Contested Divorce

Contested Divorce is just what it sounds like: one or both spouses contest (dispute) some aspect of their divorce. Therefore, the divorce proceedings take much longer to complete and typically involve greater stress and increased legal fees.

In such case, the divorce proceedings take much longer to complete and typically involve greater stress and increased legal fees. Although the divorce judges always encourage spouses to work things out through mediation and counselling, but if this does not work out then the court trial has to be completed.

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Some high level grounds for seeking divorce under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 are as under:-

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Desertion
  • Conversion to another religion
  • Unsoundness of mind or mental disorder
  • Virulent and Incurable form of leprosy
  • Venereal disease
  • Leprosy
  • Renunciation
  • Not heard alive for a period of seven years or more
  • No Resumption of Cohabitation

Beside the above, there are few additional grounds for divorce available only to wives. One of them is that the husband has been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality. Another one is that if it has been one year or more since Maintenance is granted against the husband and in favor of the wife and since then there has been no cohabitation between the parties.

Divorce—especially ones that are contested—are complex. Therefore, spouses in a contested divorce should definitely speak with an experienced divorce lawyer who can inform them of their legal rights and ensure they are fully protected. In a contested divorce, there are many issues on which spouses are not in agreement with each other. The disagreements can be on many issues like property division, child support, custody issues or spousal support, amongst many more.

An experienced Contested divorce lawyer will see if there are matters that both parties can agree on and then outline what is or is likely in dispute. In some cases, the parties can go to mediation before a petition is filed to hopefully hammer out an acceptable parenting agreement, if applicable, and a satisfactory distribution of the assets and debts. Alimony may also be discussed and settled.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the high level steps involved in a divorce litigation:

  • 1. Discuss the ground(s) on which you seek divorce, with your lawyer. Apprise your lawyer with all the relevant facts.
  • 2. Based on your discussion with your lawyer, your case will be drafted.
  • 3. The case is then filed in appropriate Family Court.
  • 4. Upon filing case, the matter is listed in the Court for consideration. If Court is satisfied with the case file, Court issues notice/summons to other party.
  • 5. Upon receiving notice/summons, opposite party will have to file reply. If the opposite party despite service of notice/summons does not appear before the Court, then Court may proceed in the matter in the absence of the other party.
  • 6. Issues are framed by the Family Court. Issues basically mean point of adjudication by the Court and on which parties have to give their respective evidence.
  • 7. Both parties are given the opportunity to provide evidence(s) to prove their case.
  • 8. Post evidence of both parties, arguments are heard from both parties.
  • 9. After hearing arguments, matter is listed for passing judgement.

It’s the most painful question to answer. It can take years before the trial is complete. However, these days the stress is given by the Family Judges to settle the cases via Mediation & Counselling which saves a lot of time.

The quantum of fees depends on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Following is the list of various divorce laws for different religions in India:

  • - Hindu (including Sikhs, Jains and Buddists) :Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • - Muslims :Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939
  • - Christians :Indian Divorce Act, 1869
  • - Parsis :The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936
  • - For all religions :Special Marriage Act, 1954