Filing for a contested divorce in India can be an extensive legal battle. Having a well-drafted legal strategy is crucial to present a strong case before the court. Here are some key steps to draft a robust legal strategy:
Determine the Applicable Personal Law
The first step is to identify the personal law applicable to your marriage, such as the Hindu Marriage Act, the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, the Special Marriage Act, the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, etc. This will determine the grounds for divorce available to you. Consult an experienced family lawyer on the applicable law.
Review Grounds for Divorce Thoroughly
Carefully examine the grounds for divorce recognized under the applicable personal law. Some common grounds are cruelty, adultery, desertion, mental disorder, leprosy, renunciation, not consummating marriage, etc. Understand which ground(s) can be cited in your legal strategy based on your situation.
Gather Solid Supporting Evidence
To prove your grounds for divorce, gather strong supporting evidence like police complaints, medical records, photographs of injuries, eyewitness affidavits, forensic evidence of adultery, impotency certificate, etc. Consult your lawyer on the relevance and admissibility of evidence.
Draft the Divorce Petition Correctly
The divorce petition must follow the prescribed format and include all requisite details like marriage date, place, registration, grounds for divorce, evidence, court fees, etc. Ensure there are no errors and the petition meets all legal requirements.
File Petition in the Appropriate Court Jurisdiction
The petition must be filed in the family court with territorial jurisdiction over your marriage location, spouses’ last shared home or wife’s present home. Follow court protocols for filing carefully. Improper jurisdiction can lead to dismissal.
Issue Notice to Your Spouse
Formally issue divorce notice to your spouse via court process server, registered post, or as directed by your advocate. The notice informs them about the filing. Ensure notice is served properly following due process.
Attempt Alternate Dispute Resolution First
First explore alternate dispute resolution methods like mediation, conciliation or counselling to potentially avoid prolonged litigation. If settlement fails, proceed with the contested divorce through court.
Prepare a Strong Case Strategy
Identify key legal issues, strong and weak areas of your case, applicable legal precedents and remedies sought. Discuss case strategy thoroughly with your lawyer. Prepare responses to likely questions.
Actively Participate in Court Proceedings
Attending all divorce court hearings is a must. Present your side coherently, answer judges’ queries confidently and furnish evidence as required. Follow your attorney’s guidance for best results.
With in-depth legal knowledge and strategic planning, you can build a convincing contested divorce case. Hire experienced divorce lawyers to draft a formidable legal strategy.
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