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amit   18 March 2015

Wife in india send divorce notice to husband in usa

I live in US on H1-B work visa, originally I am from Mumbai, India. Almost 2 years ago, when I had gone from US to Canada for work purpose for a few days, during my absence my wife ran away with our 3 year old son (US citizen) to India without informing me. I did not make a police complaint because I thought I will convince and bring her back. I went to India last year for that, but she refused to come back. Since she has left, she has not picked up my phone calls nor allowed me to speak to my son. Few days back her lawyer contacted me and asked for mutual divorce by me paying her money, I refused and said I think we can work it out. Now she has filed a divorce and alimony case in Ahmedabad,  India and asking for very high alimony. We had married in Ahmedabad, India. I got the family court notice from her by email, asking me to appear in court within a month, they send the original to my India home, which has not yet been received. In her divorce petition, she has filed all false charges against me and my parents that we were mentally harassing her.My parents live 6 months in India and 6 months in US, they are Indian citizen.

 I asked an Indian lawyer if I can ignore the court notice, he said I can but the court will give its verdict, he wasn't sure how they will enforce the notice on me in US, maybe through Indian embassy. He advised me to hire a lawyer in India and fight the case there, since I can't go there, I will have to give power of attorney to someone there on my behalf who will appear in court when needed.

 I did the mistake of not filing a police complaint here and not filing for divorce from here itself. Please advice what are the best alternatives for me to handle this situation. Can I still ignore the notice?. Can I or should I take any action against her in US?. I would like to do that only if it is enforceable in India or there is any benefit. If she can just ignore any notice I send from here, there is no point. Any advice is appreciated.


 15 Replies

Adv. Chandrasekhar (Advocate)     18 March 2015

If you do not want to have divorce, then you have to contest the case by engaging an advocate.  Other wise, you can simply ignore her divorce notice and after sometime, the court will grant her divorce.  But the thing is, after obtaining divorce decree, she is entitled to file permanent alimony application and depending upon your income and her income the court will grant a lumpsum amount as permanent alimony.  Further, she is also has a right to file maintenance petition for monthly maintenance and if that is granted you have to pay it regularly every month till she remarries.

SuperHero (Manager)     18 March 2015

@Amit – Contest the case, because you have a kid now and at least court will provide visitation rights. If you ignore the court summons then you are accepting the allegations put by your wife.


If you contest the case – then she has to prove the allegations. The case goes on forever and if you don’t provide maintenance or alimony courts can’t come and arrest you in USA.


There are some thousands of cases pending in Indian courts. Courts are delay centers and you can drag the case as long as you want.


But remember since you have a kid deposit some money into her bank account monthly for maintenance.


The reason she is asking for huge alimony is you are working on a H1B visa(1$ ~ Rs 61.00).


She is clear she doesn’t want to live with you and filed a divorce case going to court.


Do you still think you can work out on this?


I better suggest you can bargain with the lawyer and go for one time lump sum amount and get an MCD.


Also there are several organizations and lawyers who provide legal consultation free for first time in USA. Check with them regarding your Son. Google is your best friend.



Pooor Kid has to suffer atlast!!!!

amit   19 March 2015

Thank you Adv. Chandrashekhar and Super hero.

Super hero,

I myself plan to move back to India in the next 2-4 years. I am staying here, so that I can save money and don't have to struggle after my return. So, I am not going to earn in US dollars for the rest of my life. My wife is asking for Rs 2 lac/ month maintenance. I hardly save that much here. Last year her lawyer asked for Rs 50 lac for permanent settlement. That is too much money, now probably that amount also has gone up. What do you think is a reasonable amount for permanent settlement or monthly maintenance in a place like Ahmedabad?

If my wife would have asked me for money, I would have send her, but she is very arrogant, she never picked my phone, didnt allow me or my parents to meet our son, didn't allow my parents give toys I had send from US to my son. She thinks our son is her personal property.

Scenario 1 - I fight the case

If I fight the case and say the court orders me to pay her a high amount of maintenance per month and i don't send her the money court ordered and just pay for my son, she will anyway not allow me to meet my son. But at least I will feel I have not ignored my son.

My problem is I am in US, my parents in Mumbai and court case is in Ahmedabad. I can't harass my old parents to run Ahmedabad every now and then.

Scenario 2 - I Ignore the notice

If I ignore the notice and say the Indian court grants the divorce verdict (which is okay with me) and also grants the alimony verdict (which I will refuse to accept and pay money) - in this situation:
1. Is there any way I or my parents in India can meet my son?
2. If I have to go to India in the next 1-2 years for any personal purpose, can they arrest me at the airport or not complying with court verdict? OR if my wife finds out that I am in India can she get me arrested?
3. I plan to relocate in India after 5 years, considering this, is it still better to ignore the notice now? or will I get a chance to fight after I go there. Hopefully things may change for good by then.



A.Radha Sampath (Advocate)     19 March 2015

You engage a good lawyer at Ahmedabad who correctly represents you and fight against her divorce petition if you are not interested in divorce. You can also fight for the custody of the child saying that it is better to bring him up at USA rather than India as she cannot take care of your son all alone by herself through out her life. If you do not answer to the court summons your case becomes Exparte.

You can also fight the maintenance case as she is equally competent to earn and her earning capacities are good.  

SuperHero (Manager)     20 March 2015

@Amit - Please consult a lawyer, look at all the pros and cons...think, rethink, talk to different people and then take a decision. Wish you Good Luck!!

I am not an advocate!!! Hope few more lawyers can throw some light!!!

amit   20 March 2015

Thank you Mr. Sampath.

The thing is although I am an Indian citizen, my US green card is in process, I am living in US since last 12 years, I have nothing to do with anything in Ahmedabad. I just got married there one day in 2009. After marriage we always lived in US. Why should I get into any legal battle in Ahmedabad, where there is no one to represent me? I live in US, my wife lived here with me, let her come and fight where we lived, why do I need to get involved legal battles in India?

If the court gives Ex parte order on alimony if I do not fight the case, as I don't live there for the last 12 years, and have no one to represent me there. Can the order be enforced on me if I return to India permanently after 2-3 years?. Will I get an opportunity to contest the order after my return to India?


A.Radha Sampath (Advocate)     20 March 2015

True Mr.Amit that you stayed at USA immediately after marriage and that your wife's matrimonial residence is at USA. However, under Hindu Law an aggrieved woman can file her divorce case at the place where her parents reside or the place where her marriage has taken place or from her matrimonial home. So in this case your wife has an eligibility under law to file her case from Ahmedabad. In your case if you want to return after two years and contest your case you can give Power of Attorney to represent you in this case to a person who can represent you as much as you can in your absence sincerely and then drag a little as normally a contested divorce case would take that much time. Otherwise it becomes an exparte divorce and maintenance order for which you only have to go on appeal within one month of the decree order.

Adv. Chandrasekhar (Advocate)     20 March 2015

In the given facts, she will get divorce and also permanent alimony.  She will also get handsome amount for child maintenance, if she gets a good advocate.  As the relations not severed by you thoroughly with India as your parents live half an year herein India, if your wife can find an acumen advocate, she will find the way to realize the maintenance amount.


SuperHero (Manager)     20 March 2015

Amit – Say for E.g. if somebody gets a speeding ticket in USA and he pays the fine and closes the case, but he gets points on his record and this will make his insurance go higher and it stays on his driver’s license for few years.


Another scenario would be if you are caught in a state of Georgia with a speeding above 85 MPH then there is something called Georgia super speeder law. You pay an additional fine to the state DMV. That you will know later.


In case if he had gone to court and pleaded guilty then the judge would have waived of his points and asked him to pay the fine alone. Now he will have clean driving history and then no increase in insurance premiums correct?


Sometimes the judge might ask you to go to a driver improvement course or keep the person under probation.


Or he can contest the case with the help of a lawyer.


In USA too law differs with state to state.


I gave you some examples and each case is different. (Worst case is if you are involved in an accident).



I would suggest hire a lawyer and go forward. 

amit   21 March 2015

Thanks Mr. Chandrashekhar, Mr. Sampath and Superhero.

amit   23 March 2015

Some people are advising me to file a case in US and send court notice to my wife for - parental child abduction, not allowing me or my parents to interact with my son and running away with money from my home.

I know my wife will not come to contest the case in USA.

Do you think this will help me in any way in my case in India? Can it make matters worse.

Please advice.

SuperHero (Manager)     23 March 2015

@Amit – Courts are for Criminals and murderers, so all family matters should be resolved within four walls or family members or with some elders. Check with an attorney in USA and the consultation fee is waived for the first time (some of them).


Don’t go in hurry. Also attorney’s cost very high in USA. Please check with them how much it would cost for the entire case to be handled.

Consult with lot of people and then take the advice. Atlast your kid should not suffer. Laws are different in India and in USA.

In India – Do you know how many family court cases are going on?

Think, Rethink and take it.


I took some time to jot down my thoughts. My 2 cents. J

amit   24 March 2015


I appreciate your input, I understand what you are trying to say and I agree with it. Bu my wife does not listen to even her own family members, due to this even they don't want to get involved in this. I only have 2 options, pay her the money and even not get proper visiting rights or go to court, not because of my wish, but because she has filed the case and I have to defend it.

So, I am asking if there is something I can do in US, to improve my defense in India. I don't want to fight an expensive case in US, but if I can do something simple and cheap, which will help in my defense there, I must explore that.

SuperHero (Manager)     24 March 2015

Wish You Good Luck!!! Keep posting us how your case goes so that others may benefit....

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