How to get divorce from a husband who lives in Srilanka (Colombo)?
My cousin(Tamilian from Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu) is married with a guy (Basically Tamilian but living in Srilanka for several years) before 15 years. They are living in Colombo, Srilanka. For all the years, she was living as a LABOUR without wages, but lost everything offered to her by her mother for her happy marriage. His intention and activities gave us fear as my cousin could have been killed for money. Now, we would like to get divorce from him and ask compensation at least the money worth of her 40 savaran gold for her balance life.
Kindly give us advice how to proceed. Thanks.
As per Sri Lankan laws, the body of law relating to marriage consists of the general law, customary law and personal law. Tamils are governed by the general law in most marriage-related matters.
Registration of marriages is not mandatory under the ordinance. An entry made in the marriage register is simply the "best evidence" of the marriage.
upon proof that a man and woman have cohabited as husband and wife, the law presumes that they are living together in a valid marriage, unless the contrary is proved. Courts have emphasized that cohabitation does not conclusively prove the fact of marriage, thus emphasizing the rebuttable nature of the presumption.
The Marriage Registration Ordinance and the Civil Procedure Code constitute the general law on divorce.485 The provisions of the ordinance firmly establish divorce as faultbased and case law has reaffirmed this concept.
Grounds for divorce under the ordinance are the following:
malicious desertion; and
incurable impotence at the time of marriage.
Cruelty is not a ground for divorce, although it may be a factor in determining malicious desertion. Physical ill treatment per se is also not a ground for divorce under the general law, but it is a cause for legal separation.
In addition to the grounds for divorce under the Marriage Registration Ordinance, the Civil Procedure Code permits either spouse to petition for dissolution of marriage two years from the date of a decree of judicial separation or, notwithstanding such decree,where there has been a separation a mensa et thoro (from bed and board) for seven years.
The intent to terminate the marital relationship and the actual termination of cohabitation are both necessary elements. The law also recognizes constructive desertion,whereby the innocent spouse is forced to leave because of the behavior of the other spouse.
The Marriage Registration Ordinance and the Civil Procedure Code apply to Tamils in matters of divorce.
The 1999 Maintenance Act is the general law on maintenance during marriage.
Instituting proceedings under the act does not preclude a person from also initiating a civil action for maintenance, in which case common law principles of maintenance would apply.
The Civil Procedure Code recognizes the right of either spouse to enforce the other's obligation of support while an action for divorce is pending.
On the dissolution of marriage, courts have broad discretionary powers regarding maintenance awards under the Civil Procedure Code. A court may issue any order it thinks fit with regard to conveyances of property or monetary payments of maintenance for the benefit of either spouse.
RELEVANT LAWS AND POLICIES
Married Women's Property Ordinance, 1923
Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance, 1876.
The above are few excerpts of the Sri Lankan law governing divorce matters and the maintenance aspects. However it is pertinent to know if she had been married in India as per Indian Laws or she was married in Sri Lanka as per Hindu law prevailing in Sri Lanka.
Further if the husband is ready for mutual consent divorce, we can initiate the proceedings from here too by issuing a legal notice to him at his address seeking divorce on mutual consent as well as return of her articles including the gold jewels and also alimony amount.
Advocate T KalaiselvanKosapet, Vellore
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