One Sided Divorces in India: Legal Steps and Complexities


February 26, 2024, 10:48 am | Updated February 26, 2024, 10:58 am IST
One Sided Divorces in India: Legal Steps and Complexities
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Introduction

Divorce is a complex journey, especially in India, where it can be mutual or contested. When only one person wants a divorce, it turns into a contested one. This means going through legal steps like filing a petition, presenting evidence, and possibly trying mediation. The court then makes a final decision, officially ending the marriage. In this discussion, we'll break down the key steps and aspects of a one-sided or contested divorce in India.

What do you mean by One Sided Divorce?

In India, the concept of "one-sided divorce" typically refers to a situation where one spouse seeks a divorce without the consent or agreement of the other. The legal term for such a divorce is "contested divorce," where one party files for divorce, and the other party opposes it. The legal process for divorce in India is governed by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, for Hindus, and the Special Marriage Act, 1954, for inter-faith marriages and other special cases.

Legal Process for One Sided/Contested Divorce

Here's an overview of the process of a one-sided or contested divorce in India:

Step 1: Filing a Petition

The spouse seeking a divorce (petitioner) must file a divorce petition in the appropriate family court. The petition should state the grounds for seeking a divorce, such as cruelty, adultery, desertion, mental illness, or irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Step 2: Service of Notice

After filing the petition, the court issues a notice to the other spouse (respondent) informing them about the divorce proceedings. The respondent has the opportunity to contest the divorce by filing a written reply.

Step 3: Response from the Respondent

The respondent can either agree to the divorce or contest it by providing reasons for opposing the divorce. They may also file a counter-petition with their own grievances.

Step 4: Evidence and Documentation

Both parties are required to present evidence supporting their claims. This may include documents, witnesses, and other relevant proof to substantiate the grounds for divorce.

Step 5: Mediation

In some cases, the court may suggest mediation to encourage an amicable resolution. If mediation fails, the court proceeds with the formal divorce proceedings.

Step 6: Court Hearings

The court conducts hearings to consider the arguments and evidence presented by both parties. The judge may also attempt to reconcile the spouses or explore the possibility of a settlement.

Step 7: Final Judgment

Based on the evidence and arguments, the court makes a decision. If the court grants the divorce, it issues a final judgment, and the marriage is legally dissolved.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the divorce process in India varies depending on whether it is mutual or contested. When only one spouse seeks a divorce, the proceedings become contested, involving legal formalities, evidence presentation, and potentially, mediation. The court ultimately decides based on the merits of the case, issuing a final judgment to legally dissolve the marriage. It is advisable for individuals navigating this process to seek legal counsel for guidance and support throughout the often complex and emotionally challenging journey of divorce. To know more about the one sided divorce process it is good to consult a lawyer in your city. For example, if you are a resident of Kolkata, it is advisable to consult a lawyer in Kolkata for divorce.

FAQs

Q. What happens if divorce is not mutual?

A. In a contested divorce:

One spouse (petitioner) files a divorce petition, stating the reasons.

The court notifies the other spouse (respondent).

The respondent can agree or contest by filing a reply.

Both parties present evidence.

Mediation may be suggested.

Court conducts hearings, and makes a decision.

The final judgment dissolves the marriage, settling issues like custody and alimony.


Q. How much does a one side divorce cost in India?

A. The cost of a one-sided or contested divorce in India can vary widely based on factors like legal fees, court expenses, and the complexity of the case. On average, legal fees for a contested divorce may range from INR 20,000 to INR 1,00,000 or more. Additional expenses such as court filing fees, document charges, and other related costs could contribute to the overall cost. However, the actual expenses can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the lawyer's fees.


Q. What happens if one side refuses to divorce?

A. If one spouse refuses to divorce in India, the divorce becomes contested. The court reviews evidence, and if the grounds are proven, the divorce is granted, but the process may be prolonged. Legal counsel is advisable for guidance in contested cases.


Q. What happens when only one spouse wants a divorce?

A. One spouse files for divorce in India. The court notifies the other spouse, who can either agree or contest. In contested cases, both present evidence, and after court review, if grounds are established, the divorce may be granted through a final judgment.

Written By:
Vidhikarya

Vidhikarya


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