quesMarried for a month. When can i file for divorce? Need to pay alimony?

My friend and his wife are not living together after a week of marriage. The girl says she does not want to live with him. When can they look for a divorce? Does my friend have to pay her alimony?

  • ans


    The Petition for Divorce can be filed after 1 year of Marriage by both the parties either by Mutual Consent or under the various provisions mentioned in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (provided your friend is married under the Hindu Law). In case the marriage is not an year old yet, the petition for Divorce will not be accepted by the Hon'ble Court unless rarest circumstances are proven by the party filing the petition.


    The best way for filing a divorce is by the way of mutual consent. Alternately your friend can file a case by filing a petition on either of the various grounds under the Marriage Law.

    Grounds for Divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 are as follows:

    Adultery / Cruelty / Desertion / Conversion to another religion / Mental Disorder / Leprosy / Venereal Disease / Renunciation / Not Heard Alive / No Resumption of Co-habitation.


    Coming to your second question, whether your friend will have to pay Alimony to his wife or not, is decided by the following factors:


    In case your friend and his wife get divorced by mutual consent, the decision on whether any alimony / maintenance is to be paid by either party is a matter of agreement between them. In such cases, alimony / maintenance could be paid by either the husband to the wife or by the wife to the husband subject to the mutual understanding between the couple. The court passes the decree of divorce on terms agreed between the couple. The decree binds the couple and is capable of being enforced by the court.


    In contested matters, the court intervenes and decides the issue of alimony / maintenance on the merits of each case. The power of the court to grant alimony is not limited to cases where the decree is obtained by the wife. Courts have powers to grant alimony to the wife even where the husband is granted a decree. It is quite possible there may be no alimony / maintenance awarded at all depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case. Assessment of the amount of permanent alimony is entirely the court's discretion.


    The factors that the court takes into consideration for permanent alimony/maintenance for the wife as as follows:


    1) The status and position of the husband, his income, his assets and his lifestyle -
    2) The reasonable wants of the wife
    3) The wife's own income or earnings

    Under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, even a Hindu husband can claim alimony from his wife if he earns less than her or does not earn at all, though this is rare. Usually, the husband is bound to maintain his wife till her lifetime.


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