Divorce Under Hindu Marriage Act


As per the ancient Hindu laws there was no place for Divorce and it was with the codification of Hindu law that the first grounds for the new age laws were laid down.
Divorce between two persons married under the Hindu Marriage Act is also governed by the same act.
Grounds for Divorce

A petition for divorce may be presented by either the husband or wife for dissolving the marriage on the following grounds:
That the other party
  1. has after the marriage had voluntary sexual intercourse with any other person; or
  2. has after the marriage treated the petitioner with cruelty
  3. has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition,
  4. has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion,
  5. has been incurably of unsound mind or has been continuously or intermittently from a mental disorder that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with such a person,
  6. has been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy,
  7. has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form
  8. has renounced the world by entering any religious order.
  9. Has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by persons who would have naturally heard of it, had that party been alive.
Additional Grounds for Divorce by Wife

In addition to the grounds stated above a wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage on the following grounds.
  1. Where the marriage was solemnized before the commencement of this Act, and the husband had married again before such commencement or that any other wife of the husband whom he had married before such commencement was alive at the time of the marriage. (In such a case its necessary that the other wife is alive at the time of presentation of the petition).
  2. That the husband has after the marriage been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.
  3. That in a suit under S.18, Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 or in a proceeding under S. 125 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, a decree or order, as the case may be, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife not withstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or upwards.
  4. That her marriage whether consummated or not was solemnized before she attained the age of 15 years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of 18 years.
Divorce by mutual consent

Where both the parties mutually agree that they want to divorce a petition may be presented on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they have not been able to live together and that they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved.
Thereafter both the parties have to make a motion to the court not earlier than 6 months and not later than 18 months from the date of presentation of the petition and the court after hearing the parties and on being satisfied will pass a decree of divorce.
Filing of Petition

Every petition shall be present to the District Court within the jurisdiction of which
  1. The marriage was solemnized.
  2. The other party at the presentation of the petition resides; or
  3. The parties to the marriage last resided;
  4. Where the petitioner is residing at the time of presentation of the petition in case the other party is residing outside the territories to which the Act extends or has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more.
Every petition presented should contain the following details
  1. The facts on which the relief claimed is based.
  2. That the petition is not presented in collusion between both the parties.
  3. The statements contained in the petition shall be verified by the petitioner or some other competent person


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