What is the Cost of Mutual Divorce in India?

Last Updated at: Aug 25, 2022
Latest Update

The Supreme Court has recently waived off the mandatory cooling period of 6 months before divorce, provisioned earlier in the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. Henceforth, a trial court can dispense with this period if there is no possibility of cohabitation between the estranged couple.

What is the Cost of Mutual Divorce in India

A divorce is the legal termination or dissolution of the institution of marriage. Divorce no longer brings the same frowns as it used to, and more people are ready to leave unhappy marriages than before. The best way to ease the strain that divorce can bring you is to be well-versed on how the system works. Many people are unaware of just how much mutual divorce costs in India. Here’s a quick look at the cost of mutual divorce in India.

  1. What are the types of divorces in India?

  2. Lawyer Fees for Mutual Divorce

  3. What is the cost of mutual divorce in India?

What are the types of divorces in India?

The main types of divorces in India are;

  1. Mutual Consent Divorce
  2. Contested Divorce

The mutual divorce occurs when the spouses agree to file for divorce together and then submit a joint petition. It is seen as a smoother process, as the couple tends to be more amicable. The process is mainly procedural, as both spouses give their consent for divorce. It involves only two court hearings, making it a faster and more efficient process.

A contested divorce is when one of the spouses does not agree to give consent to divorce. Therefore, the other spouse must file a divorce petition and then fight to prove that the marriage isn’t working. There are several grounds on which a spouse can file for a contested divorce in India. However, these usually become long-drawn court battles, which leave a very messy trail. They can also last for years and take up several sessions and court appearances, making them a costly affair.

Lawyer Fees for Mutual Divorce

Generally, the charges for filing a divorce vary from place to place and depending on the severity. If both spouses are very amicable and have resolved most of their issues, then the process is more straightforward and less costly. The longer the court battle, the more the spouses have to pay. Usually, the location or court in which the divorce case is heard also makes a difference. If the case is heard in a district court or family court, divorce lawyers don’t charge much for an appearance. On the other hand, if the matter escalates and finds its way to a High Court or Supreme Court, the charges increase manifold.

Similarly, divorce lawyers charge their fees according to their experience and success rate. Established law firms and advocates who boast of a high success rate tend to charge much higher. Also, divorce lawyers in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bangalore charge much more than lawyers in Chennai or Kochi. Mutual consent divorce charges range between 15,000 and 30,000 if you want a divorce lawyer with a minimum of 3 years’ worth of experience. Most lawyers in Mumbai charge around INR 5000 or INR 7000 per hearing, meaning that the longer the battle, the costlier it becomes. Veteran divorce lawyers who have decades worth of experience may even charge as high as INR 30,000 per hearing or sitting.

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Other than this, divorce lawyers also charge for their consultation, which you might need to settle differences and decide on essential matters. Since mutual consent requires the spouses to be clear with regards to child custody and alimony, consultation is a must. A good divorce lawyer will help you split your assets, manage child custody, and also decide on appropriate alimony. However, this might require multiple sittings, increasing the overall cost. In case you have decided amongst yourself how you will manage these things, then the cost becomes a lot lower.

What is the cost of mutual divorce in India?

Factors which determine the divorce lawyer’s charge include;

  • Locality
  • Court of Jurisdiction
  • Experience
  • Success Rate
  • Efficiency
  • Your financial situation

Important Points to Remember

  1. Lawyers will charge for their appearance, consultation, and also for drafting documents for you.
  2. Experienced lawyers can also help with your documentation, and can even make things happen in a smooth and refined manner. They reach settlements faster than younger, less experienced divorce lawyers, and can also end things amicably.
  3. Try to look for divorce lawyers that people genuinely recommend, as they always turn out to be better than ones who wait by courts looking for cases.
  4. Contested divorces are a lot more expensive as they take longer to conclude, and also because they involve a lot of documentation and cross-questioning.
  5. Also, certain divorce lawyers charge a flat fee for a divorce, whereas others charge per hour. In case it is the latter, make sure you and your spouse discuss settlements before approaching the lawyer to curtail your expenses.
  6. Child support and custody charges and other related issues can make the divorce more expensive. In case you are worried about the cost of the divorce, try to resolve such matters between each other.
  7. Most lawyers will take an advance retainer ship fee, which is usually non-refundable, so arrange some money before approaching a lawyer.
  8. Other expenses include Xerox charges, miscellaneous charges, and travel expenses, fees for mediators and accountants, and preparing sets for filing.