Indian Family Laws on Divorce Versus Separation

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Indian family law has many specific guidelines for accepting divorce or separation. However, the misconception that Indian law prohibits divorce and separation is quite a fallacy. There are numerous options for both males and females to take if they are seeking a divorce. Although they may not always be successful in their petition, the law clearly indicates many options.

Grounds for Divorce

Either the wife or husband may petition for divorce if the other individual had voluntary intercourse with someone else since their marriage; treated them with cruelty; deserted them for over two years; ceased to be a Hindu; becomes mentally unstable; suffers from severe leprosy or venereal disease; renounces the world; or has been missing for a period of seven years.

Grounds for Divorce by Wife

A wife may petition for a divorce if the husband has been guilty of rape/sodomy/bestiality since the marriage or if the marriage was solemnized before she was 15 years old and she repudiated the marriage between the the ages of 15 and 18. Further, the wife can petition for divorce if she married before the Hindu Marriage Act and the husband remarried "before such commencement or that any other wife of the husband whom he had married before such commencement was alive at the time of marriage."

Divorce by Mutual Consent

If both spouses mutually agree that they would like a divorce, they can petition for a divorce on the grounds of mutual agreement or inability to live together.

Judicial Separation

Either the wife or husband may petition a divorce by requesting a judicial separation. This allows the spouses to legally remain separated and may aid the process to reestablish conjugal rights. If both parties neglect to resume cohabitation after a period of one year or more since the decree for judicial separation, then this is grounds for a divorce.


About the Author

Jessica Fletcher received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Florida in 2008. She has been writing and editing professionally since 2007. Fletcher is currently working as a grants writer for a biochemistry research group. She is a professional artist and fashion designer. She has published numerous articles for eHow and Answerbag.

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