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Divorce lawyers in India: A Brief Analysis of Trends It’s no surprise that divorce has become a common trend in India,marriage is no more treated as a sacrament and people are not forced or bound stay in the marriage when they are unhappy. Everyone should be free to walk out of a marriage when they are not satisfied or they longer want to continue the marriage for whatever reasons. Some of the common reasons couples seek divorce are,when one person has found love in someone else or when the partners are not compatible and due to their differences they can’t continue staying in the marriage,domestic violence or when the husband or the wife is treating the other person cruelly. These are just a few of the common reasons,each case is different and there are various grounds on which couple seek divorce and rightly so,nobody should continue staying in meaningless or abusive relationships. Having said that,most people who want to get a divorce fear the process of obtaining one or the paperwork and the court visits that is involved in obtaining a divorce. Divorce Advocates play a major role in today’s society,providing legal aid and guidance to people to make the process less strenuous and devoid of unwarranted hardships.Divorce is the termination of marriage and dissolution of matrimonial rights and duties. Divorce might be common among all religions and cultures,but the law relating to divorce is not the same in India. This is because the concept of marriage is different among different religions,for Hindus it’s a sacrament and for a very long time divorce was an unknown concept for Hindus. For Muslims,marriage is a contract. India houses people belonging to various different religions and cultures. Each religion has its own unique traditions,customs,and practices. Due to this difference in the cultural practices,the personal law applicable to each religion is different. As the name itself suggests personal laws are laws relating to the personal matters of the citizens,like divorce,succession,inheritance,and adoption. Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act,governs divorce Law for Hindus in India and Hindus can obtain a divorce only through a Court of Law and there are two methods of obtaining a divorce,by mutual consent or by contesting the divorce. Mutual consent is when both the parties want the divorce and on the other hand,if only one person wants the divorce and the other doesn’t the divorce can be contested. Section 13B deals with divorce by mutual consent and section 13 lays down various grounds under which a marriage between two Hindus,domiciled in India can be terminated or dissolved and divorce can be filed either by the husband or the wife. Section 13 of the Act lays down three types of grounds for divorce,fault based,breakdown ground based and special grounds. As mentioned already grounds for divorce on mutual consent is laid down under section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act and the grounds under which the divorce can be obtained under this section are,if the husband and the wife are living separately for more than a year and they have not been able to live together and most importantly if they have both mutually agreed to a divorce or dissolution of their marriage. According to section 13(1) of the Act,the nine fault grounds are adultery desertion,cruelty,conversion to another religion incurable insanity or mental disorder,virulent leprosy,venereal disease in a communicable form,renunciation of the world and presumption of death (i.e. seven sears unheard absence). The two breakdown grounds under section 13(1A) of the Act are: (1) non-resumption of cohabitation for a period of one year or more after the passing of a decree for judicial separation,and; (2) non-compliance with the decree of restitution of conjugal rights for a period of one year or more give a right to either party.Section 13(2) of the Act,lays down four additional or special grounds of divorce on which the wife alone can sue,and they are: (a) another wife of the husband’s pre-Act polygamous marriage being alive; (b) the husband has been guilty of rape,sodomy or bestiality,(c) cohabitation between the parties has not taken place for one year or upwards after the passing of an order awarding maintenance to the wife (d) the marriage of the wife (whether consummated or not) was celebrated before she attained the age of fifteen years and she had repudiated the marriage after attaining that age but before attaining the age of eighteen years.If the partners belong to different religions,for example,the husband is a Hindu and the wife is a Muslim then the law governing such couples is the Special Marriage Act,1954. The grounds for divorce under Section 27 of the Special Marriage Act are similar to the grounds laid down in the Hindu Marriage Act and divorce by mutual consent can be obtained under section 28 of the Special Marriage Act. The same applies to divorce laws for Christians as well and the provision of law governing divorce between Christians in India is section 10 of the Divorce Act,1869 and divorce by mutual consent is section 10A of the Divorce Act. The procedure to obtain a divorce for Muslims is different and there are different forms of divorce as well,but they can be divided into two general categories,Judicial divorce and Non-Judicial Divorce. Judicial divorce is governed by section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act,1939. The right to obtain a judicial divorce is available to the wife alone. A Muslim wife can obtain a decree of divorce from a court of law by filing a suit on any of the following grounds: the whereabouts of the husband had not been known to her for a period of four years; two years (or more) of neglect,or failure to provide maintenance for two years or more; sentence of imprisonment for a period of seven years or more; failure to perform marital obligations without any reasonable cause for a period of three years or more; impotence at the time of marriage; insanity for a period of two years or more,or leprosy or virulent venereal disease; repudiation of marriage before the attainment of the age of eighteen years; cruelty; or any other ground recognized under Muslim law. The non-judicial kinds of divorce include Talak,the husband who is of a sound mind and has attained puberty may bring about this form of divorce at any time by pronouncing the necessary words of divorce to his wife three times. The other kind of non-judicial divorce is Lian,when a Muslim husband charges his wife with adultery,and the charge is false,the wife has a right to sue for dissolution of the marriage. The other two kids of non-judicial divorce are known as Khula and Mubaarat,these are divorce by mutual consent of both the husband and the wife. Now that it is clear what the law on divorce is and what provisions of the law are applicable,it is important to understand the procedure involved in obtaining a divorce. Even though there are two main methods of obtaining a divorce,for both divorce by mutual consent and contested divorce,the parties have to approach the Court of law. It goes without saying that the first step is to talk to your partner and determine whether the divorce has to be contested or obtain it by mutual consent. The next step is then to consult a good lawyer and even if you not able to determine whether you need to obtain a divorce by mutual consent or by contesting,a good lawyer will be able to give you the best advise for your situation. Most people approach lawyers based on the recommendation made by relatives or friends. But if one is new to a city and has no relatives or friend to get suggestions regarding the best lawyers,then the option available is to look up for good lawyers online. But most websites online are misleading,they either give false or incorrect information or incomplete information. Therefore it’s important to look for lawyers on reliable websites or platforms. One such reliable platform is Legal Resolved,they are dedicated to provide valuable information regarding the best lawyers available in a particular area,like divorce lawyers in India,employment or labour lawyers,property dispute lawyer,etc. Apart from providing information regarding the best lawyer suitable for you’re case in your city,they also provide information through articles which is not just helpful to resolve you’re case but also informative. While hiring a lawyer to represent you,it is advised to hire a lawyer who specializes in the area of divorce and who is experienced in dealing with divorce cases before. In case any person cannot afford to hire or appoint a lawyer himself/herself,then such a person can approach the District Legal Services Authority and a lawyer will be appointed to represent such a person. Once you approach the best divorce lawyer in India for a consultation,the next step is to provide the lawyer with all the necessary information regarding your marriage,like the name of your spouse,when the marriage took place,what problems you faced,etc. This will help the lawyer in building a strong case for you. The lawyer will then prepare the divorce petition according to the grounds you are seeking divorce under and such a petition is to be submitted to the court to initiate the divorce proceedings. In addition to the information provided by you regarding the marriage,the lawyer will ask for additional documents and information,information related to your family and birth,income tax statements for the past 2-3 years,your profession and the income you earn,details of the properties and assets that you own and marriage certificate and photographs. Once the petition is ready,and then the vakalatanama has to be signed by you authorizing the lawyer/ advocate to represent you in the Court. Before submitting the petition it is important to determine to which Court the petition has to be filed or which Court has jurisdiction to hear the matter. Jurisdiction means the power or authority of the Court to decide the matter and pass a decree or order. If the wrong Court is approached or the Court does not have jurisdiction then the decree passed by such a court will be invalid. Therefore it important to file the divorce petition before the appropriate court having jurisdiction. There are the Family Courts and the District Courts that have the power to decide and grant a valid divorce. Family Courts are set up in most metropolitan cities across India,but in case there is family court set up,then the district court can be approached. If you are seeking divorce by mutual consent then the Courts you can approach are,a family or district court in the area where the marriage took place or where the marriage was registered,or the area where the couple last lived together,or the area where the other party or spouse is living at the time you are filing the divorce petition. This applies to contested divorce as well,in addition to the above mentioned Courts,if the wide is filing the contested divorce petition then a family or district court in the area where the wife is living or residing at the time of filing the divorce petition.Once the divorce petition is filed before the appropriate court,will then send a copy of the petition to your spouse and will ask him/ her to appear before the court on a particular date. Once the parties are heard and the court decides the matter,and if the divorce decree is granted then the parties need to go the sub-registrar’s office to get the marriage canceled,a form is to be submitted along with the divorce decree to get the marriage canceled. Divorce in India usually takes quite some time,even if the couple decides to obtain a divorce by mutual consent the court will grant the divorce after six months cooling period. But Court these days don’t always strictly apply this rule in every case.
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