Documents Needed For Divorce In India.

The legal procedures involve behind seeking a divorce in India is a long drawn out legal affair, which on a minimum takes six months. It is a lengthy process involving production and verification of multiple documents and ensuring compliance with the procedures laid down for obtaining the decree of divorce.  In the case of the absence of documents, the process will be even more tedious and stretched far. The list of documents differs depending upon the grounds of divorce that invoked. Here is a guide to preparing your documentation for an easy and hassle-free divorce procedure in India

What are the grounds of divorce?

According to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, either the husband or the wife can file a divorce petition to dissolve the marriage that has been solemnized before or after the commencement of the Act. 

A divorce will be granted on the ground that the other party had the following action:

  1. After the solemnization of the wedding, had voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse
  2. After the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty
  3. Deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition
  4. Ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion
  5. Incurably of unsound mind, or suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably expect to live with the respondent
  6. Suffering from leprosy or other such diseases, or disease in a communicable form
  7. Suffering from venereal disease in a contagious way
  8. Renounced the world by entering any religious order 
  9. Not heard of being alive for seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it.

Mutual Divorce under Section 13(B) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955: 

Subject to the provisions of Hindu Marriage Act, petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be presented to the District Court by both the parties to marriage together. Such a wedding has to be solemnized before or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976. Before applying the petition, both the husband and wife must have been living separately for one year or more. They must agree on the divorce mutually. 

The divorce documents required in the case of mutual consent divorce are mentioned 

  • Address proof of husband
  • Address proof of wife
  • Marriage certificate of the spouse
  • Four passport size photographs of the marriage of both the husband and wife
  • Evidence proving spouses are living separately for more than a year.
  • Evidence relating to the failed attempts of reconciliation. 
  • Income tax statements for the last 2-3 years
  • Details of the profession and present remuneration
  • Information relating to family background
  • Details of properties and other assets owned by the petitioner

Note: Once the petition for divorce is filed in the appropriate court, then the photocopies of the aforementioned documents are to be submitted. Besides that, it is always advised to keep the original copy secured with yourself.

Documents for divorce in India on the grounds of “Cruelty” under Section 13(1) (ia) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955: 

The following are the documents an advocate will require in divorce cases on cruelty:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Address proof of husband
  • Address proof of wife
  • Medical reports proving physical abuse
  • Evidence laying down cruel behaviour
  • Submitting copies of outrageous acts like putting up advertisements in newspapers, if any.
  • Statements of persons who witnessed the cruel act
  • Four passport size photographs of the marriage of husband and wife

Documents for divorce in India on the grounds of “Adultery” under Section 13(1) (i) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 

The following are the documents an advocate will require in divorce cases on adultery:

  • Marriage certificate.
  • Address proof of both husband and wife.
  • Proof as to the single act of adultery.
  • Evidence relating to long term adulterous relationship or cohabitation, if any.
  • Photographs of the act between the partner and the other person.
  • Statements of persons who witnessed the adulterous act.
  • Evidence relating to post-marriage sexual intercourse with a person other than the spouse.
  • If the spouse has DNA evidence, relating to the adulterous act of his/her partner, then they will need a person who tests DNA. A sample will be provided to testify in court about his/her findings.
  • Four passport size photographs of the marriage of husband and wife.

Documents required to file a divorce on the grounds of Desertion: 

Desertion only becomes a ground for divorce when a reasonable cause accompanies it, and without the consent of the other party. The essential documents for filing a divorce on the grounds of desertion are:

  • Separation of factum deserendi. (Deserdendi means the intention of abandonment of spouse)
  • The purpose to desert or animus deserendi.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Evidence relating to a period of two years in which there is complete withdrawal by one spouse from carrying out his or her marital obligations.
  • Address proof of husband.
  • Evidence proving the existence of either constructive or actual desertion, as the case may be.
  • Address proof of wife.
  • Four passport size photographs of the marriage of husband and wife.
  • Evidence proving that the desertion did not consent.
  • Proof showing that the desertion was without any reasonable cause.

Documents required to file a divorce on the grounds of “Unsoundness of Mind”:

The term “unsoundness of mind” or “mental disorder” means mental illness or incomplete development of mind. It could also be a psychopathic disorder or disability of the brain. 

The following are the documents an advocate will require in divorce cases about Unsoundness of Mind:

  • Address proof of Husband
  • Address proof of a wife
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Four Passport size photographs of Marriage of Husband & Wife
  • Medical Certificate to prove the mental disorder
  • Proofs showing that two years have been passed since the marriage
  • Conformation proving that the petitioner was unaware of the disorder at the time of marriage
  • Evidence to show the person has been suffering from continuous or intermittent mental disorder of such kind
  • Furthermore, evidence to prove that it has become impossible for the petitioner to live with the respondent

Documents required to file a divorce on the grounds of “leprosy” or other such diseases: 

The following are the documents an advocate will need in divorce cases about leprosy or any other such condition. 

  • Address proof of Husband.
  • Address proof of wife.
  • Marriage Certificate to prove that the couple has been married for the last two years.
  • Four Passport size photographs of Marriage of Husband & Wife.
  • Medical Certificate to prove leprosy.
  • Statements by doctors to confirm the validity of the medical certificate.
  • Evidence to prove that the petitioner didn’t know about the disease at the time of marriage.
  • Proofs as to leprosy were incurable and are of a serious form.
  • Furthermore, witnesses to prove that the individual is unfit for social intercourse.

Documents required to file the divorce on the grounds of Conversion:

The following are the documents an advocate will need in divorce cases on Conversion:

There must be a voluntary relinquishment of Hindu religion or formal ceremonial conversion to another religion by the respondent

  • Address proof of husband
  • Address proof of wife
  • Marriage certificate
  • Four passport size pictures of the marriage of husband & wife
  • Evidence showing that there has been formal ceremonial conversion to another religion
  • Statements by witnesses or photographs if any, justifying the conversion of the other spouse
  • Conversion certificate
  • Proofs that the person wasn’t under any undue influence to get converted to another religion, i.e. it was wilful conversion
  • Evidence showing that it has not been done to marry another person and the person has complete faith in the religion he has converted himself

Documents required to file the divorce on the grounds of  Venereal disease under Section 13(1) (v)of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

The following are the documents an advocate will require in divorce cases on Venereal Disease in a communicable form:

  • Address proof of Husband.
  • Address proof of wife.
  • Marriage Certificate to show they have been married for three years and the disease hasn’t yet cured.
  • Four Passport size photographs of Marriage of Husband & Wife.
  • Medical Certificate of the respondent to prove that he/she has a venereal disease which can be communicated to the other spouse or the child.
  • Medical certificate of the petitioner at the time of marriage to prove that he/she didn’t have the disease. Also, he/she isn’t trying to hide their mistakes by blaming the other person of the same thing.

Hence, these are the required documents in divorce cases on the ground of the spouse suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form.

Non-compliance with the decree of restitution of conjugal rights under Sec 13(1A)(ii) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955:

  • Marriage certificate.
  • Address proof of husband.
  • Address proof of wife.
  • Four passport size photographs of the marriage of husband & wife.
  • Proof as to either of them has failed to comply with the decree of restitution of conjugal rights.
  • Proof as to there is ill-treatment towards the other by either of them to prevent the other from abiding by the decree.
Besides, a wife can divorce her husband:
  • if he married again (before the commencement of the Act). Or if any other wife of the husband (married before the commencement of the Act) was alive during the solemnization of the marriage;
  • provided that her husband is found guilty of rape;
  • if her marriage was solemnized before the age of 15 years and she has not accepted the marriage before attaining 18 years of age. 

Therefore, some of the documents as you can observe are standard irrespective of the ground of divorce. However, to prove the ground of divorce, depending upon the nature of some other documents might be required. This is only to back up one’s claim by documentary evidence. It is not a fixed rule that authorities require documents. Instead, it can evaluate on what suits best and serves the most to your case. Hence it will be produced. Divorce application form is available online. You can go through it at any time.

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