Grounds of Divorce in India 2023

Grounds of Divorce in India: In Indian society, the idea of divorce is significantly changing, departing from the long-standing conventions that stigmatized it. India has a strong tradition of viewing marriage as holy and divorce as an extremely rare occurrence that is frequently shrouded in societal stigma. But during the past few decades, a number of circumstances have helped divorce become a more popular and accessible alternative.

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Individual expectations and attitudes about partnerships have changed as a result of urbanization and globalization. Perspectives on women’s rights inside marriage have changed significantly as a result of economic development and education, particularly among women.

Grounds of Divorce in India

Legal changes, such as the Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Marriage Act, have streamlined the divorce process and given spouses legal options.

With time, opinions and convictions about the marriage system continue to evolve. According to the demands of the day, India’s divorce laws are also altered. Therefore, it’s crucial to comprehend the new divorce laws that India will implement in 2022–2023. Divorce cases were quite rare in ancient times in India. However, it has been noticed that people’s perspectives have evolved with time.

The Indian court system’s secular outlook has led to the introduction of a number of personal laws based on diverse religious beliefs. In India, the laws governing marriage and reasons for divorce differ for Hindus, Christians, and Muslims.

Grounds for Divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (Grounds of Divorce in India)

  1. Adultery is the act of engaging in any type of sexual connection, including extramarital partnerships. Adultery is considered a criminal conduct, and strong evidence is needed to prove it. According to a 1976 legislative amendment, the petitioner just has to commit one act of adultery to qualify for a divorce.
  2. Cruelty – When a spouse suffers any form of mental or physical harm that puts their life, limb, or health in jeopardy, they have the right to apply for divorce. The intangible acts of cruelty committed by mental torture are assessed based on a sequence of episodes rather than a single act. Cruelty includes things like depriving someone of food, abusing them continuously to get dowry, engaging in perverted sexual behavior, etc.
  3. Desertion – The abandoned spouse may seek for divorce on the grounds of desertion if one of the spouses willingly separates from the other for at least two years.
  4. Conversion – If one of the two decides to change their faith, the other spouse may petition for divorce using this cause.
  5. Mental Illness – If the petitioner’s spouse has an incurable mental illness or is insane, it is unreasonable to expect the pair to remain married. This is a reason to file for divorce.
  6. Leprosy – If one spouse has a “virulent and incurable” type of leprosy, the other spouse may petition on this basis.
  7. Venereal Disease – If one of the couples has a severe, readily contagious illness, the other spouse may apply for divorce. AIDS and other sexually transmitted illnesses are classified as venereal diseases.
  8. Renunciation – If one spouse joins a religious organization and renounces all worldly interests, the other spouse has the right to apply for divorce.
  9. Not Heard Alive – A person is assumed to be dead if they are not seen or heard by people who are ‘naturally heard’ of them for a continuous period of seven years. If one spouse wants to remarry, the other should be required to apply for divorce.
  10. No Resumption of Cohabitation: If the couple does not start cohabiting again after the court has issued a decree of separation, this constitutes grounds for divorce.

Grounds for Divorce under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939

According to the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, a Muslim woman may file for divorce in India on the following reasons.

1) For four years, the husband’s whereabouts have been a mystery.

2) The husband has neglected to pay the wife’s maintenance for at least two years.

3) The wife has been imprisoned for at least seven years.

4) The spouse is unable to fulfill his commitments to the marriage.

5) The girl marries before the age of fifteen and decides to divorce before the age of eighteen.

6) The husband engages in nasty behavior.

Grounds of Divorce in Christian (The Indian Divorce Act, 1869)

1) Adultery

2) Conversion to a different faith

3) For at least two years prior to the divorce petition, one of the partners had either leprosy or a contagious venereal illness.

4) Not being heard or seen over a period of seven years or more.

5) A two-year period of non-observance of the restoration of marital rights.

6) Inflicting cruelty and causing mental stress, both of which can be harmful to health and life.

7) The grounds for a divorce that a wife may use include rape, sodomy, and bestiality.


The legal and sociological opinions on the institution of marriage are changing, and this is reflected in the grounds for divorce in India. These clauses recognize the complexity of interpersonal interactions and the necessity for people to have options available to them in the event of overwhelming difficulties.

The legal framework covers a wide range of difficulties, such as abuse and adultery, as well as mental health disorders and desertion.

These reasons for divorce aim to achieve a balance between protecting the sanctity of marriage and acknowledging the fundamental rights of individuals as Indian society continues to change.

Grounds of Divorce in India

While divorce may be an option for troubled couples, it is equally important to support initiatives for premarital counseling, mediation, and amicable settlements, creating a climate in which marriages can flourish and conflicts can be resolved with sensitivity and understanding.


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