• How to file for divorce

Hello, I have been married to my husband for past 10 years and we have three kids. Due to physical verbal and constant mental harassment I have decided to file in for Divorce. My husband has been married to another woman in court and there after registered the marriage in church, before marring me and he has a son with her about 13 years old. His wife left him shortly after their child was born and filed for divorce and without my husband's presence in court it was granted to them. But when I was getting married my husband forged the letter which is required from his church to be submitted in my church.And after that did not register our marriage in court till date. As far as I know (and have a marriage certificate to prove that my husband is still married to his first wife as per christian laws) if and annulment is not taken through the church their marriage is still valid and my kids and I have no rights.

Please help me understand this better. I have no one to consult.

Thank you
Crystal
Asked 3 years ago in Family Law from Bangalore, Karnataka
Religion: Hindu
1. You have mentioned that your husband was divorced from his first wife as he did not turn up to contest the divorce case filed by him. Once a court of law has passed a judgment granting divorce to a person he/she does not require any validation from the church or any other religious institution. 

2.  Was a copy of your marriage certificate sent by the minister to the registrar for registration? A church marriage certificate has no legal validity if it has not been registered. You can file or divorce any time on the ground of mental and physical harassment meted out to you if a valid marriage has been solemnised. A christian marriage is to be mandatorily registered in accordance with the law. If the marriage certificate was not sent to the registrar then it may be sent now subject to the law, else it will be futile for you to go to court for divorce.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18167 Answers
449 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
it appears that your husband first wife filed for divorce and your husband never contested the proceedings . if your husband di not attend divorce would have been granted by court exparte . once divorce has been granted his subsequent marriage to you was valid . 
among Christians  marriage is a covenant.In marriage, the covenant is between a man and a woman. The spouses establish this covenant through their marital consent, by which they intend to establish between themselves a partnership for the whole of life. This means each spouse will assist and support the other in all areas of their common life, the best he or she is able, so long as the other spouse is alive.
A Catholic annulment, also known as a declaration of nullity or invalidity, is a statement of fact by the Catholic Church. After carefully examining the couple's broken relationship, the Church states that a valid marriage, as the Church defines marriage, never existed.

if no annulment has taken place you cannot remarry in church . if your marriage has taken place in church without annulment in eyes of church your husband is still married to his first wife . 

in your case it appears before your marriage in church your husband had sent letter from his church to your church . what were the contents of letter . it is better to contact a local lawyer before proceeding further for divorce
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23315 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
In either situation you and your children have full right.But thinking to enter in legal battle try to resolve the issue by putting little pressure on him starting from domestic violence threat case.With three kids I don't suggest to go for divorce like issues as it effects the personality of children.
Anil Gupta
Advocate, New Delhi
180 Answers
41 Consultations
4.3 on 5.0
there is a difference between divorce granted by family court and annulment  granted by church . once divorce is granted by family court your husband was free to remarry . 

 for remarriage in church you need annulment from church .then only church permits remarriage . 

in your case husband was free to marry you in church if annulment had gone through . in the alternative you could have got married under special marriage act . it appears in your case church marriage has taken place on basis of letter sent by your husband from his church to your church . as on date no such complaints have been received by church regarding forgery of letter . 

once divorce is granted by court first wife dosent have any rights as wife on ex husband property . however as far as son is concerned he has rights on father property if father dies intestate . 
your husband can make a will bequeathing property to you and your children if he so desires . 

rather than going in for divorce file complaint under Dv act . your husband cannot deny your marriage in church . he wont admit that he forged certificate for church marriage . under Dv act you are entitled to maintenance , right to stay in shared household or alternative accommodation .

 if your husband is agreeable go in for divorce by mutual consent .
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23315 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
thanks for your appreciation
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23315 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

Ask a Lawyer

Get legal answers from top-rated lawyers in 1 hour. It's quick, easy, and anonymous!
Ask a Lawyer

Family Lawyers

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14090 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23315 Answers
1220 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18167 Answers
449 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12123 Answers
233 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
5231 Answers
54 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
3537 Answers
130 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
Atulay Nehra
Advocate, Noida
438 Answers
15 Consultations
4.7 on 5.0
Rajgopalan Sripathi
Advocate, Hyderabad
868 Answers
43 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
2760 Answers
41 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
Ajay N S
Advocate, Ernakulam
1916 Answers
19 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0