Divorce without Mutual Consent in Delhi

Last Updated at: October 22, 2019

Under contested divorce, or divorce without mutual consent, the judicial system has a vested interest in protecting the institution that is marriage so it is only to be expected that certain legal barriers are erected to prevent marriages from being annulled on a whim. Divorce is granted only on proof of fault or guilty conduct of one party and innocence of the other. The most common grounds for divorce are cruelty and adultery.

Procedure for Contested Divorce

a) ascertain the ground on which you want to seek divorce; b) collect evidence; and c) consult a divorce lawyer and file a petition in the family court of Delhi.

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Filing a Divorce Petition

Summoning Respondent: Once you appoint a divorce lawyer, he/she will understand your case and, based on your suggestions, file the petition in court. Once this is done, the respondent is summoned. If he/she turns up and enters appearance, the matter is bi-parte; if the erring spouse prefers not to contest or come to the court, the matter is proceeded ex parte (in absence). Mediation: In case of bi-parte, the court normally refers the parties to a mediation or reconciliation so that issues can be resolved amicably. If the above fails, the respondent has to file a written statement to the petition with the necessary documents (within 90 days). Framing of Issues: Once that is done, the court frames the issues; issues are questions that are to be decided by court at the time of final hearing. For instance, in a divorce on the ground of adultery, the issues would be ‘whether the respondent had sexual intercourse with X during the subsistence of marriage with the petitioner?’ There may be more than one issue in case of multiple grounds. The entire divorce proceedings are premised at answering this question/issue. Lead Evidence: After the issues are framed, the court asks the petitioner to lead evidence on their own and/or through witnesses. Thereafter, the opposite party can cross examine the petitioner’s witnesses. The same process is repeated for each witness on either side. Once the petitioner’s evidence is over, respondent leads his or her evidence.

Timeline for Divorce

It would take at least a year until the matter goes to court, assuming mediation does take place. Once the evidence is presented, the court will listen to the arguments of either side on the case and then proceed to decide the case. The court’s formal order in the end is known as the decree. After this, either party may appeal in the High Court and then finally the Supreme Court. Usually, the process at the family court takes two to three years if contested vigorously. If the divorce is granted, in the event of the wife not being able to sustain herself financially, or having no source of income for herself, she is entitled to an allowance as maintenance.


1. Address proof of husband and wife 2. Marriage certificate 3. 4 Passport-sized photographs 4. Income tax returns 5. Details of assets owned by husband and wife, both jointly and individually

Divorce Court in Delhi

Tilak Marg, Patiala House, India Gate, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Cost of Divorce without Mutual Consent

The cost of a divorce depends heavily on how vigorously it would be contested or what the issues are. As lawyers usually charge per appearance, you can expect to shell out anywhere from Rs. 10,000 per hearing for a young lawyer to Rs. 1 lakh for an experienced one. Click here to read How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer