DIVORCE LAWS IN INDIA
In India there are two act for family law/divorce law.
1.Hindu marriage Act,1955
2.Special Marriage Act
What the law says about the hindu marriage divorce:-
THE HINDU MARRIAGE ACT, 1955
(Act 25 of 1955)[18th May, 1955]
An Act to amend and codify the law relating to marriage among Hindus.
Preliminary Short title and extent:-
(1) This Act may be called the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir , and applies also to Hindus domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who are outside the said territories.
Application of Act:-
(1) This Act applies.
(a) to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of of its forms or developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj.
(b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion.
(c) to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion, unless it is proved that any such person would not have been governed by the Hindu law or by any custom or usage as part of that law in respect of any of the matters dealt with herein if this Act had not been passed.
Explanation:- The following persons are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion, as the case may be:
(a) any child, legitimate or illegitimate, both of whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion.
(b) any child, legitimate or illegitimate, one of whose parents is a Hindu, Buddhist Jaina or Sikh by religion and who is brought up as a member of tribe, community, group or family to which such parents belongs or belonged.
(c) any person who is a convert or re-convert to the Hindus, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh religion.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1),nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the members of any Scheduled Tribe within the meaning of clause (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution unless the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, otherwise directs.
(3) The expression “Hindus” in any portion of this Act shall be construed as if it included a person who, though not a Hindu by religion is, nevertheless, a person whom this Act applies by virtue of the provisions contained in this section.
3. Definitions:- In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:-
(a) the expression “custom” and “usage” signify any rule which, having been continuously and uniformally observed for a long time, has obtained the force of law among Hindus in any local area, tribe, community, group or family:
Provided that the rule is certain and not unreasonable or opposed to public policy; and Provided further that in the case of a rule applicable only to a family it has not been discontinued by the family;
(b)”District Court” means, in any area for which there is a City Civil Court, that Court, and in any other area the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction, and includes any other civil court which may be specified by the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, as having jurisdiction in respect of matters dealt with in this Act;
(c)”full blood”and “half blood”- two persons are said to be related to each other by full blood when they are descended from a common ancestor by the same wife and by half blood when they are descended from a common ancestor but by different wives;
(d)”uterine blood” – two persons are said to be related to each other by uterine blood when they are descended from a common ancestor but by different husbands.
Explanation.- In Clauses (c) and (d) “ancestor” includes the father and “ancestress” the mother;
(e)”prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(f)(i)”Sapinda relationship” with reference to any person extends as far as the third generation(inclusive) in the line of ascent through the mother, and the fifth (inclusive) in the line of ascent through the father, the line being traced upwards in each case from the person concerned, who is to be counted as the first generation;
(ii) two persons are said to be “sapinda” of each other if one is a lineal ascendant of the other within the limits of sapinda relationship, or if they have a common lineal ascendant who is within the limits of sapinda relationship with reference to each of them;
(g)”degrees of prohibited relationship ” – two persons are said to be within the “degrees of prohibited relationship”:-
(I) if one is a lineal ascendant of the other; or
(ii) if one was the wife or husband of a lineal ascendant or descendant of the other; or
(iii)if one was the wife of the brother or of the father’s or mother’s brother or of the
grandfather’s or grandmother’s brother or the other; or
(iv)if the two are brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, or children of brother and sister or of two brothers or of two sisters.
Explanation.- for the purposes of clauses (f) and (g) relationship includes-
(I) relationship by half or uterine blood as well as by full blood;
(ii) illegitimate blood relationship as well as legitimate;
(iii) relationship by adoption as well as by blood; and all terms of relationship in those clauses shall be construed accordingly.
13. Divorce- (1) Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of the Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party-
(i) has, after the solemnization of the marriage had voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse; or
(ia) has, after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty; or
(ib) has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or
(ii) has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion ; or
(iii) has been incurably of unsound mind, or has suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.
Explanation:- In this clause-
(a) the expression “mental disorder” means mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of mind and include schizophrenia;
(b) the expression “psychopathic disorder” means a persistent disorder or disability of mind (whether or not including sub-normality of intelligence) which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the other party and whether or not it requires or is susceptible to medical treatment; or
(iv) has been suffering from a virulent and incurable form of leprosy; or
(v) has been suffering from veneral disease in a communicable form; or
(vi) has renounced the world by entering any religious order; or
(vii) has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive;
Explanation.- In this sub-section, the expression “desertion” means the desertion of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage without reasonable cause and without the consent or against the wish of such party, and includes the willful neglect of the petitioner by the other party to the marriage, and its grammatical variations and cognate expression shall be construed accordingly.
(1-A) Either party to a marriage, whether solemnized before or after the commencement of this Act, may also present a petition for the dissolution of the marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground-
(i) that there has been no resumption of cohabitation as between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for judicial separation in a proceeding to which they were parties; or
(ii) that there has been no restitution of conjugal rights as between the parties to the marriage for a period of one year or upward after the passing of a decree of restitution of conjugal rights in a proceeding to which they were parties.
(2) A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground-
(i) in the case of any marriage solemnized before the commencement of this Act, that the husband had married again before the commencement or that any other wife of the husband married before such commencement was alive at the time of the solemnization of the marriage of the petitioner:
Provided that in either case the other wife is alive at the time of the presentation of the petition;
(ii) that the husband has, since the solemnization of the marriage, been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality; or
(iii) that in a suit under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, (78 of 1956), or in a proceeding under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, (Act 2 of 1974) or under corresponding Section 488 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, (5 of 1898), a decree or order, as the case may be, has been passed against the husband awarding maintenance to the wife notwithstanding that she was living apart and that since the passing of such decree or order, cohabitation between the parties has not been resumed for one year or upwards;or
(iv) that her marriage (whether consummated or not) was solemnized before she attained the age of fifteen years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years.
Explanation.- This clause applies whether the marriage was solemnized before or after the commencement of the Marriage Law (Amendment) Act, 1976.
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, it shall not be competent for any Court to entertain any petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, unless at the date of the presentation of the petition one year has elapsed since the date of the marriage:
Provided that the court may, upon application made to it in accordance with such rules as may be made by the High Court in that behalf, allow a petition to be presented before one year has elapsed since the date of the marriage on the ground that the case is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent, but, if it appears to the court at the hearing of the petition that petitioner obtained leave to present the petition by any mis-representation or concealment of the nature of the case, the court may, if it pronounces a decree, do so subject to the condition that the decree shall not have effect until after the expiry of one year from the date of the marriage or may dismiss the petition without prejudice to any petition which may be brought after the expiration of the said one year upon the same or substantially the same
facts as those alleged in support of the petition so dismissed.
(2) In disposing of any application under this section for leave to present a petition for divorce.