Grounds for Divorce Under the Hindu Marriage Act

Last Updated at: May 30, 2020
Grounds for Divorce Under the Hindu Marriage Act

The couple has to meet various criteria under the Indian legislation to get a divorce. The court considers these criteria as the very basis on which a divorce can be filed. As it is already known, getting a divorce is tough for anyone and usually so when lacking clarity. So this article breaks down the different grounds on how a woman who would like to seek a divorce can do so from the court of law.


One of the first grounds of divorce is cruelty. Cruelty in India has a long-lasting history. In most cases, the cruelty is not only administered by the husband but extends to the first family. This has some of the worst effects especially when family members intend to do inhumane cruelty against the person involved.

Husband Bigamy:

Husband bigamy is another important ground for filing a divorce. Bigamy is an absolute ground and if proved, the husband will have zero defences. This is considered as an easy way to claim a divorce. Judges usually tend to easily accept this reason for applying for a divorce.

Repudiation of marriage:

The court agreed that the reputation of marriage has come to the legislative part as an amendment and is a valid ground for divorce. When the point in case is a girl below 15 years of age and was forced to marry, once she becomes a major she can repudiate the marriage.

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Maintenance and Non-cohabitation:

Once maintenance has been given by any court and the cohabitation has not been present for more than a year, then it is a perfect ground for divorce. However, there has to be valid proof for proving that the cohabitation has not been in place for more than a year.


Adultery is a ground for divorce, and even after the much-criticised judgement on adultery recently. The court still holds it on the list of various activities as a valid ground for divorce.


Desertion is a ground for divorce when one spouse leaves or deserts another knowingly for over 2 years or more. This case, the deserted spouse applies for the divorce along with the evidence to prove that they have been deserted. 

Mental Disorder:

Mental Disorder is the ground of divorce when a spouse suffers from an incurable mental disorder and the applicant is not willing to continue to be in the relationship any further. The person applying for the divorce must share the proof that they were unaware of the other’s mental state before the wedding (if applicable). 


Leprosy is the ground of divorce is when one spouse has an incurable or virulent form of leprosy. The petitioner files divorce in the court under this ground, if their spouse has such a severe kind of leprosy 

Venereal or Communicable Disease:

Venereal disease is the ground of divorce when one spouse is suffering from a serious communicable disease like AIDS etc. The other spouse shall apply for divorce but must prove that they were not aware of their spouse’s disease before their marriage.


Renunciation is a ground of divorce when one spouse decides to not participate in worldly affairs as advised by any religious orders. The person applying for divorce against their spouse must share evidence to prove the renunciation ground. 


A person can wish to have a divorce when their partner has converted to a different religion. The person files a divorce when they are not willing to convert to any other religion like their spouse. 

Not Found or Not Heard Alive:

A person applies for divorce when they haven’t found their spouse in over 7 years. The applicant must show proof of the complaint for a missing person filed 7 years earlier.

As mentioned under each grounds, the petitioner filing for divorce must submit related pieces of evidence to support their petition.

The settlement:

The actual situation after the divorce is not a normal dealing. A couple should not negotiate with emotions in place. Also, the preparation for breaking a relationship can never happen in a day. The couple needs to prepare themselves well to deal with this situation.

Good negotiation is leaving negative feelings towards the other person and initiating financial cover talks rather than going for court settlement right away.

Therefore, it is not easy to get a divorce from the Indian Judiciary. If the grounds are of a different perspective and mutual consent then it is fairly easy to get a divorce.