Do Indian courts recognize foreign divorce decrees of NRI?

The courts in India will not recognize the decree that a foreign court has passed if:

  • A court of competent jurisdiction did not pass it.
  • The merits of the case were overlooked while passing the decree.
  • The decision is based on a wrongly-held view of international law or the outright refusal to recognize the law of India.
  • It was obtained by fraudulent measures.
  • Claim founded on a breach of any valid Indian law is sustained.

An Indian court, supported by the above mentioned conditions can challenge and render a decree passed by a foreign court null and void. In the event that a foreign court has the necessary jurisdiction and the decree passed also complies with the required conditions, Indian courts will hold this decree valid. A decree of this nature should also arbitrate on matters regarding the property of both individuals in India as well as the foreign country, complying to the law applicable to NRI.

Corresponding issues like alimony, child custody, and the like should also be determined accordingly. Once the couple comes under the ambit of the foreign courts, they are open to submitting themselves to the family or divorce laws of that particular country. Once both the parties get the decree for mutual consent divorce, it is mandatory for them to submit a notice to the Marriage Officer in India, along with the divorce certificate. This will enable the validity of the foreign decree for the NRI to use. The parties can then divide their property in India compliant with the decree and remarry who they want to, if they do.