6 Conditions To Validate Your Foreign Divorce Decree In India

Law Misuse, Divorce, Separation

In various judgement and particularly in Y Narasimha Rao and Ors. Vs. Y. Venkata Lakshmi and Anr, Supreme Court (1991)  Hon. Supreme Court has set the conditions to validate a foreign divorce decree in India. These are –

  1. When the divorce is granted based on grounds recognized by Indian law – Cruelty / Desertion / Adultery etc. are some of the valid grounds of divorce in India. So any divorce granted on any of these grounds by a foreign court will be valid in India too.
  2. When provisions of Indian law are not breached – If the marriage or related divorce procedure follows Indian laws, a foreign divorce decree will be valid in India. For example, Indian Muslim Laws does not recognize Mutha Marriage (marriage of a short duration) and hence a divorce decree for this kind of marriage is not valid in India.
  3. Decree pronounced by a court with right jurisdiction–This means that the court is either at a place where the said marriage was solemnized or where the parties had lived last as husband and wife or where the respondent lived. One cannot travel to a foreign country to obtain divorce and expect that to be valid in India.
  4. Decree that followed Principles of Natural Justice – The decree should have been obtained after a fair process of trial with both parties equally represented. This makes ex parte decrees from foreign courts invalid in India.
  5. When the divorce was decided on merits of the case – This is possible when both parties are equally represented and evidences of both parties were presented and discussed in the court.
  6. The decree was not obtained by fraud / coercion – Any decree obtained through fraud / coercion is not valid in India.

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Special Thanks – Shonee Kapoor

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