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.
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.