What is contested divorce?

A contested divorce is one in which the other spouse does not agree to divorce and wishes to remain married OR the other spouse has agreed to the divorce but there are differences in matters of child custody, division of property, child support, maintenance and other such issues.

Such a divorce falls under a fault-based approach. One of the spouses may accuse the partner of doing something that ended the marriage. Subsequently, a trial will be held by court to deem whether or not the reason is strong enough for granting the decree of divorce to the suffering party. In this case, it is vital that one spouse wishes to remain married. For instance, a wife filed for divorce based on cruelty by the husband. Here, the husband fought against the claim of cruelty but also stated that he had no second thoughts about divorcing his wife. Eventually the court granted divorce since both parties had agreed on it but the divorce petition that was filed by the wife was dismissed. An aggrieved spouse is open to file for contested divorce in court. Gender does not serve as a bias in contested divorce cases.

The aggrieved party has to identify one of the grounds of divorce from the ones mentioned in the section below and will be required to file the case in the court of the relevant jurisdiction. The aggrieved spouse is required to prove the grounds for divorce with adequate support of documents and evidence. Once the case is successfully proven, divorce will be granted and the divorce decree would be drawn accordingly.

Procedure of contested divorce in India after filing the petition

The wrongdoings of the other spouse need to be proven in order to be granted divorce. A petition that contains the grounds as well as the evidence should be filed in court. The concerned spouse would be summoned by court and after this, necessary charges are framed. Post this, the charges are examined by court with the help of cross-examination and detailed questioning. Once the evidence is examined, the court proceeds to listen to the arguments presented by both sides. The accused spouse is then declared to be guilty or innocent as the court finds fit. If proven guilty, a decree of divorce will be passed in favour of the aggrieved spouse.

Contested divorce proceedings have no set period of time. There are also no set times when the parties are required to appear in court. The spouses, specially the one who accused, must be present in court when hearings are called.