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nri_male (S/W Engineer)     23 November 2017

Validating foreign uncontested exparte divorce in india

Hello all, I was married in India and moved to the US immediately along with my wife. Due to differences we got seperated and she left to India. I filed for divorce in USA based on 'irretrievable breakdown of marriage' and got a divorce though she did not participate in the US court divorce proceedings. The US divorce was granted without any alimony. She filed maintenance case in India which is still pending as she stopped pursuing it after getting a job. Now she is ready for settlement and wants to amicably close the matter without any maintenance or permanent alimony. One lawyer says that we need to file divorce again in India and there is no way to validate US divorce even if the the girl's side is willing to accept the US divorce. The lawyer says she can file divorce based on desertion and can get an ex-parte divorce so that I dont have to go to India twice for exeucting Mutual consent divorce. 

Another lawyer says we can put together a MOU where she consents to US divorce and file the MOU in the maintenance case. The MOU would say she consents to US divorce and that she would withdraw the maintenance suit and court would stamp the MOU as settlement deed which would make the US divorce legal. No other criminal cases are pending in any other court and the girl does not want any maintenance or alimony as she is earning well right now. 

I am inclined towards the MOU route to close the matter quickly, but not sure about the legality of using an MOU and submitting it in the family court to validate an US divorce. Could the respected forum members let me know if there are any precedents available wherein the girl provides her consent to a foreign divorce in the form of a MOU and the Indian courts have accepted it ? 


 3 Replies

Vijay Raj Mahajan (Advocate)     23 November 2017

Foreign divorce decree is valid in India as much as the Indian divorce decree on two conditions, firstly, if both parties to marriage/divorce agree to its validity and do not challenge it in the Indian court under section 13 of the Civil Procedure Code and secondly, if both parties participated in divorce proceedings in foreign court for divorce by mutual divorce as they would have done in Indian court.

In your case your wife initially objected to the decree of divorce issued by USA Court, but if now if she agrees to its validity, and agree not to challenge it in future and use the USA court decree of divorce at the time of her remarriage, then there is no problem. Let a MOU to this be duly signed by both parties filled in the pending case for maintenance and certified copy of the MOU as well the order of the court dismissing her maintenance case as withdran be kept for future by both parties. You can give her certified copy or duly stamped copy of the divorce decree issued by USA court for her future use.

As far filling the divorce by mutual consent case in India is concerned, let me tell you that after the latest judgment of the Supreme Court the Family Court has been authorised to wave off the 6 months period of waiting for finalisation of divorce as it was previously. In exceptional cases like your, the MOU can be good enough for getting the decree of divorce in few days without waiting for 6 months. You can do that too when you arrive here in India for vacations for 3 weeks as it is done by most NRIs visiting India during the vacations. I give you link of the judgement for reading and geting lastest information about divorce case laws.

For any detailed case discussion you can email me, but it will not be free consultation.


MaryFlores (Assistant)     23 March 2020

As it was mentioned above the divorce validity is achieved via MOU signed, however you could try to get a legal consultation at lawyer's office or look for <a href="">online divorce</a> services if you will have to file for unconested divorce once again.

MaryFlores (Assistant)     23 March 2020

Deciding whether your marriage is over or if you've still got some fight left is obviously not a choice that comes easily—especially after you've put in the work to try to salvage what feels like a loveless relationship.

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