Can a husband and wife live separately without divorce in India? What if husband denies divorce!

Divorce among the Hindus 

Divorce is not uncommon in modern India. In present-day India, divorce rate is found to be higher far what it was a few decades ago. It’s very tough to estimate the actual rate of divorce in India as there are no reliable statistics available. But it can however be considered that rate of divorce is higher in cities and nuclear families than in the villages and undivided families. The race “Asian-Africans" has lowest divorce rate with only 18% of women and 16% of men reporting their divorce.

Hinduism says a lot about divorce. Hindus still believe in the old saying that “marriages are arranged in heaven.” They consider their marriage immutable and indissoluble. Their traditional belief is that marriage is inseparable. The two persons in marriage cannot end it at their will. They are connected to each other until the death of either of them. The belief states that the wife has to bound to her husband even after his death. She can’t remarry but on the other hand, man can remarry without any restrictions. 

This concept of marriage that it is indissoluble inspires husband and wife to adjust their tastes, tempers, ideals, interests, choices and preferences. It thus demands sacrifices on the part of both husband and wife. Here, each individual necessitates to make compromises and adjustment in order to make marriage a success.

Divorce was almost unfamiliar in ancient India. It didn’t existed in Hinduism. There is no reference to divorce in whole Vedic Literature. According to Manu Samriti, Dharma is based on the life long mutual respect for each other by husband and wife. The Puranic writers who made the concept of “Pativratya” popular, also expected the Hindu wife to be devoted to her husband. Loyalty and humble service to husband were considered to be the only duty and purpose in her life. This ideal of “Pativratya" gave rise to and glorified the practice of ‘Sati' or ‘self-immolation' during the later days.

Provisions for Divorce in Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

Hindu Marriage Act came into force from May 18, 1955 which brought so many revolutionary changes not only in marital relations but also in various other social aspects  . This Act applies to whole of India. The word ‘Hindu’ in the Act includes Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and the Scheduled Castes. 

Conditions for valid marriage as provided in this Act :

1.     neither party has a spouse living ;

2.     neither party (bridegroom or bride) is an idiotic or lunatic;

3.     the groom must have completed 21 years and the bride 18 years of age as per the 1978 Amendment brought to this Act;

4.     the parties should not be ‘Sapindas' of each other unless the custom permits such a marriage.



What are the rules for divorce in India? Does wife get half in divorce India?

“The Hindu Marriage Act-1955”, amended in 1976 and 1981 , lays down various grounds for divorce, judicial separation, nullity of marriage and annulment of marriage such as the following (applicable to both the spouses):

·       Impotency at the time of marriage until the institution of proceedings;

·       Voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse;

·       Cruel treatment which includes physical and mental cruelty;

·       Desertion for two years;

·       If the marriage has taken place because of force of force or fraud;

·       Ceasing to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion;

·       Of incurably unsound mind / mental disorder, lunacy at the time of marriage;

·       Suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form;

·       Renouncing the world by entering any religious order;

·       Suffering from virulent and incurable form of leprosy;

·       Has not being heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more;

·       No resumption of cohabitation as between the parties  to the marriage for a period of one year or upwards after the passing of a decree for restitution of conjugal rights;

·       Mutual consent, [as per 1976 Amendment] , on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they have not been able to live together, and they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved, on the motion of both the parties made not earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the petition, and not later than 18 months after the said date.

Post a Comment