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Divorce is the procedure of separating through lawful intervention. A pronouncement of divorce that is conceded by the district court or the family court considers the detachment of the parties as the marriage has been broken down. When the divorce is conceded the parties are free to re-wed, if so they wish.

The personal law governs the divorce in India. Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 rules the Hindus, Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939 rules the Muslims and Indian Divorce Act, 1869 governs the Christians. Therefore,  the divorce relies heavily on the religion of the parties. For inter-caste marriages, the provisions of Special Marriages Act, 1954 are applicable.

Types of Divorce

Divorce by Mutual Consent

It is allowed when both the spouses mutually choose to isolate. The Section 13-B of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Section 28 of Special Marriages Act, 1954 states that spouses should live in separation for over a time of one year in order to file a petition for divorce by mutual consent. The Section 10-A of India Divorce Act, 1869 which governs Christians in India express that the spouses need to live separately for a period of two years in order to file a petition for divorce by mutual consent.

Divorce by Non-Mutual Consent

The petition for this type of divorce can be filed by either spouse i.e by husband or wife in a court of law. If any one of the party desires to divorce, then he/she have to state the valid grounds for such type of divorce. The procedure for Muslim women is slightly different but the grounds for divorce are the same. Regardless of the personal  law one may follow, there are a few grounds that are applicable globally.

Grounds for divorce available to both husband and wife

  • Cruelty
  • Desertion
  • Adultery
  • Presumed Death
  • Unsoundness of mind

Grounds for divorce available only to wife

  • Rape
  • Bigamy
  • Puberty