have decided that they no longer wish to reside with their partner, now the most important question arises, where and how to file for divorce? To get legally divorced in the eyes of the society, one has to get through the walls of the court. Be it a mutual divorce or contested, a decree of divorce has to be provided to the spouses in order to be completely devoid of the rights and duties of their marital life. Now, in case of a mutual divorce, the couple has to give appearances one or two times for the court to understand that both the spouses have given mutual consent for the divorce and both wish to get out of the marital bond. While, a contested divorce takes long to reach to a conclusion, as the court has to decide various contentions and point of conflict within the divorce proceedings.

While applying for a divorce, the most important factor is to hire a good lawyer, who can represent your best interests in front of your spouse as well as the judge during the proceedings of the divorce.

While filing for a divorce, the matter of jurisdiction plays a major role.

As per the Hindu marriage Act, every divorce petition shall be submitted within the family court division of the District Court, where-

  1. The marriage was solemnized, or
  2. The parties to the marriage last resided together, or
  3. The present residence of the wife, or
  4. The present residence of the husband, or

If the respondent is not residing in the same jurisdiction as of the petitioner, then the petition can be filed at any of the following District Court, where-

  1. The marriage was solemnized, or
  2. The petitioner resides, or
  3. The parties last resided together

What are the documents to be submitted while applying for divorce?

  1. Address proof of the spouse
  2. Certificate of marriage
  3. Passport size photographs of husband and wife
  4. Evidence to support the claim that husband and wife have been living apart for more than one year.
  5. Income tax statements for 3 years
  6. Professional details
  7. Family background details
  8. Details of properties that are owned by both parties
  9. In case of a contested divorce, the parties are required to submit various evidences, witnesses, affidavits supporting their claims of the arguments.


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, it is 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.