What is Divorce In India If Marriage Is Not Registered?

This blog gives hands-on information on how to file for a divorce in India if the marriage is not registered.

The procedure starts with filing a Mutual Divorce petition with the help of a lawyer. Then the courts provide a date for the final hearing which is usually after six months after filing the petition. 

Divorce or Closure of marriage is a procedure for ending a marriage legally. This is also referred to as the ending of a marital partnership. The term ‘Divorce’ means canceling or reformation of official accountability and marriage commitments. Divorce is a very emotional topic.

Many people are afraid to talk about it because they don’t want to hurt anyone or cause trouble. They also don’t want to admit that they have failed at their marriage, which is considered shameful in most societies.

 Divorce is, however, becoming a non-taboo subject in India of late. There are several reasons why couples decide to get divorced. Some include infidelity, domestic violence, financial problems, and even mental health issues. Splitting up or ending a marriage for a couple should be a legitimate and logical decision under any country’s law.

Divorce is mostly a painful experience for those involved and even friends and family. Here are a few facts one should consider before filing for divorce:

These rules in India are conjoined by many factors, especially religion; 

  • The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 administrates religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism;
  • The Muslim Marriage Act of 1939 administrates the discontinuation of Muslim marriages;
  • The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act of 1936 administrate Parsi divorces;
  • The Indian Divorce Act of 1869 accounts for Christians; and
  • The Special Marriage Act of 1956 administrates the bond of marriage between any two religions. 

According to The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, the male and the female partner in a marital bond have the right to get a divorce in India on more than one ground. Section 13 plays a vital role in Mutual Consent Divorce.

Filing for Divorce in India

According to The Special Marriage Act of 1954 – Section 28 https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1954-43_1.pdfand The Divorce Act of 1869 – Section 10A, divorce is provided under mutual authority. On the other hand, a contested divorce is when one of the two partners refuses to agree to the breakdown of the marriage. According to The Hindu Marriage Act, Section 13B, the following are the procedures and conditions applicable for filing a break-up in a country like India:

  1. There is a clause in the system that both partners in a marriage have to stay apart for a minimum period to file for a divorce;
  2. When both partners fail to settle issues between them;
  3. When both partners agree to a mutual separation.

When all the above three conditions are met, a couple can file for divorce Alimony, regardless of whether their marriage is done in court or temple in India. This rule is also applicable to couples who have not registered for their wedding. 

Now let us look at the following chart to understand more about filing for a divorce in India:

File a petition for a divorce
Both husband and wife must be present in the court/authority
Oaths are taken and statements are recorded
The first action passes to the next action
Final appearance before the court/ authority
Final verdict on the divorce

Mutual Divorce Procedure

Point 1: Divorce file petition 

It is of no use to spend hours on the internet searching for phrases like “how to file a Divorce case in India against my wife/husband?”! Instead, look for mutual divorce procedures. This is a joint petition filed by a couple to discontinue their legal/unregistered marriage. The divorce file will be presented to the official District court: https://districts.ecourts.gov.in/ for further procedures. A couple has to forecast the reasons and conditions behind the discontinuation of the marriage. Their reasons should be valid enough for the next step to be considered.

Point 2: Couples have to appear before a  Judge in a court

After the first procedure is well accounted for under the court’s concern, the couple will be asked to appear before a judge in the court for the first round of hearing, where they will be asked about their reasons and conditions provided. The court’s obligation is to reunite the couple, but if the couple makes firm decisions for discontinuation, the court follows the next procedure.

Point 3: Statements and Oath

After going through the file petition and considering the factors for the breakdown of the marriage, the court will start recording the statements provided by the couple under oath.

Point 4: First Action

After recording the statements, the first action is quickly passed by the court, and a time period of half a year is provided to the couple to appear for the second action to be followed.

Point 5: Final Hearing

After the first 6 months of the file petition, both the partners in the marriage are summoned to appear before the judge in the court for the final hearing on the disclosure of their marital bond.

Point 6: Final Verdict

When a couple of files for mutual divorce in India, a few strong conditions are to be kept under notice as a couple can not ask their partner for any kind of alimony, ward custody, maintenance cost, or property portions. 

Once the court equally verifies all the points, the final verdict of divorce is stated to the couple to discontinue their marital bond. 

Some characteristics cannot be neglected for both partners in a divorce file:

  • According to the law and court, there is no particular fixed amount to ask for alimony or maintenance support costs by either of the couples;
  • One of the crucial aspects is taking custody of their offspring. This must be done under mutual consent that should not harm the upbringing of the ward in any manner, and
  • The properties of both parties should be discussed among each other and should be distributed equally among them.

Let us now look at the documents required to file a divorce in India

  1. Address proof;
  2. A marriage certificate or photo which was taken in case of a temple marriage or non-registered marriage;
  3. Present photographs of both husband and wife;
  4. Evidence that the couple has been living separately for a particular period;
  5. IT statements;
  6. Details of their profession;
  7. Family details; and 
  8. Property Details of both husband and wife.

In any religion in our country, a marriage is considered a solid and sacred bond between couples to happily and peacefully carry throughout their lives. Earlier, getting a was a strong taboo in India, but thanks to the present judicial system, it has changed considerably. Presently, the judicial system and court provide various laws and systems to end an unhappy marriage. Lawyers can handle and guide anyone going through a divorce procedure in India.

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