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The provision related to the concept of divorce was introduced by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The Hindu Marriage Act defines divorce as a dissolution of the marriage. For the interest of the society, the marriage or the marital relationship needs to be surrounded by every safeguard for the cause specified by law. Divorce is permitted only for a grave reason.

The main object of the Family Courts is to settle matrimonial disputes speedily by adopting simplified procedure. All matrimonial disputes enumerated in the explanation to Section 7 (1) of the Act and also cases relating to Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code are tried in the Family Court. This act is aimed at providing speedy and effective settlement of all types of matrimonial disputes under one roof, to all sections of people irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

Section 19 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (HMA) deals with territorial jurisdiction of Petitions filed under the Act. Court to which petition shall be presented: Sec. 19 of HM Act.

Every petition under this Act shall be presented to the district Court within the local limits of whose ordinary original civil


(i) the marriage was solemnized, or

(ii) the respondent, at the time of the presentation of the petition, resides, or

(iii) the parties to the marriage last resided together, or

(iii a) in case the wife is the petitioner, where she is residing on the date of presentation of the petition, or

(iv) the petitioner is residing at the time of the presentation of the petition, in a case where the respondent is, at that time, residing outside the territories to which this Act extends, or has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of him if he were alive.

Section 19 provides 5 options. It enables the parties to file the Divorce Petitions under any one of them as per their convenience.

There is an advantage given to a Wife if she institutes a Divorce Petition. In case, the Petition is to be filed by the Wife, then Clause (ii) of Section 19 would not be applicable to her. Clause (iiia) of Section 19 states that in case the Petitioner is the wife, she can file the Petition where she is presently residing.

Clause (iv) of Section 19 provides an option to a Husband or Wife to file a Petition against the other in case the other spouse is either beyond the jurisdiction of Indian Courts or has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of him, if he were alive, i.e., his relatives and friends. This provision is important to safeguard the liberty of a spouse who has been deserted, under the conditions mentioned above, by the other and wants to breakfree from the legal bondage of marriage.

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 provides for 2 ways to obtain divorce from the spouse.

1. Contested divorce under section 13 of the act.

2. Mutual consent Divorce under section 13B of the act.

Grounds of Divorce as per the Hindu Marriage Act

Adultery, Cruelty, Desertion, Conversion, Unsoundness of mind, Schizophrenia, Leprosy, Venereal disease, renunciation, entering new religious order, Presumption of death, non compliance with a decree of Judicial separation, non compliance with a decree of Restitution Conjugal Rights.

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