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Can Court Reject Contested Divorce?

Grounds for Rejection of a Divorce Petition

Divorce can be a painful and difficult process. Even if both spouses agree to divorce, the court can still reject the petition. There are several reasons why a divorce petition may be rejected by the court:

Mutual Consent Divorce

In a mutual consent divorce, both spouses agree to dissolve the marriage. However, the court wants to ensure consent is genuine and not obtained by coercion. The court will thoroughly question the spouses and attempt reconciliation before granting divorce.
If the judge is not completely satisfied that consent is voluntary, the petition can be rejected. The court aims to protect the institution of marriage and prevent miscarriage of justice. Divorce petitions filed within a year of marriage are often rejected as the court feels couples should attempt reconciliation.
All child custody and support issues must be resolved amicably before filing for mutual consent divorce. If custodial matters are unsettled, the court will dismiss the petition to protect the child’s interests.

Contested Divorce

In contested divorces, one spouse files for divorce while the other contests it. For the court to grant divorce, the petitioner must conclusively prove valid grounds like adultery, cruelty, desertion, insanity or communicable disease. If the petitioner cannot provide sufficient evidence like photographs, medical records, witness statements to substantiate grounds for divorce, the court will dismiss the petition. Vague accusations without concrete proof will not persuade the court to dissolve the marriage. The petitioner must demonstrate the marriage has irretrievably broken down and reconciliation attempts have failed.

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Procedural Errors

Courts follow strict procedural rules for divorce petitions. Even mutual consent divorces can be rejected due to technical errors like missing court fee stamps, outdated forms, absence of mandatory documents or improper filing procedures. Hiring a seasoned divorce lawyer well-versed in court rules minimizes procedural defects sinking the divorce petition. Lawyers regularly handle divorce cases and are familiar with changing court rules, documentation and processes to file a foolproof petition.

No Exceptional Hardship

Under Hindu law, a spouse can seek divorce due to exceptional hardship or deprivation inflicted by their partner. However, routine marital issues like occasional fights, lack of intimacy or communication issues do not qualify as exceptional hardship. The petitioner must conclusively demonstrate the spouse engaged in cruelty, adultery, desertion or created intolerable circumstances making cohabitation impossible. If the court is unconvinced of extraordinary circumstances for the marriage breakdown, the divorce will be rejected.

In conclusion, courts aim to protect the sanctity of marriage. Divorce is only granted when all legal requirements are unambiguously satisfied after reconciliation attempts fail. Spouses seeking divorce must consult expert divorce lawyers, truthfully depict marriage breakdown, provide irrefutable evidence and demonstrate no possibility of reconciliation. This minimizes chances of the court rejecting the divorce petition.

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