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DJ (XYZ)     27 April 2010

Contested Divorce help needed


My friend has been married for more than a year now, and her husband is pathologically obsessed about her. Due to his extremely disturbing behaviour, my friend has been staying separate from him, at her mother's house for the past few months. 

The husband used to stop her from leaving the house to go anywhere alone, to talk to anyone over the phone, and keep complete control of her activities. If anything went against his wishes, even as small as speaking to a friend or her own mother over the phone, he used to get extremely angry. During his fits of anger and rage, he would yell at her, throw things at her, beat her and get out of control. However, when he used to cool down, he used to come begging for forgiveness and cry in front of her, and confess about his "true love" for her. This went on for 7-8 months, until my friend could take it no more, and left the house to go stay with her mother.

Now that she stays with her mother, the husband regularly calls up at their place and on her cell phone at odd times. She even got her number changed, but he got the new number from some common friends. He has now starting calling up her friends at random, and bullies and harasses them by warning them not to speak to his wife. He also picked up a fight and beat up one of her friends who was trying to help her get a job. As they stay in a small city, these things get around quickly, and it is getting very difficult for my friend to lead her life peacefully even after staying separately. He stalks her whenever she goes out of her home, and sometimes confronts her, sometimes asks her to come with him forcibly, sometimes cries in front of her in a public place, and the list goes on. 

My friend wants a divorce from her husband. As far as I have read over the internet, there can be either mutual-consent or a contested divorce. A mutual-consent divorce is out of the question in this case, as the husband will never want to leave her. 

Also, she has recently cleared an interview for a job and is required to go to another city for 3 months training before being finally placed in another city. The joining date for the training is 12th May, but if she requests, she can get it extended. She is planning to visit a lawyer and get a divorce filed soon on grounds of mental and physical cruelty. She has absolutely no support from anyone, doesn't have a father; mother is helpless, no brother/sister, and none of her "friends" are willing to help her because of the husband's fear.

My questions : 

1. How long will it take to get things in motion, once the divorce is filed? When will she be required to appear in the city-court after the divorce is filed? How many times? Please answer so that she can plan her job-training joining accordingly. 

2. How much does a lawyer usually charge for such a case? Are their any provisions for women who can avail any free legal advice or service in such a case? 

3. Can she appeal for some sort of protection for her mother, who may have to stay alone, once she joins her job? 

      I stay in another city, and am trying my best to help my friend get out of this mess as quick as possible. Thank you for taking out your time to go through this, and I would really appreciate any guidance from you in this  matter. Thank you


 2 Replies

Pankaj Mehta (Advocate)     27 April 2010

In this case ur friend can definately file a divorce petition under section 13 of hindu marriage act, but always remember that this is too difficult to prove cruelity and for this purpose ur frnd's case will be relying upon the evidence laid down by both the parties, so first engage a good well known civil lawyer because a skilled way of cross examination in such cases is needed.

Ur frnd will have to attend the court during filing of the petition and afterwards on various stages of trial such as while taking evidence. Dont bother about the expences and fee, ur frnd can file a application for maintenance under section 24,25 of hindu marriage act and court can also order for providing her all the expenses incurred while filing the petition and engaging lawyer from opposite party. Normally a good lawyer can charge Rs.5000 to 10000 in such cases

For the sake of protection of ur frnds mother, you can request to local police officials and if they think it proper police protection can be availed by.

In my opinion ur frnd should also file an application under section 125 Cr.P.C. for maintenance and an application under protection of domestic violence act for getting protection order against various irritating activities of her husband.       

2 Like

DJ (XYZ)     28 April 2010

Thank you Adv. Mehta, your guidance had been of much help. 

I am also trying to convince some of my friend's friends who stay in that city to come forward and support her morally and in other ways too. Couple of them are guys, and they are concerned that if they help her, the husband may file false charges against them from having an affair to anything else. 

How do I convince them that there is no need to fear? That helping someone in need is not a crime?

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