Asked September 08, 2016

Grounds for divorce

  • 1 Answer

I got married in November 2015 to a guy who lives with his parents After marriage, I came to know that he has a loose character, drinks and smokes a lot, stays out at night even after marriage and lied about his business as well. His parents are greedy and shrewd and want money from my parents and my complete salary. His sister lives in USA and sends them money and has full control over all family decisions. She supports all the wrong doings. In such a light, I have decided to end this relationship as I was mentally tortured and i am scared they may physically harass as well. There have been instances where I could feel that he might slap me. My father in law is a drunkard and a loose character and my mother in law supports him. Please guide me on what ground i can seek a divorce. I am scared they might cook up some stories in the court as well and play dirty games.

Answer 1

If you have registered your marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, then these are the grounds for divorce under Section 13:





5-Unsoundness of mind


7-Virulent and incurable leprosy

8-Venereal disease in communicable form

9-Entering new religious order

10-Presumption of death


If you have registered yourself under the Special Marriage Act, then these are the grounds under section 27:

1-voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse

2-deserted for a period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition

3-undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for seven years or more for an offence as defined in the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860); or

4- Has, since the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty; or

5-Has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind, and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.


Alternatively, Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 provides for divorce by mutual consent. The Period of separation is 1 year. However, conditions required are:

(i) Husband and wife have been living separately for a period of one year or more,

(ii) That they are unable to live together,

(iii) And that both husband and wife have mutually agreed that the marriage has totally collapsed, Hence marriage should be dissolved.


Similarly, Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 provides for divorce by mutual consent.


In your case, Mental Cruelty could be take up as a ground. The Court has held[1], “Mental cruelty in S.13(l)(ia) can be broadly defined as the conduct which inflicts upon the other party such mental pain and suffering as would make it not possible for that party to live with the other. In other words, mental cruelty must be of such a nature that the parties cannot reasonably be expected to live together. The situation must be such that you cannot reasonably be asked to put up with him. It is not necessary to prove that the mental cruelty is such as to cause injury to your health.”

While deciding, courts look at all relevant facts and circumstances. Cruelty in one case may not amount to cruelty in another case. 

There are numerous cases and judgments on Mental Cruelty which might be of help to you. Some of them are:

V. Bhagat vs D. Bhagat (

Savitri Devi vs Ramesh Chand And Ors (

Samar Ghosh v. Jaya Ghosh (

Savitri Pandey vs. Prem Chandra Pandey (

Naveen Kohli v. Neelu Kohli (Mental cruelty may consist of verbal abuses and insults by using filthy and abusive language leading to constant disturbance of mental peace of the other party.



Be armed with all evidence. Note that audio, video recordings, mobile recordings are admissible as evidence.




[1] V. Bhagat vs D. Bhagat, 1994 AIR 710

Agree Comment 0 Agrees about 5 years ago

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