Sep 20, 2017
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What are the religious grounds for divorce?

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This articles  includes religious grounds for divorce in India. One of the important Religious grounds for divorce in India is separation with mutual consent.

Custody of child, adultery, cruelty, desertion, conversion, unsoundness of mind, alimony are the other Religious grounds for divorce.

Religious grounds for divorce:

Key topic covered under religious grounds for divorce:

Religious grounds for divorce includes:

  • Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • Muslims by the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939
  • Parsis by the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936
  • Christians by the Indian Divorce Act, 1869

Main article on Religious Grounds for Divorce  

Religious Grounds for Divorce in India

The secular mind-set of the Indian judicial system has initiated proclamation of various personal laws based on different religious faiths.

  1. Hindi Divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

This act explain the grounds for divorce in India mentioned under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Adultery –

The act of indulging in any kind of sexual relationship including intercourse outside marriage is termed as adultery.

Adultery counted as a criminal offence and substantial proofs required to establish it. An amendment to the law in 1976 states that one single act of adultery is enough for the petitioner to get a divorce.

Cruelty –

It is another ground for divorce, a spouse can file a divorce case when he/she is subjected to any kind of mental and physical injury that causes danger to life, limb and health.This intangible acts of cruelty through mental torture are not judged upon one single act but series of incidents.

Especially relevant to cases like the food being denied, continuous ill treatment and abuses to acquire dowry, perverse sexual act and any other offense in relation to cruelty.

Desertion 

Another ground for divorce is desertion, in this case if one of the spouses voluntarily abandons his/her partner for at least a period of two years, the abandoned spouse can file a divorce case on the ground of desertion.

Conversion –

In case either converts himself/herself into another religion then other spouse may file a divorce petition based on the following ground.

Mental Disorder 

Mental disorder can become a ground for filing a divorce. Since one of the spouse suffers from incurable mental disorder and/or insanity. So they cannot expected to stay together as couple.

Leprosy –

Petition can filed petition based on grounds of virulent and incurable form of leprosy by the other spouse.

Venereal Disease –

If one of the spouses suffering from a serious disease which can easily communicable, a divorce petition  can be filed by the other spouse. The sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS are accounted to be venereal diseases.

Renunciation –

A spouse entitled to file for a divorce petition if the other renounces all worldly affairs by embracing a religious order.

Not Heard Alive –

If a person is not seen or heard alive by those who are expected to be ‘naturally heard’ of the person for a continuous period of seven years, the person is presumed to be dead. In such case, the other spouse should need to file a divorce if he/she is interested in remarriage.

No Resumption of Co-habitation 

It becomes a ground for divorce if the couple fails to resume their co-habitation after the court has passed a decree of separation.

Additional Grounds for Divorce by a Wife

A wife may also present a petition for the dissolution of her marriage on the following grounds, in addition to the above grounds so defined:
  1. Where the marriage was solemnized before the commencement of this Act, and the husband had married again before such commencement or that any other wife of the husband whom he had married before such commencement was alive at the time of the marriage.

(In addition its necessary that the other wife is alive at the time of presentation of the petition).

  1. That the husband has after the marriage been guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality.
  2. That her marriage whether consummated or not was solemnized before she attained the age of 15 years and she has repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of 18 years.

NO PARTY CAN FILE FOR DIVORCE PETITION UNLESS ONE YEAR HAS ELAPSED SINCE THE DATE OF MARRIAGE.

  1. Muslim Divorce under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage act, 1939

This act explain about grounds of divorces available under Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, and it is applicable only to Muslim woman

  • If Husband remained unknown for a period of four years
  • Due to Husband has neglected or has failed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years
  • He has sentenced to imprisonment for a period of seven years or upwards
  • Due to Husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of three years
  • Due to impotency of  Husband
  • Husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease
  • wife can file for divorce before age of 18 years provided that the marriage has not been consummated ,if she has been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before age of 15 years.
  • Provided that the marriage has not been consummated,wife having been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of fifteen years, repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years
  • Irrespective of consummation of marriage, wife given in marriage before the age of fifteen years by her father or other guardian
  • Husband treats her with cruelty.
  1. Christian Divorce under the Indian Divorce Amendment Act, 2001

As per the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, the grounds of divorce mentioned are as under

  • Adultery
  • Due to Conversion to some other religion
  • Other Spouse unaware of the fact i.e, Unsoundness of  mind at the time of marriage and then divorce petition entertained within two years of marriage.
  • If spouse has not seen or heard alive for a period of seven or more years.
  • Other Spouse unaware of the fact i.e., Leprosy or communicable venereal disease at the time of marriage and then divorce petition entertained within three years of marriage.
  • Since failed to comply with a decree for restitution of conjugal rights for a period of two years or upwards after the passing of the decree against the respondent.
  • Due to Inflicting cruelty and giving rise to mental anxiety that can be injurious to health and life.
  • Wife can file a divorce based on the grounds of rape, sodomy and bestiality.
  1. Parsi Divorce under the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 (Amendment 1988)

Grounds for divorce in India included in the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 and the amendment of the same in 1988.D

  • Spouse to marriage continuously absent for seven years and since not heard alive from any source.
  • Due to Non-consummation of marriage within one year of solemnization of marriage
  • Other Spouse unaware of the fact i.e, Unsoundness of  mind at the time of marriage and then divorce petition entertained within three years of marriage.
  • Pregnancy by some other man, provided the husband was unaware of the incident during the time of marriage. In addition to that he must not have undergone sexual intercourse after he came to know about the situation. Divorce of couple within one year of solemnization of marriage.
  • Also in case of Adultery, bigamy, fornication, rape, or any other type of perverse sexual act.
  • Act of cruelty
  • Suffering from venereal disease or forcing the wife into prostitution.
  • Due to Sentenced to prison for seven years or more
  • Desertion for two or more years
  • Due to Non-resumption of cohabitation after passing an order of maintenance or a decree of judicial separation.

Other key topics that are discuss under religious grounds for divorce :

  1. Difference between divorce and nullity/annulment of marriage under religious grounds for divorce?
  2. Matrimonial offences as defined under IPC (Indian Penal Code)
  3. Mutual Consent Divorce : What are different types of mutual consent divorces?
  4. Divorce wife: Grounds for divorce available only to wife
  5. Hindu Divorce or dissolution of marriage under The Hindu Marriage Act,1955
  6. Muslim divorce or concept of divorce under Dissolution of Muslim Marriage act,1939
  7. Christian Divorce or Dissolution of Christian marriage under Indian Divorce Amendment Act, 2001
  8. Parsi Divorce or dissolution of Parsi marriage under Parsi marriage and divorce act,1936

For finding lawyers related to divorce , visit Near law  

Article Categories:
Divorce · Family Law

Renuka is a Final Year LL.B. student at Siddharth College of Law. She has done her Bachelors in Banking & Insurance and has also completed her Masters in Business Management . She likes to participate in legal workshops and Moot Courts. Besides her interest in law, she has a keen aptitude for legal research and is good at putting her analysis into words.

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