FAQs: How to File Divorce; Types, Cost and Procedure Involved

November 15, 2023
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Q. What is the first step of the Divorce procedure in India?

A. A suitable petition is filed in an appropriate family court, thus initiating the Divorce procedure.

Q. Is it necessary to file a divorce with the help of a lawyer in India?

A. No, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer, however, considering the complexities involved, it is highly recommended to hire one.

Q. What are the two ways to file a Divorce in India?

A. The two methods through which Divorce can be filed in in India are

1. Mutual Divorce

2. Contested Divorce

Q. What is the procedure for contested divorce in India?

A. For a Contested Divorce in India, a divorce petition can be filed in the appropriate court, after which notice is to be served to the spouse, hearings are to be attended, and then based on the proceedings - the Court will give its decision.

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Q. What is the procedure for mutual divorce in India?

A. Mutual Divorce in India involves filing of a joint petition, recording of statements, a cooling-off period, filing of a second motion and obtaining the mutual divorce decree.

Q. Can Divorce in India be given completely one-sided?

A. No.

Q. Which is the less expensive divorce in India?

A. Mutual Divorce can cost considerably lesser than Contested Divorce in India.

Q. How much does it cost for divorce in India?

A. It depends upon the kind of divorce (mutual or contested), the city or town and the standing of the lawyer that you hire.

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Q. Is it possible for spouses to remarry after Divorce?

A. Yes, it is possible.

Q. Do men and women have different procedures to file Divorce in India?

A. No, the procedure to file for Divorce, whether mutual or contested remains the same for both the man and woman.

Q. What is the quickest way to get Divorce in India?

A. Mutual Divorce may turn out to be a faster process since both the parties agree on matters like alimony, custody, etc.

Q. How long does it take to get a Divorce in India?

A. Mutual divorce can be finished within 2-3 years and contested divorce may las longer depending upon the parties’ contentions.

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Q. When can an individual file for divorce?

A. A mutual divorce can be filed when both parties are ready for divorce, and for contested divorce, when either of the parties decides to be divorced.

Q. Is it possible for NRIs to file for divorce in India?

A. Yes. 

Q. What documents can be necessary for a Divorce in India?

A. Marriage invite, photos from the ceremony, marriage certificate, ID and residential proofs of the parties, birth certificate of children (if any), passport size photos, etc.

Q. Can a person file divorce within a month of marriage?

A. No.

Q. What is the earliest that parties can get divorced in India after marriage?

A. A minimum period of one year must pass before filing for Divorce in India.

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Q. What are the grounds on which contested divorce can be filed in India?

A. Either spouse can file for divorce on the ground(s) of desertion, cruelty, conversion, insanity, leprosy, venereal disease, renunciation, presumption of death, etc.

Q. Can annulment of marriage take place on the ground of impotency?

And. Yes

Q. What is the ground of desertion in Divorce?

A. Permanent abandonment of one spouse by the other without any reasonable justification and consent is considered to be desertion.

Q. Can a person get married with another person during the divorce proceedings with spouse?

A. No. Unless divorce is finalised and decree is granted by the Court, no person going through the divorce proceedings can remarry.  

Q. What is adultery in contested divorce?

A. Adultery is a ground for contested divorce. It is consensual and voluntary intercourse between a married person with another person (whether married or not).

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Q. In case of adultery by wife, can a man file for Divorce, or is it only a ground available with the wife?

A. No, it is not only a ground available with wife. If adultery has been done by wife, the husband also has a right to file for divorce on this ground.

Q. Can both husband and wife file for divorce?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it more advantageous to file for contested divorce rather than mutual divorce?

A. Depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. However, generally, mutual divorce is more hassle free if compared to contested divorce.

Q. Is contested divorce hassle-free?

A. Depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. However, if the spouses are not agreeable to any decisions of property division, child custody, maintenance and finances, then, contested divorce can be a daunting process.

Q. Is divorce available to Muslims in India?

A. Yes.

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Q. Under which laws can a Hindu couple get divorced in India?

A. The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 provides for divorce for Hindu couples in India.

Q. Can a couple live separately without divorce?

A. Yes, living separately is possible, however, that does not automatically make the couple divorced.

Q. In Hindu couples, can parties divorce on their own without Court interference?

A. No. Parties need to approach the court and only the court can grant a decree of divorce to the married couple.

Q. How is maintenance decided in a contested divorce in India?

A. Maintenance can be filed for with the help of a lawyer, in the family court where divorce proceedings are going on. It is decided after considering the arguments presented by each party in the court.

Q. If a couple has been married in one state, can they be divorced in another state?

A. Yes.

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Q. Is annulment of marriage the same as divorce in India?

A. No.

Q. Does irretrievable breakdown of marriage ensure Divorce in court?

A. No, it does not ensure Divorce.

Q. How is child custody decided in India during divorce?

A. Courts take welfare of the child as the most important consideration while deciding custody of the child. The contentions stated by both parties is heard and the decision depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

Q. Is there any difference between Divorce and Annulment?

A. Yes, divorce is different from annulment. Annulment essentially declares a marriage null and void I.e. technically erasing the marriage, however, divorce is termination and legal dissolution of marriage.

Q. Can divorce be granted even if one party does not agree and is against it?

A. Yes, through the process of contested divorce.

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Q. Can a Muslim man take divorce by way of triple talaq?

A. No, triple talaq has been banned and stands illegal in India.

Q. Can a court deny divorce?

A. Marriage is the rule and Divorce is an exception. Yes, courts can deny granting of divorce.

Q. Is it important that both parties agree for Divorce before filing?

A. No.

Q. Can a wife file for divorce if husband has renounced the world?

A. Yes

Q. What kind of cruelty is necessary to file divorce in India?

A. Cruelty is a ground for divorce. Cruelty can be both physical or mental in nature.

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Q. Are police and FIR necessary for divorce?

A. No.

Q. Can a divorce case be transferred from one state to another?

A. Yes.

Q. Is contested divorce different from uncontested divorce?

A. Yes. If the spouses have agreed upon the divorce and matters such as custody, maintenance, etc., it is uncontested divorce. Conversely, if the couple is unable to decide significant matters mutually, then it is contested divorce.

Q. Can a Hindu man marry another woman if the wife is not willing to divorce?

A. No.

Q. Can divorce be filed anywhere in the country and in any court?

A. No. Divorce petition can be filed in the family court of appropriate jurisdiction, depending upon where the marriage took place or where the couple last resided, or as the case may be.

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Q. Can one get a Divorce online?

A. No.

Q. What is the easiest method to get divorce?

A. Mutual divorce is easier than contested divorce, if the circumstances allow.

Q. Is a legal notice by lawyer necessary to be sent to the spouse before filing for divorce?

A. No.

Q. Can another individual file divorce on behalf of either of the spouses?

A. No. Only either the husband or the wife can file for divorce.

Q. Is counselling mandatory before divorce in India?

A. Counselling may  be suggested but it is not mandatory.

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Q. Can a person married under the Special Marriage Act file for divorce?

A. Yes.

Q. Can the husband or wife claim alimony or maintenance during divorce?

A. Yes, either party can claim for spousal support and the court may grant it based on the circumstances of the parties to the divorce.


These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
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