Frequently Asked Questions

What are the grounds on which one party can seek divorce?

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 Co-habitation

Beside 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.

How to proceed when you’ve decided to file a contested divorce petition?

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 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 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.

How much time it takes to get the Divorce?

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.

How much fee is charged?

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

What are the legislations through which divorce is granted?

Following is the list of various divorce laws for different religion 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
Under which Acts one can apply for maintenance?

One can apply for maintenance under following Sections:

  • Section 25 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956
  • Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • Section 20 of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
How much time it takes to get the Maintenance?

There is no definite time period in which Maintenance can be granted. However, one can expect interim Maintenance to be granted/rejected in few months. Interim Maintenance is the Maintenance amount granted till the time legal proceedings are over.

Can a party who is earning get Maintenance?

Yes, if your spouse earns more than you then you may get the Maintenance

Can one file a Maintenance case without filing a divorce case?

Yes, Maintenance case can be filed while you’re married.

Can maintenance be claimed in an unregistered marriage in India?

Yes, maintenance can be claimed in unregistered as well as registered marriage under the provisions of Indian Law.

What kind of reliefs can one get through this Act?

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, popularly called as Domestic Violence Law or DV provides variety of rights to women victim of Domestic Violence. Such rights include:

  • claim of monetary relief, 
  • rights to residence, 
  • compensation for domestic violence, 
  • protection order, and
  • child custody; amongst other reliefs.

Domestic violence Act has come into force with objective of expeditious disposal of the claim of women who are victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence complaint is filed in the Court of Magistrate who is empowered to pass ex-parte orders. Domestic violence has come in to force with objective of providing economic justice and independence to women victim of domestic violence.

How this act provides ‘Right to Residence?

Domestic violence law specifically provides the right to residence. Right to residence includes in living in the shared house hold irrespective of fact whether wife has right, title or interest over the property/residence. This specific provision is inserted in Domestic Violence law to arrest the menace of abandoning the woman and children, if any, without roof and shelter in case of matrimonial disputes. DV Act also provides for alternate accommodation.

Hence, law cast a mandate on the husband to provide residence to the wife. Such residence can be shared house hold where husband and wife lived together and made such house as their matrimonial house. Alternatively, law mandates husband to provide alternate residence comparable to the one previously enjoyed by the wife while living together.

How to start proceedings in filing Domestic Violence cases?

Case under domestic violence law is initiated by filing a complaint detailing all events of domestic violence before the Court of magistrate. Such complaint is generally accompanied by interim application. Magistrate trying the complaint is empowered to execute summons of the case through protection officer or by the concerned police station.

In dire case requiring urgent relief, court has power to grant ex-parte order (order in the absence of the other party). For example, wife is abandoned by the husband and she is in immediate danger of loss of roof over her head. She can approach to the Court for directions that she may not be evicted from the house rather she should be allowed to stay in the shared house hold or matrimonial home. Court under such grave circumstances is competent to pass ex-parte order restraining the husband or any other family member from dispossessing her from the shared house hold or matrimonial home.

Another important feature of Domestic violence law is that relief can be claimed not only against husband but also against in laws.

Can Domestic Violence complaint be filed against women?

Earlier there were views the domestic violence complaint cannot be filed against women. Rationale behind such views was that Domestic violence is for the protection of women. However, this controversy is set to rest by a decision of Hon’ble High Court of Delhi. Hence, complaint for domestic violence is maintainable against female or women.

Can Domestic Violence complaint be filed only by wives?

Scope of law is further widened wherein it is clarified that not only wife but any other female living in domestic relationship can seek remedy. Thus, sister or mother can claim relief against son or father and/or brother for the relief.

Domestic violence law for the first time recognizes existence of legal rights to female who are not married to claim monetary relief, residence, compensation etc from her partner. In other words, women living as “live in relationship” has given benefits, protection, right and claim under domestic violence law.

How much times it takes to get the relief under this Act?

There is no definite time period in which relief can be assured to be granted. However, one can expect interim or ex-parte relief to be granted/rejected in few months. Interim relief is the relief granted till the time legal proceedings are over. Ex-parte relief is the relief given in the absence of the opposite party.