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India - How to file for Divorce

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There are two ways a Divorce can be granted : 1. Divorce by Mutual Consent. 2. Contested Divorce.

1. Divorce by Mutual Consent.

  1. This method of divorce is where both husband and wife jointly file petition for divorce.
  2. A joint divorce petition is filed by the divorcing couple in the court through a layer.
  3. They can hire a lawyer and provide him with all the relevant details.
  4. Lawyer will file a petition in court.
  5. The court will send a copy of the petition to the couple.
  6. The terms and conditions of such a divorce are reached through an amicable consensus.

  • Applicable for bothhusband and wife that they have been living separately for at least 1 year and have mutually decided to end their marriage.
  • After the petition is filed, court gives a six-month cooling off period before the grant.

2. Contested Divorce.

  1. Hire a lawyer and provide him with all the relevant details.
  2. Lawyer files a petition in court.
  3. The court will send a copy of the petition to your spouse.
  4. The spouse could contest or agree to the divorce. If he/she contests it, then the length of the process would depend on the facts of the case.
  5. In case of mutual consent the spouses need to prove that they have been staying apart for more than a year.
  6. Once the proceedings are over the court gives a period of six months to reconsider the decision to divorce.
  7. In case the petitioners don't withdraw the petition the court grants the decree to divorce.

  • In some states applicant shall approach over the counter services like CSC centres/e-seva etc to apply.
  • In some states applicant shall apply using the respective state department online portal.
  • Find the contact details and application form from the respective state portal procedures by using the link provided under respective states below.

Please select the state name for respective State Procedure.
Andaman and NicobarAndhra PradeshArunachal PradeshAssamBiharChandigarhChhattisgarhDaman and DiuGoa - GujaratHaryanaHimachal PradeshJammu and KashmirJharkhandKarnatakaKeralaLakshadweepMadhya PradeshMaharashtraManipurMeghalayaMizoramNagaland – – New DelhiOdishaPuducherryPunjabRajasthanSikkimTamil NaduTelanganaTripuraUttar PradeshUttarakhandWest Bengal

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Required Documents[edit]

  • Income Tax statements for the past 3 years
  • Details of your profession and your present remuneration
  • Personal information (birth, family members etc.)
  • Asset ownership details
  • Address proof of husband
  • Address proof of wife
  • Marriage certificate
  • Four passport size photographs of marriage of husband and wife
  • Evidence proving spouses are living separately since more than a year
  • Aadhaar card
  • Evidence relating to the failed attempts of reconciliation
  • Information relating to family background
  • Submitting copies of outrageous acts like putting up advertisements in newspapers, if any.


  • All original and copy of original with self attestation as advised by respective authorities to be submitted as per requirement.
  • Apart from the above documents authorities may ask to submit additional information or documents. Please provide them for processing.

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Supreme Court of India,
TilakMarg, New Delhi-110001,
FAX : 011-23381508,23381584.
e-mail : [email protected]

Link for contact details : link

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Married couples are eligible to apply for divorce.


  • Government fees for filing Divorce can be paid as per the court fee for the category as advised by the court clerks / lawyers.
  • A Lawyer’s fee depends upon his experience.
  • A lawyer’s fee depends on the financial status of the party fighting the case.


  • Validity is proved once the court grants divorce.
  • The marriage is dissolved and the need of the process is accomplished.

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links
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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

Processing time for grant of Divorce varies with case to case from months to years.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications.
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
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  • The marriage performed in India as per any caste customs, is recognised as a valid marriage.

‘’’Mutual consent divorce’’’

  • If the couple agreeing for mutual consent divorce, it may take a minimum period of six months.
  • If any of the spouse is absent during summons, an alternate service of summons will be done so that the case can be decided exparte, within three to four months.
  • Alimony is not granted by court in mutual divorce and mutual consent is not challenged. But duration in case of a Contested Divorce ranges between 2 to 4 years.
  • The divorce process in India is tremendously challenging both emotionally and financially.

‘’’Contested divorce petition’’’

  • The judicial system has a vested interest in protecting the institution of marriage.
  • For this exact reason, Indian family courts demand reasons like cruelty (Physical & Mental), Desertion (Period varies from 2 to 3 years), Unsoundness of mind, Impotency, Adultery etc.
  • for Grounds of Divorce which can be uniquely called Matrimonial Offences'. The divorce process formally starts when a spouse files a petition for divorce via a lawyer and a divorce notice is sent out to the other party.
  • In Contested Divorce Petition, the courts typically would send the couple to counselling or a mediation service and impose a waiting period. This might lead to re-unification or an amicable split/divorce.
  • Divorce case can be filed where marriage has taken place, where they started living soon after the marriage and prior to separation where the respondent was residing etc.
  • Wife can also file a case from the place where she is living after leaving the matrimonial home.
  • The main issue in a contested divorce is custody of children. There is no fixed formula as to who would be entitled to have the custody of children.
  • In deciding issue of custody of children, the most important factor is the welfare of the children which is the paramount consideration in deciding this issue.

Types of Divorce[edit]

  • Mutual Consent - Both the spouses are in agreement that divorce cannot be avoided and they both opt for a "no fault" divorce.
  • Contested Divorce - The spouse seeking divorce can file under the appropriate faith based law under which they got married or in case of civil marriage under the appropriate law under which they married or their marriage was registered.

Governing Laws[edit]

  • Hindus - The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • Christians - The Divorce Act,1869, The Indian Christian Marriage Act,1872
  • Parsis - The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act,1936
  • Muslims - Shariat Law, The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act,1939
  • Inter-cast/Secular - Special Marriage Act, 1954, The Foreign Marriage Act,1969

Major Grounds for Divorce[edit]

  • Adultery
  • Deserting the spouse for two or more years
  • Physical or mental cruelty
  • Conversion to another religion in case of religious marriage
  • Incurable disease such as leprosy, venereal disease in a communicable form
  • Insanity, unsound mind or mental disorder
  • Renounced the world by entering any religious order in case of religious marriage
  • Unheard of as being living for a period of seven years or more

Required Information[edit]

A list which displays the kind of information which is required to complete the procedure.
1. Date of Birth.
2. City or County of Birth.
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Need for the Document[edit]

  • When a married couple wanted to get separated legally from their current married wedlock relationship due to difference of opinion, quarrel and any other reason, they need to file for Divorce.
  • Divorce will give husband and wife to live their life independently of their own will and wish.
  • Divorce proceedings in India could take anywhere between a few months to a few years depending on the circumstances of the divorce. Divorce laws are faith based - the procedure for a Hindu, Parsi, Muslim and Christian differ.

Information which might help[edit]

  • If the case is withdrawn by parties or the parties do not move to court at the given date(s), the petition stands cancelled.
  • Lawyer files for a divorce petition on behalf of the petitioner in family court or civil court after which court issues notice to the other party.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

Indi Divorce


  • Place of filing divorce petition can be the place of marriage, where the respondent resides or works or where the parties to the marriage last resided together.
  • Appeal against said order can be filed before the high court concerned. If no appeal is preferred by the aggrieved party within one month from the date of final order granting divorce, he/she can remarry.

Referring to the amended Section 19 of the Act, the judges said that with effect from December 23, 2003, the wife is now entitled to file a matrimonial petition before a district court in whose territorial jurisdiction she is residing. 'Women can file for divorce anywhere' (Times Of India) TNN | Jul 13, 2010, 02.30 AM IST

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