What are the requirements for divorce in India?

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Divorce is a legal process that formally ends a marriage or marital relationship. In India, divorce is governed by various laws and procedures depending on the religion and personal laws followed by individuals. What are the requirements for divorce in India, it can vary based on these factors, but there are some general guidelines that apply to most cases.

This means that the marriage must have been registered under the applicable laws and regulations. In addition, there must be valid reasons for seeking a divorce. The grounds for divorce in India are classified into two categories: fault-based grounds and no-fault grounds.

Fault-based grounds:

Under fault-based grounds, one party must prove that the other party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Some common fault-based grounds for divorce in India include adultery, cruelty, desertion, conversion to another religion, unsoundness of mind, and incurable forms of leprosy or venereal disease. It is essential to provide evidence and documentation to support these claims.

No-fault grounds:

On the other hand, no-fault grounds for divorce do not require proving any fault on the part of either spouse. These grounds include mutual consent, which is the most common way of obtaining a divorce in India. Under mutual consent, both parties agree to dissolve the marriage and present a joint petition to the court. However, there is a mandatory waiting period of six months from the date of filing the petition before the court grants the divorce decree. This cooling-off period is provided to give the couple an opportunity to reconsider their decision.

Also read: What is Child Counseling and Family Counseling?

Residency requirement:

Apart from the grounds for divorce, there are a few other requirements that must be fulfilled. One such requirement is the residency requirement. According to the Hindu Marriage Act, either the husband or the wife should have resided in the place where the divorce petition is being filed for at least one year immediately before the petition is presented. This requirement ensures that the petition is filed in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Additionally, if the couple has children, the court may require them to attend counseling sessions or attempt reconciliation before granting the divorce. The welfare of the children is given utmost importance during divorce proceedings in India, and the court strives to ensure their well-being and best interests.

Filing a divorce petition:

Once all the requirements are met, the divorce proceedings can begin. The process involves filing a divorce petition in the appropriate family court or district court, depending on the jurisdiction. The petitioner must provide all necessary details, including the grounds for divorce, supporting evidence, and relevant documents such as marriage certificates, photographs, and any other relevant proof.

After filing the petition, both parties are given an opportunity to present their case before the court. The court may also consider any agreements reached between the parties regarding property division, alimony, and child custody.

It is important to note that divorce laws in India can vary based on personal laws and religious affiliations. For example, Muslims follow the Muslim Personal Law, which has its own set of rules and requirements for divorce. Similarly, Christians, Parsis, and other religious communities have their own personal laws governing divorce.


In conclusion, the requirements for divorce in India are influenced by various factors, including the grounds for divorce, residency requirements, and the applicable personal laws. Whether the divorce is fault-based or no-fault, it is crucial to fulfill all legal requirements and provide the necessary evidence and documentation. Seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer is recommended to navigate the complexities of the divorce process in India.

Read more: Where Can You Find a Famous Divorce Attorney in Delhi?

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