Format: Affidavit of Assets and Liabilities for Non-Agrarian Deponents

Affidavit Format for Assets and Liabilities for Non-Agrarian Deponents – Domestic Violence (DV) and Maintenance Case

I _______________, d/o or s/o _______________,aged about_______________ years, resident of _______________, do hereby solemnly affirm and declare as under:

A – Personal Information

  1. Name:
  2. Age/Sex:
  3. Qualifications (Educational and Professional):
  4. Whether the Applicant is staying in the matrimonial house / parental home / separate residence. Please provide the current residential address of matrimonial home or place of residence and details of ownership of the residence, if owned by other family members.
  5. Date of marriage:
  6. Date of separation:
  7. General monthly expenses of the Applicant (rent, household expenses, medical bills, transportation, etc.):

B – Details of Legal Proceedings and Maintenance being paid

  1. Particulars of any ongoing or past legal proceedings with respect to maintenance or child support between the Applicant and Non-Applicant.
  2. Whether any maintenance has been awarded in any proceeding arising under the D.V. Act, Cr.P.C., HMA, HAMA, etc.? If yes, provide details of the quantum of maintenance awarded in the proceedings.
  3. If so, provide particulars thereof, along with a copy of the Order/s passed.
  4. Whether the Order of maintenance passed in earlier proceedings has been complied with. If not, arrears of maintenance.
  5. Whether any voluntary contribution towards maintenance has been made/ will be made in the future? If yes, provide details of the same.

C – Details of dependant family members

  1. Details of Dependant family members, if any. Relationship with dependants: Age and sex of dependant/s:
  2. Disclose if any independent source/s of income of the dependants, including interest income, assets, pension, the tax liability on any such income and any other relevant details.
  3. The approximate expenses incurred on account of the dependant.

D – Medical details if any, of the Deponent and/or dependant family members

  1. Whether either party or child /children is suffering from any physical/mental disability or any other serious ailment. If yes, produce medical records.
  2. Whether any dependant family member has a serious disability, requiring continuous medical expenditure. If yes, produce disability certificate and approximate medical expenditure incurred on such medical treatment.
  3. Whether either party or child/children or any other dependent family member is suffering from life-threatening diseases, which would entail expensive and regular medical expenditure? If yes, provide details of the same along with the summary of previous details of hospitalization /medical expenses incurred.

E – Details of Children of the parties

  1. Number of children from the existing marriage / marital relationship/ previous marriage
  2. Name and age of children
  3. Details of the parent who has custody of the children.
  4. Expenditure for maintenance of dependant children. Towards food, clothing and medical expenses Towards expenses for education, and a summary of general expenses Towards expenses, if any, of any extra educational, vocational or professional/educational course, specialised training or special skills programme of dependent children. Details of any loan, mortgage, charge incurred or instalment plan (being paid or payable), if any, on account of any educational expenses of children.
  5. Whether any voluntary contribution by either of the parties is being made towards these educational expenses. If yes, provide details of the same. Also, provide an estimate of any additional contribution that may be required.
  6. Whether any financial support is being provided by a third party for the educational expenses of the children?

F – Details of Income of the Deponent

  1. Name of employer:
  2. Designation:
  3. Monthly income:
  4. If engaged in Government Service, furnish latest Salary Certificates or current Pay Slips or proof of deposit in the bank account, if being remitted directly by the employer.
  5. If engaged in the private sector, furnish a certificate provided by the employer stating the designation and gross monthly income of such person, and Form 16 for the relevant period of current employment.
  6. If any perquisites, benefits, house rent allowance, travel allowance, dearness allowance or any other service benefit is being provided by the employer during the course of current employment.
  7. Whether assessed to income tax? If yes, submit copies of the Income Tax Returns for the periods given below: One year prior to marriage One year prior to separation At the time when the Application for maintenance is filed
  8. Income from other sources, such as rent, interest, shares, dividends, capital gains, FDRs, Post office deposits, mutual funds, stocks, debentures, agriculture, or business, if any, along with TDS in respect of any such income.
  9. Furnish copies of Bank Statement of all accounts for the last 3 years.

G – Assets (movable and immovable) owned by the Deponent

  1. The self-acquired property, if any:
  2. Properties jointly owned by the parties after marriage:
  3. Share in any ancestral property:
  4. Other joint properties of the parties (accounts/ investments/ FDR/ mutual funds, stocks, debentures etc.), their value and status of possession:
  5. Status of possession of immovable property and details of rent, if leased:
  6. Details of loans taken or given by the Deponent
  7. Brief description of jewellery and ornaments of parties acquired during /after marriage
  8. Details of transfer deeds or transactions of alienation of properties previously owned by the applicant, executed during the subsistence of the marriage. Also provide brief reasons for such sale or transaction, if any.

H – Details of Liabilities of the Deponent

  1. Loans, liabilities, mortgage, or charge outstanding against the Deponent, if any.
  2. Details of any EMIs being paid.
  3. Date and purpose of taking a loan or incurring any such liability:
  4. The actual amount borrowed if any, and the amount paid up to date of filing the Affidavit:
  5. Any other information which would be relevant to describe current liabilities of the Deponent.

I – Self-employed persons / Professionals / Business Persons / Entrepreneur

  1. Brief description of the nature of business/profession/vocation/self-employed/work activity.
  2. Whether the business/profession/ self-employment is carried on as an individual, sole proprietorship concern, partnership concern, LLP, company or association of persons, HUF, joint family business or any other form? Give particulars of Applicant’s share in the partnership/business/professional association/self-employment. In case of a partnership, specify the share in the profit/losses of the partnership.
  3. Net Income from the business/profession/ partnership/self-employment.
  4. Business/partnership/self-employment liabilities, if any, in case of such activity.
  5. In the case of business of the company, provide brief details of the last audited balance sheet to indicate profit and loss of the company in which such party is in business in the company.
  6. In case of a partnership firm, provide details of the filings of the last Income Tax Return of partnership.
  7. In case of a self-employed individual, provide the filings of the last Income Tax Return from any such professional/business/vocational activity.

J – Information provided by the Deponent with respect to the income, assets and liabilities of the other Spouse

  1. Educational and professional qualifications of the other spouse:
  2. Whether the spouse is earning? If so, give particulars of the occupation and income of the spouse.
  3. If not, whether he/she is staying in his/her own accommodation, or in rented accommodation or in accommodation provided by employer/business/partnership?
  4. Particulars of assets and liabilities of the spouse as known to the deponent, along with any supporting documents.

K – Details of Applicant or the other Spouse, in case parties are Non-Resident Indians, Overseas Citizens of India, Foreign Nationals or Persons living abroad outside India.

  1. Details of Citizenship, Nationality and current place of residence, if the Applicant or other spouse is residing abroad outside India, temporarily or permanently.
  2. Details of current employment and latest income in foreign currency of such applicant/spouse, duly supported by relevant documentation of employment and income from such foreign employer or overseas institution by way of employment letter or testimonial from the foreign employer or overseas institution or latest relevant bank statement.
  3. Details of household and other expenditure of such applicant/spouse in the foreign jurisdiction.
  4. Details of tax liability of applicant/other spouse in the foreign jurisdiction.
  5. Details of income of applicant/other spouse from other sources in India/foreign jurisdiction.
  6. Details of expenses incurred or contribution made on account of spousal maintenance, child support or any other educational expenses, medical treatment of spouse or children.
  7. Any other relevant detail of expenses or liabilities, not covered under any of the above headings and any other liabilities to any other dependant family members in India or abroad.

Declaration

  1. I declare that I have made full and accurate disclosure of my income, expenditure, assets and liabilities from all sources. I further declare that I have no assets, income, expenditure and liabilities other than as stated in this affidavit.
  2. I undertake to inform this Court immediately with respect to any material change in my employment, assets, income, expenses or any other information included in this affidavit.
  3. I understand that any false statement in this affidavit, apart from being contempt of Court, may also constitute an offence under Section 199 read with Sections 191 and 193 of the Indian Penal Code punishable with imprisonment up to seven years and fine, and Section 209 of Indian Penal Code punishable with imprisonment up to two years and fine. I have read and understood Sections 191, 193, 199 and 209 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

DEPONENT

Verification

Verified at _______________ on this _______________ day of _______________ that the contents of the above affidavit are true to my personal knowledge, no part of it is false and nothing material has been concealed therefrom, whereas the contents of the above affidavit relating to the assets, income and expenditure of my spouse are based on information believed to be true on the basis of the record. I further verify that the copies of the documents filed along with the affidavit are the copies of the originals.

DEPONENT

Is There Any Way To Quicken The Divorce Process?

The answer depends on whether it is by contest or mutual.

Contested divorce, like any other court proceeding, involves multiple stakeholders and multiple stages to reach its finality. Getting a final divorce decree may take from a year to 5+ years, depending on factors such as grounds on which you are seeking the divorce; evidences led by the parties; timely (or untimely) appearances of the parties; number of interim applications; and of course, the burden and availability of the court’s time with existing stacks of cases.

However, on the other hand, divorce by mutual consent has a more definite time frame, and the entire procedure is likely to be settled within a period of six months, including the first motion, cooling-off period, mediation, and second motion, after which the decree for a mutual divorce is passed by the court. As per the Hon’ble Apex court judgement, cooling-off period is no longer mandatory but discretionary. And it can be waived off by presenting a waiver application and the court decides, based on its merits, to allow or not.

Where Can I Apply For My Divorce In India?

The parties are staying in Hyderabad, but their marriage is registered in Bangalore. Can they apply in the Bangalore court? Or let’s say that the marriage happened in Hyderabad, but one of the parties is residing in Bangalore. Can that person apply for divorce in Bangalore court?

The parties can file for a divorce before a court where the marriage was registered. For example, Bangalore. They can also file for a divorce before a court where the wife resides, even if the marriage was not solemnised there. Determining the right jurisdiction is the vital first step in proceeding with a case.

As per the Indian legal system, a person can file a petition seeking a divorce under the jurisdiction of the following three courts:

  • The court located at the place where the couple lived together last
  • The court located at the place where the marriage was registered or solemnised
  • The court located at the place of the wife’s residence.

Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

Section 19 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, lays down the courts to which the divorce petition shall be presented. It also allows for the petitioner to file a petition in a district court of his/her own place of residence if the respondent, at the time of filing the petition, is residing outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts, or has been presumed to be dead as he/she has not been heard from for a period of at least 7 years, in order to protect spouses from legal obligations of marital bonds, in the case of desertion.

Special Marriage Act, 1954

The Special Marriage Act of 1954 is a legislation that recognises and deals with marriages that are inter-caste or inter-religion, unlike the Hindu Marriage Act which deals solely with Hindu weddings, or Islamic law which deals with Islamic marriages. The Special Marriage Act allows for couples belonging to different religions, to get married without having to convert to the spouse’s religion.

The fundamental condition to register one’s marriage under the Special Marriage Act is the consent of both parties to get married to each other. A notice must be submitted to the Marriage Registrar of the district, stating the parties’ intention to get married. Once this notice has been received by the Registrar, he/she shall publish a thirty-day public notice in order to allow for any objections to be raised, pertaining to non-fulfilment of the eligibility criteria as enumerated in Section 4 of the Act.

Where should I file my divorce case?

Example: The parties are staying in Hyderabad, but their marriage is registered in Bangalore. Where should the divorce case to be filed – in Bangalore or Hyderabad?

Yes, the parties can file for a divorce before a court where the marriage was registered i.e, Bangalore. They can also file for a divorce before a court where the wife resides, even if the marriage was not solemnised there. As per the Indian legal system, a person can file a petition seeking a divorce under the jurisdiction of the following three courts:

  • The court located at the place where the couple lived together last
  • The court located at the place where the marriage was registered or solemnised
  • The court located at the place of the wife’s residence.

Section 19 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, lays down the courts to which the divorce petition shall be presented. It also allows for the petitioner to file a petition in a district court of his/her own place of residence if the respondent, at the time of filing the petition, is residing outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts, or has been presumed to be dead as he/she has not been heard from for a period of at least 7 years, in order to protect spouses from legal obligations of marital bonds, in the case of desertion.

Relief for the woman if the husband is gay

The principle legal documents that regulate marriages in India are The Special Marriage Act of 1954 1 and the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. 2 The latter as the name suggests deals in specific with marriages compliant under Hindu customs. Hence both establish grounds for making marriages legal and also the procedures required to dissolve one.

The question this article aims to address is, however, more specific in nature, that being the reliefs available to a wife who has discovered that the husband is homosexual after the completion of their marriage. While homosexuality laws have become more liberal in recent years, the legal injury aspect of a woman with a homosexual husband remains intact, and relief or justice deliverance becomes essential.

Legal Context of the Issue

While there exist no specific provisions of law to address the said issue, there exist certain provisions in the Hindu Marriages Act, 1955 that are of broad nature and is hence applicable to issues like this. Section 13 of the Hindu Marriages Act deals with “cruelty” as a ground for divorce. It further includes sub-factors such as mental torture, physical cruelty, desertion, non-co-operation etc.

Hence, a persisting conduct of the husband that causes severe disturbance or annoyance to the wife becomes valid grounds for dissolving a marriage and for claiming relief. Syllogistically, a homosexual man will always have certain behavioural traits that will inevitably cause injury to the wife. This includes constant denial of intercourse or lack of trust without any appropriate reason.

Case Law Findings

In the case of Samar Ghosh vs. Jaya Ghosh (2007) 4 SCC 511, 3 a bench of three judges laid down some ground rules for constituting mental cruelty. Some of the relevant findings include –

  1. Acute mental disturbances, suffering and agony that makes it impossible for the married parties to live together qualifies as grounds for mental cruelty.
  2. Mere coldness or lack of affection in itself can’t be grounds for cruelty but constant rudeness and attacks that affect a party to the point of being intolerable qualifies as grounds for cruelty.
  3. The conduct of the guilty party must be more than simple selfishness, rudeness or jealousy and simply causing emotional disturbance cannot solely be considered as a ground for granting a divorce.
  4. While considering the petition for divorce, the married life of the parties is to be reviewed as a whole and the decision of the court should not be based on few isolated incidents, as only prolonged and consistent wrongdoings will be considered as cruelty.
  5. If any of the parties undertake certain medical procedures without adequate medical reason such as a wife’s abortion or a husband’s operation without the consent of the spouse it can in some cases qualify as cruelty
  6. A unilateral decision of declining to undertake intercourse for prolonged periods of time without any adequate or sufficient reason may amount to mental cruelty.

The sixth condition in the list is what in legal grounds can be used as a relief mechanism for a wife who has discovered that her husband is gay post marriage.

In current Indian matrimonial legislation, there exists no direct reliefs or tenets of law to protect wives who have been deceived of their husband’s sexual orientation at the time of marriage. However, existing legal provisions in the Hindu Marriage Act provide some relief to address the issue and ensure a fair divorce is granted.

Hence, it is expected that future amendments to the Act will probably incorporate the current inadequacy of such circumstances being addressed and ensure it is not just applicable to the Hindu Marriage Act but also the Special Marriage Act to ensure that justice is delivered irrespective of religion.

Mental torture & Cruelty as a ground for divorce with case laws

Matrimonial matters are embodiments of delicate human and emotional relationship. It is built with mutual regard, respect and trust of both spouses. Naturally, relations like these are bound to comply with social and cultural norms as well. This is where the matrimonial law comes into play in the form of acts, statutes and other regulators of social norms.

The breakdown of the said mutual regard, trust and respect evidently results in divorce. However, the aim of this study is not only to look into the legislation surrounding divorce but to specifically target cruelty and mental torture as the core reason resulting in divorce.

Cruelty as a ground for Divorce

To understand cruelty as a reason causing the breakdown of a marriage, it is necessary to understand the term “cruelty” in itself. This is important as every matrimonial misconduct that causes physical or mental annoyance might not amount to “cruelty” in legal terms. Minor or trivial disputes that cause irritation such as quarrels hence might not always amount to cruelty. Generally, only those acts which are capable of severe mental or physical trauma are considered “cruelty”.

What amounts to “cruelty”

For an act to amount to “cruelty” it must be highly severe or grave nature, so much so that it is not possible for the aggrieved party to reasonably live with their spouse in a dignified manner. It is definitely difficult to lay down a specific or exact legal definition regarding terms like these, and hence in many matrimonial cases, it is often left up to the conscience of the court handling the matter to decide the severity of the perpetrator’s actions.

Existing Legal Provisions

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, 1 under Section – 13(1) has provided for divorce on the grounds of cruelty. The original text runs as follows –

“Any marriage solemnized, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, may, on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife, be dissolved by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party has, after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioners with cruelty” 2

Hence, on the basis of this section, it can be concluded to an extent that this section lays down the legal foundation or basis for any individual who is being subject to cruelty, both physical or mental has the authority to approach a relevant court for remedy.

Similar Grounds for Divorce

Apart from cruelty itself, there are other similar grounds for which divorce might be filed for. These include adultery, desertion, conversion, conversion or unsoundness of mind. There are also certain grounds laid down specifically for women to file for divorce. This includes husband having more than one wife, marriage before fifteen years of age or marriage by force.

Extracts of Relevant Case Laws

Naveen Kohli vs Neelu Kohli (AIR 2004 All 1)

Facts – The petitioner, Naveen Kohli got married to Neelu Kohli on 20th November 1975. Three sons were born out of the wedding of the parties. As per the petitioner, the defendant was bad tempered and was often guilty of extremely rude behaviour with the petitioner and his family and relatives. With pieces of evidence also being available of alleged adultery and misappropriation of personal funds, the defendant moved out of the common home to live in separate rented quarters.

The course of Judgment – The initial Trial Court ruled in favour of the petitioner and even attempted to make arrangements to get the defendant arrested. The defendant, however, further appealed in the High Court where a judgement was passed in the light that the behaviour of the defendant might amount to misconduct but not “cruelty”, hence dismissing the suit.

The husband finally took the case to the Supreme Court, where the court interpreted Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 to suit the plight of the petitioner. The explanation lay in the fact that physical damage was not required to constitute “cruelty”, and the fact that the petitioner had already undergone severe mental agony, was adequate for the marriage to be dissolved.

Yudhishtir Singh vs Smt. Sarita (AIR 2002 Raj. 382)

Facts – The marriage between the two parties took place on 9th December 1990. One year into the marriage, the wife – Sarita, had filed a restitution of her matrimonial rights in a local court on the grounds of temporary desertion and misbehaviour regarding dowry money and assets. Even when the wife went back to her parent’s home, there was no concern shown by the husband. There was a rude behaviour when she attempted to go back to the in-law’s house.


The husband denied any allegations of behaviour and filed for divorce on the grounds of “cruelty” of the wife. Reasons listed for the divorce included misbehaviour, non-co-operation with family members, lack of intent to return from parent’s home and even the wife threatening the petitioner (the husband) with a divorce suit.

The course of Judgement – The court found the statement of the husband to be incomplete and unfounded in nature. The evidence of the so-called “cruelty” provided by the petitioner, such as non-co-operation or minor misbehaviour was not deemed to be severe enough to constitute cruelty. The court also found evidence of the husband’s misbehaviour regarding dowry demands and desertion of the wife, which resulted in the case filed by the husband being dismissed.

Historically, there have been very few laws that have addressed divorce on the grounds of cruelty or mental torture in India. The Hindu Marriages Act is the only exception that fills the void to some extent. The existing case laws delineate the fact that for “cruelty” to be established as a ground for divorce, the magnitude of the same is a crucial determinant to whether a case shall be successful or not. It also highlights the rights of all individuals to seek redressal if their marital lives are genuinely disrupted due to cruelty.

References

1. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 – Act No. 25 of 1955

2. Original Text of Section 13 (1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

3. Naveen Kohli vs Neelu Kohli – Case No: Civil Appeal 812 of 2004

4. Yudhishter Singh vs Smt. Sarita on 22 April 2002 – Bench: N Marthur and D Joshi

Why You Really Need A Divorce Lawyer?

Many people hesitate in seeking professional advice from a divorce lawyer, thinking that it saves money by getting free advice from online groups, but the reality is that can be a costly mistake. Every advice to a problem varies on several factors and needs to be personalized for an effective remedy.

An experienced divorce lawyer can help a person to make certain to receive everything that he or she deserves during a divorce such as splitting of assets, or entitlement to spousal income. You might miss out several benefits when an opinion is not sought from an experienced divorce lawyer clearly stating the complete facts and circumstances.

Though divorce is a stressful event in a person’s life, seeking professional help from an experienced divorce lawyer to complete the divorce formalities is a one way to reduce the stress of the divorce. You can delete the legal aspects of the divorce proceedings to an advocate and focus on your personal/professional life.

Mistakes in a legal battle can prove costly. Even if a single issue is not addressed properly, that may change the fate of the case. Divorce lawyers are specialist and they can think clearly and handle every aspect of the divorce proceeding. It is a better decision to leave such complex legal work to the experts.

A divorce lawyer can help you be practical in identifying what you really want out of the divorce and can thus help you come to an agreement more quickly.

A person who goes to court without legal counsel may find that problems with the paperwork or other issues may result in a delay in the divorce proceeding and sometimes may affect the winning of the case.

Baburao Vs. Pokhardas [Supreme Court of India, 16-08-2016]

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION (T.S.Thakur, CJI) (A.M. Khanwilkar, J.) (Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, J.) August 16, 2016 CIVIL APPEAL NO.2606/2013 Baburao s/o Narayanrao Terkar ….….Appellant Versus Pokhardas s/o Bhanumal Khatnani died through L.Rs. and others ….Respondents J U D G M E N T A.M. K …

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