Divorce Laws for Male in India

Posted On : July 19, 2022
Divorce Laws for Male in India
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A wife may or may not become a maid after marriage, but, a husband is always the ATM of the house once he gets married. Even the laws do not support the individuality of a husband. A man in India bears the responsibility of his wife, children, parents regardless of how he is being treated. When a marriage comes to an end, it requires healing for both husband and wife. While the wife needs emotional support, the husband has to keep aside his emotions and plan for the wife's alimony from his salary regardless of his obligations of house loan, parent’s expenses in their old age or any other financial liabilities. Find out how divorce laws in India affect the male counterpart and how he can safeguard his interests.


Divorce Law in India for Husband

There are numerous laws for married women to safeguard their interests. But when it comes to men, they have to put in efforts to keep away from false allegations of cruelty and violence as alleged by the wife. The reason being that our society presumes a woman to always be a victim. The fact that men can also be victims of bad marriages is often thrown out of the window. Marriage laws allow mutual consent divorce when both husband and wife are ready. But in case one of them is not willing to end the marriage, the other spouse has to prove certain aspects in order to seek a one-sided divorce with the help of the court. Talking about divorce laws for male in India, climax of marriage accompanies maintenance/ alimony duties over the husband. If the divorcing couple has one or more children, then who gets custodial rights is also an important question to be decided legally. Hence, men's rights in divorce India seem to be a dummy term since it lacks any reality.


Can a Man Ask for Divorce in India?

People often ask ‘What happens when a man files for divorce?’. The divorce laws in India do not restrict any person from filing first. However, divorce advocates usually do not advise the same to their male clients since the laws are more tilted towards females. A lady approaches the court with a complaint of cruelty against the husband under IPC 498A and the society already assumes her to be the victim. This results in the husband presupposed inhuman in their eyes regardless of whether the claims have any base. On the other hand, disadvantages of filing for divorce first in India involve a complete burden of proof on the husband. In this case, the husband will have to prove reasons for divorce beyond any doubt and prove himself to be a victim to convince the court. In Indian society, it is a big deal to prove a man to be a victim of anything.

When can a Man Divorce his Wife in India? - Grounds for Divorce in India

Marriage and divorce are subjects of personal laws in India in lack of a Uniform Civil Code. Hence, the grounds may vary based on the religion of parties to marriage. Given below are the usual divorce grounds in Indian laws:

  • Adultery - When a wife is in a physical relationship with another man, the husband can seek divorce on this ground.
  • Desertion - When a wife leaves the company of her husband without any reasonable explanation, such a deserted husband can seek divorce from court.
  • Cruelty - Physical as well as mental violence committed by a wife against her husband is a valid ground for divorce in India. Know how to prove mental cruelty by wife before court which ruins the mental health of the husband and harms his life.
  • Unsound Mind - When the wife suffers from unsoundness which affects the marital life of both, the husband can seek divorce.
  • Venereal Disease - If wife is infected with an STD (sexually transferred disease), the husband can use it as a ground for divorce. Having sexual intercourse with the wife may also put the husband’s life at risk.
  • Presumption of Death - If the wife has not been heard alive for the past 7 years, the husband can seek divorce from the court of law.
  • Non-Consummation - If there is no sexual intercourse between husband and wife after marriage, the husband can prove the same in court as a ground for divorce against wife.
  • Religion Unfollowed - If the marriage took place as per religious laws and the wife has ceased to follow such religion by converting to another, husband may file for divorce.


Before invoking divorce laws for male in India, in-person consultation with a local advocate can help understand the legal twists. So if you are located in Kolkata, having a divorce lawyer in Kolkata by your side can ease the process.


Precautions before Husband Files for Divorce

Before a husband knocks the door of the court seeking divorce, some business has to be taken care of by him:

  • Cordial relationship with wife - Before filing a divorce petition by husband, it is better not to get involved in any physical or verbal abuse with the wife. Any evidence in this regard before the court will weaken the case against the husband.
  • Share the household - In order to avoid the additional financial burden of bearing the expenditures of another house, it is better for the husband to share a house with his wife.
  • Manage financial interests - Before the husband invokes divorce laws for male in India, it is better to manage financial interests so that the wife does not take away everything with her. If she has a credit card attached with husband’s bank account, cancel the same immediately. Closure of joint bank accounts is also recommended in such cases.
  • Collect documents - Any piece of evidence which proves the husband’s stance in divorce should be kept safe before bringing the matter before court of law.
  • Restrict social media - Before divorce petition by husband, staying away from any social media controversy is better, even while chatting with your own wife. Social media gives direct evidence and these days, even whatsapp chats are accepted as a record before courts.

When a Wife is not entitled to Maintenance from Husband?

Maintenance or alimony right is the amount paid by one spouse to another after divorce to support the financially incapable spouse. As per divorce laws for male in India, it is usually the husband who is required to pay this amount to his wife. However, there are several maintenance cases in favour of the husband whereby either he has been exempted from paying maintenance/ alimony to his wife, or the wife is made to pay maintenance to her husband. Some of the scenarios when husband can deny maintenance to wife are:

  •  When a wife leaves the company of her husband without any reasonable explanation, the husband can deny maintenance.
  • If the wife treats her husband with cruelty or commits adultery (in a physical relationship with a man other than her husband), maintenance can be denied.
  • If the wife earns way more than the husband and is well able to maintain herself, the husband can deny maintenance to the wife.
  • If a husband is an indigent (very poor) person while his wife is financially independent, maintenance is deniable.
  • When a divorced wife remarries someone else, the ex-husband is free from giving any maintenance.
  • The court may order payment of husband’s maintenance by wife if he is unable to maintain himself and wife has sufficient means of earning.

Father’s Right to Custody

Both mother and father are usually the natural guardians of a child in most personal laws. Hence, both of them can seek custody of children. Decision over child custody after divorce is another big battle for the male. If the father is in a better state to take care of the child as compared to the wife, he may be granted child custody by the court. Detailed discussion with child custody lawyers may help find the best suited path to prove in court of law.

FAQs on Divorce Laws for Males in India  

Q- What if husband filed for divorce first in India?

A- Disadvantages of filing for divorce first in India is that the husband must have sufficient evidence to prove grounds of divorce beyond reasonable doubt before the court. Otherwise, the laws do not restrict divorce petition by husband.


Q- When can a man divorce his wife in India?

A- If it is not a mutual divorce, the husband has to prove one of the divorce grounds for male for grant of divorce by the matrimonial court. It includes adultery, cruelty, desertion, etc.


Q- Can a man divorce his wife for any reason?

A- Yes, a husband can divorce his wife. However, the reason has to be specific, proving that it is impossible for the husband to continue the marriage. Mere statement before the court that the marriage should be terminated does not work.


Q- What happens when a man files for divorce?

A- When a husband files for divorce in India, he has to prove with all might against his wife since matrimonial laws in India favour women more. If the husband is unable to prove the same, divorce is not granted and it may invite more legal trouble for him. 

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