There is no time limitation on when one can file for divorce. So even after 23 years, a divorce petition will be allowed.
Grounds for divorce include Adultery, cruelty, desertion, conversion to another religion, mental disorders, leprosy, venereal diseases, renunciation of worldly affairs, non resumption of cohabitation and presumption of death. Further, only the wife can file divorce petition if husband has indulged in rape, sodomy or bestiality, bigamy, there is no cohabitation for one year and the girl was below the age of 18 at the time of marriage. Your friend can refuse to give a divorce to his wife, but a court can order you to go for a mediation session, which will be compulsory.Your friend may have to pay maintenance based on his income. The maintenance amount is calculated (approximately) by taking into account the total monthly take home income (ie. without tax) of both the spouses. The educational background of the spouses, the number of years of marriage, number of children and child custody are also major factors governing the maintenance amount. It can also depend on how well the lawsuit has been fought by your advocate. The spouse with lesser income or no income can get a maintenance amount, which will make his/her complete earnings (plus maintenance) to be equal to 20% to 30% of the above total monthly income. The Supreme Court has also held that a wife is entitled to the same standard of living that she enjoyed while living with her husband. So that precedent may also be a factor in deciding the maintenance. Your friend can protect himself by engaging a competent and reliable lawyer who can provide advice as the situation progresses.
Advocate Ashok Kumar; www.lawkonect.com