Getting divorced is a very unpleasant experience for any woman to go through. But if a woman is facing severe hardships in her marriage, then filing for a divorce is often the only option.

Our author, Nancy Katyal, met up with Narinder Chaudhary (Advocate) to understand how a woman can tackle the divorce procedure. He revealed the basic principles governing the divorce law and amenities available to women if she is subjected to physical, mental cruelty and financial constraints by her husband and in-laws.

How to get a divorce in India?

There are different divorce laws for different religions. The divorce can be obtained in two ways:

1. Mutual Consent: Husband and wife can file a joint petition that all efforts to live happily together have failed and there is no option left but to file a joint petition for seeking divorce by mutual consent.

2. Contested Divorce: When either husband or wife is not willing to divorce by mutual consent then they can file for a contested divorce.

How long does it take to get divorced?

If it’s a divorce by mutual consent, it may take 6 months and can be reduced to 2 months (only in exceptional cases), whereas in the contested divorce there is no specified limitation of time.

If a woman is having financial constraints, can any financial support be provided?

Yes, the woman can apply for legal aid and can get financial assistance by the state (where the women is residing).

Can the woman claim any relief during the tendency of the petition of the divorce?

Yes, she can claim interim maintenance i.e. monthly expenses for her basic needs. She is also entitled to litigation (legal fee) charges during the tendency of the case.

What are the reliefs a woman can claim from her husband?

The woman can claim for the following:

1. She can claim maintenance and medical expenses.

2. If the husband is earning more than the wife, she can even then claim expenses to maintain her status which she was enjoying earlier, while staying with her husband.

3. She can claim for accommodation in the same house independently. If that is not possible then she can claim for rent for the rental accommodation.

4. If the dowry articles are not returned, then the woman can file petition and get a case registered against her husband and other family members, to stop cruelty under section 498A and 406 of Indian Penal Code.

Please Note: -This interview gives you a precise view of the basic principles governing the divorce law and maintenance; however the relief depends upon the facts, circumstances and financial status of the parties, which vary from case to case.