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What is one sided divorce in India?

Can You Get a Divorce If Only One Partner Wants It? - Fine & Associates

A one sided divorce in India, also known as a contested divorce, takes place when one spouse files for divorce while the other contests it. Unlike a mutual consent divorce where both spouses agree to separate, a one sided divorce in India is sought by one party without the consent of the other.

Grounds for one sided divorce in India

There are several grounds on which one can file for a one sided divorce in India:


If a spouse has an extramarital affair, it constitutes adultery. For example, if the husband is discovered to be having an affair with a colleague, the wife can cite adultery as grounds for a one sided divorce in India.


Subjecting a spouse to physical violence, verbal abuse, emotional trauma or any other form of cruelty can be cited while filing for a one sided divorce in India. For instance, making threats, false accusations of infidelity, controlling behavior, and domestic violence are considered mental cruelty.


If one spouse abandons the other for over two continuous years without reasonable cause, the deserted partner can get a one sided divorce in India on grounds of desertion.


If either the husband or wife converts to another religion, the other spouse can use it as grounds for a one sided divorce in India if the religious differences pose difficulties in continuing the marriage.

Mental illness

Incurable mental illness or disorder of one spouse allows the other spouse to seek one sided divorce in India. For example, if the wife is diagnosed with schizophrenia making it difficult for the husband to live with her, he can file for divorce.

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Presumption of death

If one spouse has disappeared for over seven years and is presumed dead as per Indian law, the other spouse can obtain a one sided divorce in India.

Procedure for one sided divorce in India

To file for a contested divorce, one must:

  • Hire a divorce lawyer to file the divorce petition on specified grounds
  • The petition is served to the spouse, who can file a dispute
  • If mutual settlement is not reached, arguments take place in court
  • Evidence like photographs, recordings, and witnesses are presented to prove claims
  • The judge considers merits of the case and grants a divorce decree

The entire process usually takes 3-5 years to complete in case of a one sided divorce in India.

Rights after one sided divorce in India

After obtaining divorce through a one sided procedure in India, both spouses have the right to remarry or enter a live-in relationship if they wish to. Issues like child custody, alimony etc. are decided by the court for one sided divorces.


A one sided divorce in India is an option when one spouse refuses to mutually consent to separation. By proving valid legal grounds before court, divorce can be obtained despite objection from the other spouse. Though lengthier than mutual divorce, it provides legal remedy to terminate marriage.

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