As the rate of couples seeking a divorce from each other triples by the day, so does the number of people entering into marriages. The court sees a marriage as a valid contract, and ensures that both parties fulfill their obligations.
Under the Marriage Act, before a divorce will be granted to a couple, it must be proved that their marriage has broken down completely beyond repair. In deciding if a marriage cannot be salvaged, the courts will consider if the circumstances of such marriage fall into any of these scenarios.
1. Willful and persistent refusal to consummate the marriage:
Consummation refers to sexual intercourse between the husband and wife. The petitioner (the party seeking a divorce) must show that the respondent (the party to be divorced) intentionally refused to have sexual intercourse at all despite several requests.
2. Intolerable adultery:
If the respondent committed adultery, and the petitioner finds it impossible to condone or live with it, the courts will allow a divorce. If after being aware of the adultery, the petitioner continues to have sex with the respondent, he will not be able to file for a divorce.
3. Irresponsible or Unreasonable behaviour:
If the actions or conduct of the respondent is very difficult for the petitioner to live with, then he/she can file for a divorce. The court will conduct a test to determine if a reasonable person will find such action or conduct intolerable.
If the respondent has left the petitioner for a continuous period of at least one year before the request for a divorce, the court will allow him/her file for a divorce.
5. Presumption of death:
If the respondent has been absent from the petitioner for quite some time that it would be reasonably believed he/she is dead, the courts will allow a petition for a divorce.
Note: The courts prefer to see parties in a marriage thrive than to see them divorced, which is why steps will be taken to make sure that the right remedy is given to the parties.