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What are the required divorce papers in India?

What are the required divorce papers in India?

In India, getting a divorce can take a long time and be hard to understand. You need a lot of paperwork and proof to finalise the divorce agreement. Divorce cases are very hard on people’s emotions and minds, so they have to wait patiently for the final divorce decree. In India, hiring a professional divorce lawyer to handle the divorce papers can help a lot during the long legal and procedural process.

From start to finish, the Indian divorce process can take anywhere from 6 months to several years, depending on how hard and complicated the case is. India has different marriage and divorce laws for each religion and community. For example, the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 is used by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, while the Muslim Marriage Act 1939 is used by Muslims to get a divorce. The Special Marriage Act 1956 covers marriages between people of different religions or communities.

Documents Needed for Mutual Consent Divorce

The numerous documents and paperwork required to file for divorce in India can be overwhelming for someone without legal expertise. This is why hiring an experienced divorce lawyer to formally file and draft the divorce is highly recommended. They can guide you through the process from start to finish.

The key documents needed to draft divorce papers for a mutual consent divorce in India are:

  • Address proof for both husband and wife (Aadhar card, voters ID, passport, etc.)
  • Professional and income details of both parties
  • Income tax statements and filings from the last 2-3 years
  • Family background information
  • Assets owned by both parties
  • Marriage certificate
  • Proof that the couple has been living separately for at least 1 year
  • Evidence of failed attempts at reconciliation
  • Any other documents required for the specific grounds of divorce
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In addition, a mutual consent divorce petition will also require:

  • City where the marriage took place
  • Cities where each spouse is currently residing
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name of the wedding venue
  • Names, religions, dates of birth and contact details of both spouses
  • Parents’ names
  • Pre and post-marriage residential addresses
  • Details regarding custody of children (if applicable)
  • Maintenance settlement terms (if applicable)
  • Division of joint assets such as property, insurance, bank accounts etc. (if applicable)
  • Details of any pending litigation between the spouses

What is Alimony?

Alimony is the financial support that one spouse is legally required to provide to the other spouse following a divorce or separation. As ordered by the court, it is paid in instalments over a certain amount of time and is not automatic. When deciding on alimony, the judge will look at things like income, assets, ages, health, and length of marriage. A divorce lawyer can help you get the right amount of alimony by writing up your divorce papers correctly.

Documents Needed to Claim Alimony:

  • Petitioner’s age
  • Duration of marriage
  • Health of both spouses
  • Applicable marriage laws
  • Child custody details
  • Financial standing of both spouses

Other documentation may be required depending on the specific grounds for claiming alimony and filing for divorce in India. The validity of the case relies on submitting the correct documents as evidence.

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Documents for Divorce on Grounds of Cruelty

Before the Marriage Laws Act 1976 was changed, cruelty was only a reason for judicial separation. Now it’s also a reason for divorce. If a spouse is hurt physically, mentally, or emotionally in a way that puts their life in danger or causes serious harm, that person can file for divorce because of cruelty.

The court will examine a pattern of behavior over time to establish cruelty. The documents required to file divorce papers on grounds of cruelty are:

  • Address proof for both spouses
  • Marriage certificate and 4 passport-size photographs
  • Witness statements describing incidents of cruelty
  • Relevant medical records documenting injuries/abuse
  • Any other evidence proving cruel behavior
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Documents for Divorce on Grounds of Adultery

Adultery is considered a criminal offense when one spouse willingly engages in an extramarital sexual relationship. Even a single act of adultery is now adequate grounds for divorce and damages claims as per the 1976 amendment. However, strong and reliable evidence must be furnished as proof.

Documents required to file divorce papers due to adultery:

  • Address proof of both spouses
  • Marriage certificate
  • Evidence of adulterous relationship (photos, call records, witness accounts etc.)
  • Proof that the affair was ongoing rather than a one-time event
  • Witness statements confirming the adultery
  • DNA evidence linking the spouse to the extramarital relationship
  • 4 passport-size photos of the couple

There are several other grounds for divorce in India if adequate documentation and evidence is provided. A seasoned divorce lawyer will thoroughly examine the merits of each aspect when drafting the divorce papers.

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Documents for Divorce on Grounds of Desertion

While previously only valid for judicial separation, the 1976 Amendment made desertion adequate grounds for divorce as well. If one spouse has voluntarily abandoned the other for at least 2 continuous years, the deserted partner can file for divorce.

The documents required are:

  • Proof of address for both the husband and wife
  • Certificate of marriage and wedding pictures
  • Proof that someone left without permission
  • Proof that the cheating spouse has stopped doing their part in the marriage
  • Evidence that shows whether the desertion was real or fake

Documents for Divorce on Grounds of Insanity

The 1976 Amendment also elaborated on the duration of mental illness required – from 3 years to 2 years of recurrent episodes. However, the petitioner must furnish clear and convincing evidence to the court.

The documents required are:

  • Proof of address for each spouse
  • Certificate of marriage and wedding pictures
  • Proof from a doctor that the mental disorder exists
  • Proof that the marriage happened before the mental illness started
  • Proof that the petitioner didn’t know about the mental illness before they got married
  • Proof of illness happening more than once
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Additional Grounds for Divorce

Incurable Leprosy

  • Address proof for both spouses
  • Marriage certificate and wedding photographs
  • Medical reports confirming leprosy diagnosis
  • Evidence that petitioner was unaware of leprosy when marrying
  • Doctor statements and medical proof that it is an incurable case

Religious Conversion

  • Proof of address for each spouse
  • Certificate of marriage and wedding pictures
  • Proof of a legal ceremony to convert
  • A certificate of conversion shows that the conversion was voluntary.

Venereal Diseases

  • Address proof for both spouses
  • Marriage certificate and wedding photographs
  • Medical reports confirming the disease
  • Medical proof that petitioner did not have the disease when marrying

Renunciation of Worldly Life

  • Address proof for both spouses
  • Marriage certificate and wedding photographs
  • Evidence of spouse embracing religious celibacy
  • Proof of formal ceremonial renunciation
  • Evidence that the spouse is no longer leading a marital life

Non-compliance with Judicial Separation or Restitution of Conjugal Rights

  • Address proof for both spouses
  • Marriage certificate and wedding photographs
  • Proof that cohabitation has not resumed 1 year after judicial separation decree
  • Court documents granting judicial separation
  • Evidence that conjugal rights were not restored within 1 year

Presumed Death

  • Proof of address for each spouse
  • Certificate of marriage and wedding pictures
  • Proof that the spouse has been gone for seven years
  • Insights into the last residence
  • Proof that an effort was made to find the missing spouse


The grounds for divorce rely heavily on supporting documentation and evidence that is carefully evaluated before granting the divorce. Consulting an experienced divorce lawyer is advisable to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all paperwork required to file for divorce in India. Their legal expertise can make the process much smoother.

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