How can NRI get Divorce without Mutual Consent in India

In India, marriages are sacred, a bond of a lifetime. But not all marriages are meant for the lifetime, some break midway. There comes a time, in some relationships where it becomes evident that salvaging is not possible and the only solution left is the Divorce. With a lot of Indian parents marrying off their daughters to NRI in hope of a better and fulfilling future learn this the hard way. The divorce rate among NRI due to fraud and cheating are alarming. But in this article, we will not talk about the increasing cases of cheating, but how can NRI get a divorce without mutual consent in India.

Marriages in India are governed by the personal laws of the respective religions and so will be the divorces. NRI couple can get a divorce in two ways:

  1. They can file for divorce in India
  2. They can file for divorce in the country of their residence.

Divorce with mutual consent doesn’t pose much problem to any of the spouse, but trouble arises when one partner is not willing to end the marriage for whatever reason it may be. To get a divorce where the other partner is not willing or present, a divorce petition has to be filed in the family court. It is called the contested Divorce.

Where to File for Divorce

The NRI couple can file for the divorce in the family court under whose jurisdiction the place of their marriage falls. Or they can file it in the place of their last residence.

Reason for Divorce

As stated before, Divorce proceedings will be governed by the respective personal law under which the marriage is registered. The law provides various grounds on which a spouse can demand the divorce. These are:

  1. On the grounds of Cruelty, physical or mental
  2. On the grounds of adultery, and
  3. On the grounds of desertion.
  4. On the grounds of serious illness that is incurable
  5. On the grounds of unsoundness of mind, and more

These reasons prescribed in the personal law are applicable to the NRI seeking the divorce, just like a residing citizen.

Stay in India during Divorce Proceedings

It is often the first question that comes to the bond of NRI filing for divorce. They are often worried about their job and other commitments. Then it should come as a relief that there is no need for the NRI to stay back in India for the entire procedure of Divorce. They can authorise another person by granting him/her a special Power of Attorney after appearing for the presentation of the complaint. But it is required that they are present in person to give the evidence.

Getting divorced in the country of residence

A NRI can choose to get the divorce in the country of residence, but it must be a mutual consent divorce. The Indian legal system does not accept the Ex parte divorce orders. Ex-parte divorce refers to the divorce where only one spouse participates. The NRI can apply for divorce according to the laws prevalent in the country of residence, and then seek a declaration to get the divorce judgment valid in India.