Contested Divorce

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Contested Divorce: Grounds, Procedure, and Documents Required

Updated on July 08, 2024 07:59:35 AM

A contested divorce is the most common form of divorce seen in India.
People are slowly recognising the harsh realities of their marriages and making choices to enter healthier ones.

Divorce Matrimony is complicated! But so are relationships as well that could harm your physical and mental health.

Contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce

A Contested Divorce is a form of divorce where either of the partners disagrees for mutual divorce or any dispute regarding property, child, and alimony is in between them. In those cases, they have to seek help from the court for their dissolution of marriage.

Uncontested or Mutual Consent Divorce is a legal action taken by both husband and wife when they decide to end their relationship and get divorced on a mutual basis. In simpler words, when both parties (husband and wife) mutually agreed to divorce, it is called Mutual Consent Divorce.

Grounds for Contested Divorce

A proper petition needs to be filed with mentioning of grounds under which they want to divorce their respective partner. Without proper grounds (grounds mentioned under law), no one can file for divorce in court. Now let’s look at the grounds on which one can file a petition for a contested divorce in court.

  • 1. Cruelty
  • Cruelty was not initially taken as a ground for divorce. Still, after the amendment of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1976, it is now considered a valid ground for a contested divorce in India. Cruelty in easy understanding could be related to physical and mental harms. It could be direct or indirect harm to the individual partner. In India, majorly divorces are being taken on the grounds of cruelty where husband or wife use violence against their life partners.
  • 2. Adultery
  • If one partner gets involved in sexual intercourse with anyone other than their partner, it is considered a valid ground for applying divorce for the other partner who was not involved in intercourse. On this ground, they need to prove the allegation on the partner. The exact evidence is hard to find in these cases, so the most probable proofs can be considered.
  • 3. Desertion
  • Desertion in very simple language could be understood as the negligence of one partner by another for a long period. If this negligence is part of their consent, it cannot be concluded under desertion ground for a contested divorce. It can also be a valid ground for divorce if the petitioner proved that there is nothing left in between them except living under the same roof.
  • 4. Conversion
  • Conversion of one partner's religion to another is also a ground for a contested divorce in India. But not all the laws consider this as a valid ground. The dissolution of the Muslim Mariage Act, 1939 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954 does not consider it a valid ground despite being considered a valid ground under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. This right is only for the one who was forced to convert into a different religion, not to the one who already belongs to their religion.
  • 5. Mental Disorder
  • Mental illness or disorder is a ground under which if a person’s mental health is not curable and degrading day by day, the marriage can be moved to divorce by the partner. It can be taken as a state where the person (husband/wife) cannot handle himself/herself. The spouse must first prove the ill mental condition if he/she plans to file divorce on this ground.
  • 6. Communicable Venereal Diseases
  • Before understanding the ground, first get the meaning of venereal disease. Venereal diseases(or STDs) are those diseases that transfer from affected individuals to healthier ones during intercourse. This ground is considered valid under all Divorce laws for getting marriage dissolved. The main motive of this ground is preventing the partner from venereal disease.

Note: Apart from these grounds, there are some more grounds under which any partner can initiate a contested divorce. These possible grounds could be impotence, husband's imprisonment, leprosy, failure to provide maintenance, and few others.

What are the Documents Needed to Attach for Contested divorce?

While filing a petition for a Contested divorce, certain documentation needed to be attached with the petition. The documents that are mandatory for filing contested/unilateral divorce are as follows:

  1. Marriage Proof or Photographs of Marriage
  2. Aadhaar card of both husband and wife
  3. Marriage Invitation Card
  4. Evidence of Staying separately for a year
  5. Evidence relating to the failed attempts of reconciliation

Where to File a Petition for Contested Divorce?

The petition for Contested Divorce can be filed at the Family court of the city where they last lived together, such as their marital home, where the marriage was solemnised, or where the wife currently resides.

How to file contested divorce in India?

The simplest way to file a contested divorce in India is with the help of Litem experts. Why should one consider us? Here are some reasons:

  1. A contested divorce requires an expert divorce lawyer either in prosecuting or defending a divorce case. Such an expert divorce lawyer guides, strategize, and plan the whole action. Effective planning by divorce lawyers increases the probability of success in the trial for a favorable outcome.
  2. Contested Divorce is a long process requiring professional work and approach. A good Divorce lawyer takes these challenging and arduous tasks with his expertise and your counsel through a turbulent and emotional time.

What is the Procedure for Contested divorce in India?

Obtaining a contested divorce is a time-consuming procedure. The procedure for contested or unilateral divorce in India is as follows:

  • Step 1. Filing a petition in the court
  • The first step in applying for a contested divorce in India includes the petition for divorce and all the documents and reasons supporting that. This petition is to be submitted to the Family court of that particular region. The notice for contested divorce then reaches the other party(husband/wife).
  • Step 2. Counter-reply for the Notice
  • In this stage, the partner/party who had received the notice of divorce will have to prepare a reply with all the allegations against him/her. If the partner fails to do so, it is considered acceptance of all the allegations and proceeds to decide then.
  • Step 3. Trials in court
  • When all the reply and counter reply is produced in the court, the court sets dates for the hearing of witnesses,cross-examining the witness and evidence. After the conclusion of the evidence, Final arguments are advanced by divorce lawyers from both sides.
  • Step 4. Final Decree
  • After listening to all the arguments and shreds of evidence, the court pronounces the final order for divorce whether divorce is granted or not.

Contested Divorce Cost in India

The charges for contested divorce vary according to the case to case, but the best you could avail in the market is from Litem.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 What is Contested Divorce in India?

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 How to file contested divorce in India?

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