Divorce is often a messy process, where both parties have to deal with repressed emotions that may cause harm to themself as well as the other party. In some cases, one party might refuse to accept the divorce entirely. In this case, the divorce would be known as a “contested divorce”. If husband denies to give divorce, this would come under the category of “contested divorce”. In such cases, like if husband denies to give divorce, it is best to consult a divorce lawyer as the process of resolving a contested divorce can be very complicated.
What to do if husband denies to give divorce?
Before a divorce petition is officially filed, couples often discuss the possibility of divorce between themselves. This is when the couple can voice their concerns and discuss possible solutions. If husband denies to give divorce, the wife can take the following steps in this order:
- Meet with an attorney: Meeting an attorney to get advice regarding the divorce proceedings is an important first step. If husband denies to give divorce, the wife must talk to an attorney to understand what options are available for the future.
- Filing divorce petition: If husband denies to give divorce, and the attorney recommends going ahead with a contested divorce, the wife may ask the attorney to file a divorce petition and file it in the relevant court. A divorce petition can be filed even if husband denies to give divorce.
- Court appearances and reconciliation attempts: If the husband denies to give divorce, and a divorce petition is filed, the parties must appear in a courtroom before a judge. If the court determines that reconciliation is possible, they will attempt to pursue a line of action that avoids a divorce. Therefore, if husband denies to give divorce, the court may try to accommodate this desire.
- Response from the husband: If husband denies to give divorce, they would have reasons in their mind for why the divorce should not happen. The husband must respond to the allegations in the divorce petition and show that divorce is not necessary.
- Evidence: Both parties have to give evidence to substantiate their claims. If husband denies to give divorce, he will have to show evidence for why the divorce is not necessary. Similarly, the wife would also have to substantiate her reasons for the divorce. This is to prevent false allegations being used as the basis for deciding against either party.
- Trial: The parties will appear before a judge and present witnesses to prove their claims. After the trial ends, the judge will pass an order as to whether the divorce would be permitted or not. If the judge decides in favour of the wife, the divorce will be granted regardless of if husband denies to give divorce.
- Appeal: If husband denies to give divorce, and one party feels that the judgement was incorrect, the decision can be appealed to arrive at a different verdict.
Grounds for filing for divorce
The laws concerning divorce in India, specifically the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act of 1939, Indian Divorce Act of 1869, Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act of 1936 and Special Marriage Act of 1954, describe the grounds under which a divorce petition may be filed. These are as follows:
- Cruelty: Although the term “cruelty” has not been defined in any of the aforementioned laws, it has been interpreted to mean abuse in physical, mental, direct and indirect contexts. If one spouse is subjecting the other to cruelty, the spouse being subjected to cruelty can file for divorce under the grounds of cruelty.
- Desertion: If one spouse abandons the other without reasonable cause for a period of longer than 2 years, the other spouse may file for divorce due to desertion. Mental desertion has also been used as a valid ground for divorce, where one spouse refrained from abiding by the mental obligations of marriage while residing under the same roof.
- Adultery: If one of the spouses has voluntary sexual intercourse with another person, the aggrieved spouse may file for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
- Conversion: The conversion of one spouse from one religion to another has also been seen as a valid ground for divorce. However, the spouse that has participated in the conversion cannot file for divorce on this basis. For instance, if husband denies to give divorce when he is the person who has converted his religion, he would not have any legal standing for his denial.
- Grave mental disorder: If one of the spouses has a grave mental disorder, one that is incurable and severe, the other spouse may file for a divorce. However, if husband denies to give divorce and claims that he does not have such a disorder, he must be able to prove its absence.
Other grounds, such as impotence and husband’s imprisonment have also been accepted as valid reasons for divorce. There is no conclusive list of reasons for which divorce is allowed, and each situation would have to be viewed in its own unique context to determine whether divorce is possible.
Difference between a mutual and contested divorce
- A mutual divorce is one where both spouses agree to the divorce. In such a situation, the relevant proceedings would be relatively simpler as both spouses would have a general idea of what the terms of the divorce would be.
- A contested divorce is more complex, and it occurs when one party opposes the divorce, such as if husband denies to give divorce. In such a case, judicial intervention is required to solve the issue. One party cannot unilaterally dissolve the marriage without a judge’s consent.
If husband denies to give divorce, the divorce process becomes much more complex and involves many legal intricacies. Therefore, if husband denies to give divorce, it is highly recommended to consult a divorce lawyer to ensure that all the proper formalities are being followed. Even if husband denies to give divorce, the wife can still escape the marriage with the help of a competent attorney.