Grounds for Divorce in India under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955Subscribe

Marriage is the union of two loves; it symbolizes eternal love, sacredness and responsibility. Marriage is about two individuals taking vows to adhere to each other throughout life's ups and downs. Marriage is about teamwork. But some circumstances compel the team to get separated. 

The root issue of Divorce is miscommunication. However, there are unnumbered reasons why people opt for divorce, such as communication barriers, betrayal, unrealistic expectations, abuse, lack of compassion, respect for one another and much more. Divorce is when a partner in a marital bond isn't satisfied with their partner and wants to seek legal action for separation. Due to the awareness of fundamental rights and education, divorce rates are rapidly escalating in India. Divorce rates are higher in urban areas, so education is a silver lining. People divorce when they know their human rights and don’t wish to tolerate injustice. But what are the grounds for divorce in India? 

The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 lays nine grounds for divorce.

1) Adultery - Any party from the marriage can file for divorce if the plaintiff's partner had sexual relations outside of the marriage during the marriage. However, sufficient and accurate evidence must prove the partner's liability.

2) Desertion - Under section 13(1)(ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1995, desertion is ground for divorce. It is considered desertion when the spouse willingly abandons their partner for at least two years without any justification. 

3) Cruelty - If the spouse mentally or physically hurts their partner, they can claim divorce, which is a vital ground for divorce under the Marriage act. Mental cruelty is when the spouse mentally tortures their partner by belittling them, insulting them, threatening, traumatizing them, etc. is considered cruelty. Moreover, if one of the spouses beats their partner or physically tortures them, it is regarded as physical cruelty. 

4) Conversion - When a spouse converts their religion without making their partner aware, it can be grounds for divorce. The complainant can take legal action against their partner. 

5) Leprosy - Leprosy is a contagious disease that affects the skin. Under the Hindu Marriage Act, Leprosy was a valid ground for divorce. However, under Personal Law (Amendment) Act 2019 notified that Leprosy is no more grounds for divorce.  

6) Insanity - If the spouse has been incurable or has an unsound mind and is intermittent/continuously suffering from a mental disorder or signs of mental illness. The partner of the mentally ill patient cannot be expected to live together, and they can file for divorce on this grounds. 

7) Presumption of death - When one of the spouses goes missing and is presumed dead, or there are no signs of being alive for seven years, their partner can seek divorce. 

8) Venereal diseases - If one of the spouses has contagious and incurable diseases, there are chances that it can be transmitted to their partner. Then this becomes the valid ground for divorce. 

9) Renunciation - If one of the spouses renunciates, which means walking on the path of God and living behind everyday life and responsibilities. In such cases, their partner can opt for divorce. Whoever practices renunciation is considered civically dead.

If the case doesn't fall under any of the categories stated above can also opt for divorce. The couple, with mutual consent, can file for divorce under section 13B. However, the married couple has to wait for one year of marriage or show the court that they have been living separately for one or more years and cannot live together.

Tags:

Divorce

Marriage

Legal

Mental Health

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