How to File a Divorce In India?

How to File a Divorce In India?

The decision to file for divorce is undoubtedly a difficult one, but when it becomes inevitable, understanding the legal process is crucial. In India, divorce proceedings can be complex, and many individuals are left wondering where to start. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the steps involved in filing for divorce in India, the associated costs, and whether you can do it without a lawyer.

How to File Divorce in India

  1. Grounds For Divorce
  2. Jurisdiction
  3. Drafting the Petition

Step 1: Grounds for Divorce

Before filing for divorce in India, it's important to establish valid legal grounds for divorce in india. Indian law recognizes various grounds, including:

  1. Adultery: If your spouse engages in an extramarital affair.
  2. Cruelty: If your spouse treats you with physical or mental cruelty.
  3. Desertion: If your spouse has abandoned you for a continuous period.
  4. Conversion: If your spouse has changed their religion.
  5. Mental Disorder: If your spouse suffers from a mental disorder that affects your marital life.
  6. Incurable Diseases: If your spouse suffers from a communicable and incurable disease.
  7. Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage: A 'no-fault' ground, where both parties agree that the marriage has broken down beyond repair.

Step 2: Jurisdiction

Determining the appropriate court to file your divorce petition is crucial. It depends on the location of your marriage and where you or your spouse currently reside. Generally, you can file for divorce in:

  • The place where you got married.
  • Where you and your spouse last resided together.
  • Where your spouse currently resides.

Step 3: Drafting the Petition

To initiate the divorce process, you'll need to draft a divorce petition. You can either consult a lawyer or draft it yourself. The petition should include:

  • Details of both spouses.
  • Grounds for divorce.
  • Specifics regarding property, child custody, and alimony (if applicable).

Divorce Filling Application PDF Format:


How Much Will It Cost to File a Divorce in India?

The cost of filing for divorce in India can vary significantly. Here are some expenses to consider:

  1. Court Fees: The filing fee for a divorce petition can range from a few hundred to a few thousand rupees, depending on the court's jurisdiction.

  2. Lawyer's Fees: If you choose to hire a lawyer, their fees can vary widely based on their experience and location. Expect legal fees to be a significant part of your expenses.

  3. Miscellaneous Costs: These may include expenses for summons, notices, and travel if the court is located in a different city.

  4. Alimony and Property Division: If you and your spouse cannot agree on these matters and require court intervention, legal fees can increase.

Remember that costs can escalate if the divorce is contentious and drags on for an extended period.

Can I File a Divorce Without a Lawyer in India?

Yes, you can file for divorce in India without a lawyer, but it's not recommended unless your case is straightforward and uncontested. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Research: Familiarize yourself with the divorce laws in your jurisdiction. Various online resources and government websites can provide guidance.

  2. Prepare the Documents: Draft the divorce petition and any related documents carefully. Ensure they comply with legal requirements.

  3. File the Petition: Submit your petition to the appropriate family court.

  4. Attend Court Proceedings: You will be required to attend court hearings and present your case.

While it's possible to file for divorce without a lawyer, having legal counsel can provide valuable guidance, especially in complex cases or when disputes arise.


Filing for divorce in India involves several legal and procedural steps. Understanding the grounds, jurisdiction, costs, and the option of proceeding without a lawyer is essential. It's advisable to consult with a qualified attorney to navigate the complexities of divorce proceedings successfully. Remember, the emotional toll of divorce can be overwhelming, so seek emotional support from friends, family, or counselors to help you through this challenging time.

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