• Fault and No-Fault Divorce from a US Court

Respected Attorneys,
I'm really SORRY for this lengthy write-up but I hope this will be helpful to Indians who are staying outside India. 

I'm a Hindu married for about 6 years to a Hindu girl and married in India. We are in US since 2014 but my wife went to India for 6 months and she is back in US for about 8 months now. I'm on a work visa and my wife is on dependent visa so she cannot work. Things have been rough between us for a long time and I'm at a stage of losing all the hope about my married life and would like to live at least the remainder of my life peacefully. My parents, sisters and relatives are in India and so does my Wife's widow mother, 2 married sisters and other relatives. So it is like 4 women against me. Me and my wife stayed in a separate house from 1st day of our marriage and my parents visited us very few times and in about 3 years they stayed with us only for 2 weeks. I got married in the same state where I was born, my parents live and my wife was working while my wife's mother, sisters and relatives live in a different state. 

Since we are here in US, there are 2 types of divorce options - Fault(One of the two has done something wrong) and No-Fault(Mutual Consent). I guess you all already know about this to a good length. Below are my questions. I really appreciate your help and thank you all in advance.

1) I read through this site that a No-Fault divorce granted by US if both the spouses are present during judgment is valid in India and wife or husband cannot contest in India. My wife's sister once mentioned that she knows good lawyers in India and she asked my wife to drag me to India so they can take care of me legally in India. If we are granted a No-Fault divorce, can my wife's mother or sisters contest a No-Fault divorce granted by US court assuming both husband and wife were present during the judgment just to harm me and my parents/sisters or to extract some more money? 

2) If I can prove that she has been committing mental cruelty by threatening to commit suicide and quote me as the reason or asked me to take poison and end my life and even hitting me at times, then the court may grant fault divorce. Since she will be at fault, it will not be a MCD but she will be present during the court proceedings. In this case, will the divorce be valid in India?

3) Considering the above case as true, can my wife's mother or sisters contest a Fault divorce granted by US court assuming both husband and wife were present during the judgment just to harm me and my parents/sisters or to extract some more money? 

4) If she can claim/prove that I have been at fault of some sort, then the court will grant fault divorce. Since I will be at fault, it will not be a MCD but she will be present during the court proceedings. In this case, will the divorce be valid in India?

5) Considering the above case as true, can my wife's mother or sisters contest a Fault divorce granted by US court assuming both husband and wife were present during the judgment just to harm me and my parents/sisters or to extract some more money? 

6) While the divorce process is initiated in US, what are the ways my wife's mother or sisters can try to harm me or my parents or my married sisters in India?
Asked 8 months ago in Family Law from United States
Religion: Hindu
1) if wife has participated in divorce proceedings divorce would be valid in India. divorce decree has to be challenged by your wife only not her mother or sister . 

2) if divorce decree has been granted on grounds of mental cruelty divorce decree would be valid in India 

3) wife mother or sister cannot challenge divorce decree 

4) the issue is has the wife participated in divorce proceedings . if wife objects to jurisdiction of US courts and doers not participate in divorce proceedings decree would not be valid in india 

5) your wife has to file case of 498A or DV in India if she wants to harass you and your family 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23211 Answers
1218 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. The No-Fault decree of divorce granted by USA Court where both the parties were present is treated in India as decree of divorce granted on mutual consent. However, the said decree of divorce passed by USA Court is required to be validated by Indian Court. Your wife's mother or sister has no authority to file any case against you in connection with the said No-Fault divorce decree passed by USA Court,

2. No-Fault divorce where both the parties attended the Court is treated as similar to MCD in India but you are required to get the said decree passed by foreign court validated by filing a petition before the District Judge in India,

3. Your wife's mother and sister has no locus standi in filing a case challenging the No-Fault divorce decree passed by the USA Court,

4. If your wife files a divorce case against you in India leveling some charge against you then you can contest the same siting her agreeing for the No-Fault divorce in India,

5. No. Your wife's mother and sister can not harm you by challenging the No-Fault divorce decree passed by USA Court,

6. She can file any case but the same will have no merit since she has no locus standi in the matter when her daughter being your wife had attended the USA Court agreeing for the No-Fault divorce decree. 
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12104 Answers
230 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Indian courts are loath to set aside a no-fault divorce granted by a foreign court with the participatory role of both spouses whereas contested divorce decree is more likely to be set aside if it is proved that the same has been passed on grounds which are not sustainable under the Indian law. If the court admits the petition it will open another round of litigation in India. It is better to apply for dissolution of marriage in India if there is an apprehension of a subsequent challenge in India to a foreign decree. Your wife alone can adopt her legal remedies under the Indian legal framework. Her mother and sisters cannot.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18102 Answers
448 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
My wife's sister once mentioned that she knows good lawyers in India and she asked my wife to drag me to India so they can take care of me legally in India. If we are granted a No-Fault divorce, can my wife's mother or sisters contest a No-Fault divorce granted by US court assuming both husband and wife were present during the judgment just to harm me and my parents/sisters or to extract some more money? 

You should understand one thing that the marriage was held between yo and your wife similarly the dissolution of your marriage by a decree of divorce also happened between you both in both your presence.Therefore there is no room or chance for an outsider to contest or challenge the 'no fault divorce' granted in US and as you said that it is valid in India, it cannot be contested any case filed in this regard by a third person shall not be maintainable, so dont give in to the pressures of her sisters or any other irrelevant third person's grumblings. 







If I can prove that she has been committing mental cruelty by threatening to commit suicide and quote me as the reason or asked me to take poison and end my life and even hitting me at times, then the court may grant fault divorce. Since she will be at fault, it will not be a MCD but she will be present during the court proceedings. In this case, will the divorce be valid in India?

Yes , this can be treated as contested divorce, which is very much valid in India just like a recognition to MCD.






3) Considering the above case as true, can my wife's mother or sisters contest a Fault divorce granted by US court assuming both husband and wife were present during the judgment just to harm me and my parents/sisters or to extract some more money? 

They are all third persons or outsiders to your marriage so they do not have any right to interfere in your personal affairs.  The divorce is your personal affair between you and your wife, interference by a third person is not permitted, so they cannot challenge the divorce case for any reason until and unless your wife is insane. 
They cannot do anything in this by themselves, if they indulge in any such activity they can be booked for illegal acts and extortion offences. 





If she can claim/prove that I have been at fault of some sort, then the court will grant fault divorce. Since I will be at fault, it will not be a MCD but she will be present during the court proceedings. In this case, will the divorce be valid in India?

The answer to the question two shall be applicable to this too. 






5) Considering the above case as true, can my wife's mother or sisters contest a Fault divorce granted by US court assuming both husband and wife were present during the judgment just to harm me and my parents/sisters or to extract some more money? 

The question repeated, see the above answers.





6) While the divorce process is initiated in US, what are the ways my wife's mother or sisters can try to harm me or my parents or my married sisters in India?

They cannot harm or try to harm your relatives by any means except indulging themselves in physical violence against them.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14006 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
you should take no fault divorce and take certified copy of the judgment and immediately file an application, for its execution , before the supreme court of India under article 142. court will approve this decree and thereafter this decree will applicable as "res judicata"  for future litigation on the same cause of action (then she is barred by section 11 of CPC to file any other divorce/ RCR/  DV Act petition etc 

Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
2737 Answers
41 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
A decree of divorce passed by the foreign court in contested proceedings can be assailed in India if it is passed in disregard of the Indian law. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18102 Answers
448 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) only if FIR is lodged should you apply for anticipatory bail 

2) court will not entertain your application if no FIR is passed
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23211 Answers
1218 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
I may have to travel to India to attend one of my cousins wedding soon. So far neither my wife nor her relatives have logged any case against me but just been threatening me. Before I travel to India, can I apply for anticipatory bail even without any case against me and what are the requirements for AB, what is the bail amount and is it refundable?

You cannot apply for anticipatory bail when there is no case registered agaisnt you in any police station.  The court may not entertain any such application especially if it has been filed on some imaginary concept  or by mere apprehensions.
You can travel to India, but be careful to not to reveal your plans and programs in India while you are here and also when you receive any phone calls from police, do not attend the police station and avoid them telling that you are busy in some other place or in outstation that you will come there after two or three days but do not attend the station, instead you can ask your lawyer to follow it up on your behalf and then if necessary you may apply for AB after which you can attend the police station for inquiry session. 





@ Kalaiselvan/Shivendra Sir,
Thanks for your responses. 

You are welcome  for your  appreciations.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14006 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
There is no necessity to fight in India against the contested decree grated by US court.  There is no question of such validity and also there is no provision in India law to validate the US decree of divorce. 


@ Kalaiselvan/Shivendra Sir,
Thanks for your responses. 

You are welcome  for your  appreciations.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14006 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. No-Fault decree of divorce granted by USA Court where both the parties attended the Court hearings is considered as MCD in India but the said decree of divorce is required to be validated by Indian Court,

2. If one party stays absent in a No-Fault divorce proceeding and decree is granted, such decree of divorce will not be treated as valid in India,

3. Contested divorce decree granted by USA Court is not valid in India since grounds for seeking decree of divorce as per India Law is not the same as that as per US Law. You shall have to file the contested divorce petition afresh in India.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12104 Answers
230 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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