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Grounds for Divorce under The Hindu Marriage Act

Updated: Mar 24

The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 lays down the legal framework governing marital relationships among Hindus in India. Under this Act, several grounds for divorce are recognised, allowing spouses to seek legal dissolution of their marriage under specific circumstances. The various grounds of Divorce as per the Hindu Marriage Act Adultery, Cruelty, Desertion, Conversion, Unsoundness of mind, Schizophrenia, Leprosy, Venereal disease, renunciation, entering new religious order, Presumption of death, non compliance with a decree of Judicial separation, non compliance with a decree of Restitution Conjugal Rights.

Adultery as ground for divorce under Hindu Marriage Act: Adultery, defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their spouse, is a significant ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act. This includes extramarital relations with married or unmarried individuals of the opposite sex during the subsistence of marriage. Even relationships with a second spouse, in cases of bigamy, are considered adulterous. Essentials of Adultery:

  1. Involvement of one spouse with another person, married or unmarried, of the opposite sex.

  2. The intercourse should be voluntary and consensual.

  3. The marriage must be subsisting at the time of the act.

  4. Circumstantial evidence must prove the involvement of the other spouse.

Cruelty as ground for divorce under Hindu Marriage Act: Cruelty both physical and mental, represents another significant ground for seeking divorce. Physical cruelty involves acts of violence or bodily harm inflicted upon a spouse, while mental cruelty encompasses behaviors that cause emotional distress or harm. Examples of mental cruelty include humiliation, false accusations, denial of marital rights, extramarital affairs, aggressive behavior, and financial exploitation. To constitute cruelty, the behavior must be severe enough to create a reasonable apprehension of harm and endangerment to the petitioner's well-being.

What is considered as Mental Cruelty against Husband by wife: 1. Humiliating the husband in front of his family and friends. 2.Undertaking the termination of pregnancy without husband consent. 3. Making false allegation against him. 4. Denial for Martial Physical Relationship without a valid reason. 5. Wife having affair. 6. Wife living an immoral life. 7. The constant demand for money. 8. Aggressive and uncontrollable behaviour of Wife. 9. ill Treatment to the husband's parents and family. What considered as Mental Cruelty against wife by Husband: 1. False accusation of adultery. 2. The demand for dowry. 3. Impotency of Husband. 4. Force to abort the child. 5. The problem of drunkenness of husband. 6. Husband having affairs. 7. The husband lives an immoral life. 8. Aggressive and uncontrollable behaviour of the husband. Humiliating the wife in front of family and friends.

Desertion as ground for divorce under Hindu Marriage Act:

Desertion, characterized by the permanent abandonment of one spouse by the other without reasonable justification or consent, is also recognized as a ground for divorce. Mere physical separation is insufficient to establish desertion; there must be a deliberate rejection of marital obligations and a lack of intent to reconcile. The deserted spouse must demonstrate a willingness to fulfill marital duties and an intention to preserve the marriage, despite the other spouse's abandonment.

Conversion as ground for divorce under Hindu Marriage Act:

Conversion to another religion without the consent of the spouse is considered a valid ground for divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act. It signifies a fundamental alteration in religious identity that may disrupt the marital harmony and compatibility between spouses.

Insanity as ground for divorce under Hindu Marriage Act:

Insanity, defined as incurable unsoundness of mind, provides a basis for divorce when one spouse suffers from a mental disorder of such severity that cohabitation becomes untenable for the other spouse. Similarly, leprosy and venereal diseases, being communicable ailments, constitute grounds for divorce when they pose a risk of transmission to the other spouse.

Renunciation as ground for divorce under Hindu Marriage Act:

Renunciation of worldly affairs and entry into a religious order, a practice prevalent in Hinduism, is recognized as a valid ground for divorce. When one spouse renounces the material world and chooses a path of spiritual asceticism, the other spouse may seek divorce due to the irreconcilable differences arising from this decision.


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