Grounds of Divorce in India

Marriage is a necessary institution of human civilization that has existed for a long. Husband and wife get married to live together to make a new family and complete their marital obligations. However, in some life instances, the marriage does not work, and they end up divorcing each other. Divorce, in its literal term, means "Dissolution of Marriage." Post-divorce, the marriage comes to an end, the relationship as a husband and wife vanishes. In this article, we will explore the specific grounds recognized under Indian law that enable individuals, regardless of gender, to seek divorce.

Any spouse (husband or wife) can apply for Divorce only on the following grounds of Divorce and nothing else:

  1. Adultery

  2. Cruelty

  3. Desertion

  4. Conversion

  5. Insanity

  6. Leprosy

  7. Venereal Disease

  8. Renunciation

  9. Presumption of Death

Let's explore each ground to gain a clear understanding.


If one of the spouses is consensually and voluntarily indulged in sexual intercourse with another person (who may either be married or unmarried) during the marriage's subsistence, the aggrieved party can seek Divorce. Learn More about Adultery Laws in India


The term cruelty has not been defined. However, it may contain physical and mental cruelty. Cruelty in conduct may include humiliating the husband in front of his family and friends, undertaking pregnancy termination without the husband's consent. Making a false allegation against him, denial for Martial Physical Relationship without a valid reason. The wife has an affair; the wife lives an immoral life, ill-treatment to the husband's parents and family, etc. Similarly, cruelty on the wife may include forced abortion, demand for dowry, false accusation, impotence, etc.

Learn More: Cruelty As A Ground for Divorce in India


Desertion means the permanent abandonment of one spouse by the other spouse without any reasonable justification and his consent. In Bipin Chander Jaisinghbhai Shah vs Prabhawati(1957 AIR 176, 1956 SCR 838) case, the respondent leaves the house with the intention to abandon his wife. Later the wife approaches the Court, but the defendant proved that even though he left the house with the intention to the desert, he tried to come back, and he was prevented from doing so by the petitioner. Here, the defendant cannot be held liable for desertion.

Learn More: Desertion As A Ground For Divorce in India


If one of the spouses converts his religion to any other religion without the other spouse's consent, then the other spouse can approach the Court and seek the remedy of Divorce.


Insanity means when the person is of unsound mind. Insanity as a Ground of Divorce is invoked when the respondent has been incurable of unsound mind or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from a mental disorder of such a kind. To such an extent, the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.


In Swarajya Lakshmi v G. G. Padma Rao [1974 AIR 165, 1974 SCR (2) 97], the Supreme Court granted Divorce when the wife was suffering from a serious stage of leprosy.

Venereal Disease

If the venereal disease is contagious, the other spouse can seek Divorce.


If one of the spouses renounces the world without the other's consent, the aggrieved party can seek Divorce.

Presumption of Death

If a spouse's whereabouts are not known for seven consecutive years, it is presumed that they are dead, and Divorce can be sought.

Apart from the above grounds, Divorce can be granted when applied mutually or Contested (one-sided) or when the marriage has broken irretrievably.

Found this interesting? Find more such informational packed legal content in our Knowledge Bank and keep your legal knowledge at par. Additionally, if you have any doubts regarding divorce proceedings, don't hesitate to ask a divorce lawyer at Rest The Case, a trusted platform for legal advice.

About the Author:

Adv. Manish Sharma

Adv. Manish Sharma, completed graduation of Law in 2013, and after enrolling with Punjab and Haryana High Court and Himachal Pradesh High Court,  associated with a renowned Criminal Lawyer in 2014, and handled serious criminal cases and got name in providing justice to victims till 2020, later in 2020, associated with Famous Family law advocate where handled many critical family / matrimonial disputes and provide them solutions. Currently managing all Criminal and Civil along with Matrimonial cases for Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal courts of Law and providing them solutions for their needs.