• Seeking divorce from my second wife

Hi,
I am an IT consultant & I live in London. I got married to my second wife last year October. We met through matrimony website. After marriage I moved in with her. I had a job offer from London so I was planning to fly to London soon. When I moved in with her I realised she lied to me about her past. I came across a message on her phone from April 2013 where she had texted her friend that she got married to this xxx guy. So I tried to dig in more and found some pictures of her on her laptop. After confronting her she told me she was engaged to this person and apparently they had court marriage but she told me it doesn't stand valid as she didn't go for second signature. I didn't know anything about court marriage and 30 day period etc. As she had studies law I believed her and forgot about the matter. But after I moved to London she decided to stay in India as she wanted to pursue her acting career in Bollywood. She said I want divorce and doesn't want alimony or anything from me.
 I did try to convince her but she didn't budge. So finally I decided to seek mutual consent divorce, but now since she failed in her career & out of money, she told me she won't divorce me. Her parents called my parents asking for money. The other important thing is she said I don't want to have divorce process in Mumbai & will only apply if it is done in Pune.
1. What does the first sign and 30 day period and then 2nd sign in court marriage mean?
2. Does marrying in court but not registering still considered one as married?
3. I want to know if her marriage before ours is still valid & does that make my marriage with her void?
4. On what grounds can I file divorce? Or I can file for annulment of marriage?
5. Can I file a fraud case against her & her parents?

Your help is much appreciated so I can proceed in the right direction.
Thanks
Asked 2 years ago in Family Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
Religion: Hindu
The 30 day notice period is required in marriages which are performed under the Special Marriage Act. if a marriage is not registered, then it is not considered legal until and unless you can prove that the marriage took place following all the customs as required. hence if the solemnization has not taken place, then it is not considered as a valid marriage. 

Her marriage before she married you is not legally valid since no registration took place however, you can file a case on the grounds of other proofs you have that she married him even if the marriage is not registered. 

fraud case can be filed against her and her parents for suppression of the fact of earlier marriage but here you may face trouble since you acquiesced through your actions. your action would speak otherwise since you condoned her act.

Divorce can be filed on the ground of desertion since she refused to come with you to London. you may also take a ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage. further, you have any proof with you that she asked for divorce stating that she doesn't need any money or alimony?
Shaveta Chaudhary (Sanghi)
Advocate, Chandigarh
821 Answers
60 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) since period of 1 year has elapsed from your marriage you cant file for annulment of marriage now . 

2) you can file for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty

3)if your wife was already married then she could not marry you during subsistence of earlier marriage . such a marriage would be void . 


4) there is procedure to be followed for court marriage The parties have to file a Notice of Intended Marriage in the specified form to the Marriage Registrar of the district in which at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than 30 days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given.
The notice is then published/put-up by the Registrar of Marriage inviting objections, if any.
After the expiration of 30 days from the date on which notice of intended marriage has been published, the marriage may be solemnized unless it has been objected by any person.
The marriage may be solemnized at the specified Marriage Office.
Both parties along with three witnesses are required to be present on the date of registration/Solemnization.

5) if your wife had not attended court after expiry of 30 days marriage could not have been solemnised . you will have to take search to find out details as to whether marriage has taken place or not . 

6) if your wife was married and has supressed material information then you can certainly file case of cheating , criminal breach of trust against her
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23240 Answers
1219 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hello,
There is nothing called a court marriage , it is a marriage before the Registrar of Marriage that is referred to as court marriage in common parlance.
Now as regards the 30 days period, when one applies for marriage before the registrar of marriages the intimation about the intended marriage is notified to the concerned local authority's office and the office of the registrar himself calling for any objection if anyone has one.
After 30 days the parties can go to the office of the registrar and register the marriage before witnesses.
Even if the marriage is not registered it is valid provided it is done as per some religious rites.
If she was married before the marriage with you your marriage can be voided
Answer to the questions 4 and 5 are in the positive.
You need to investigate from the office of the registrar's records if there was a marriage.
S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1950 Answers
65 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. if after 30 days notice ur wife did not sign in office of marriage registrar then it is not valid marriage and in fact it is no marriage at all.

2.not validly married and infact not married at all.

3.her earlier marriage is not valid and ur marriage with her is valid.

4. u can file divorce on grounds of mental creulty and desertion.

5. but now u cannot file for annulment of marriage.

6.yes.

7. still to get confirmation about validity of her earlier marriage check records of said marriage registrar with help of local lawyer.
R.K. Nanda
Advocate, New Delhi
457 Answers
0 Consultations
3.8 on 5.0
If the marriage took place in court then , you must be having a marriage certificate ? Incase you do not have a marriage certificate then do you know the date when your marriage was solemnized? This is important because unless you have the same you cannot acquire the same.
If you intent to acquire the marriage certificate, then you will have to file an application before the sub magistrate of the  marriage registration office where the marriage was solemnized. You will have to mention the exact date.
Furthermore, if they do not reply, then you can file an application under Right to Information Act ( RTI ).
Sudershani Ray
Advocate, New Delhi
192 Answers
25 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
well if she has signed in the presence of witnesses then you need to investigate from the Registrar office if the process for solemnization was completed for that marriage to stand some legal validity. If you are not able to get that information straight away, file an RTI or a complaint with police to obtain the necessary information.
Shaveta Chaudhary (Sanghi)
Advocate, Chandigarh
821 Answers
60 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is enacted for Inter-caste marriages. if one party to marriage is not Hindu then such type of marriages are performed under this Act. 

The marriage performed under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 is a civil contract and accordingly, there need be no rites or ceremonial requirements.

The parties have to file a Notice of Intended Marriage in the specified form to the Marriage Registrar of the district in which at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for a period of not less than thirty days immediately preceding the date on which such notice is given. After the expiration of thirty days from the date on which notice of an intended marriage has been published, the marriage may be solemnized, unless it has been objected to by any person.

if her former marriage was solemnize under special marriage act and no notice had been given then their marriage is null and void in the eye of law but you should investigate properly in this matter and collect all the evidence.

If her marriage was valid then it clearly shows that she suppressed this fact before solemnization of marriage with you then she is liable to be punished for the offence of bigamy under section 494,495 of IPC.

Her act is form the strong basis for divorce. As she told that she had been gone to court and they both signed in the presence of witnesses, it shows that marriage had been solemnized between them legally.
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
2752 Answers
41 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1)for marriage under special marriage act it is not necessary that there be rituals and ceremonies . 

2) if after the passing of 30 days notice period if your wife and her fiancee solemnized before the Marriage registrar in presence of 3 witnesses then valid marriage would have taken place . 

3) you have to check the records of Marriage registrar whether any such marriage has  taken place or not 

4) if you are bale to gather evidence about your wife earlier marriage then your subsequent marriage during subsistence of earlier marriage would be void
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23240 Answers
1219 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
If u get her marriage certificate then ur marriage with her is illegal and void.
R.K. Nanda
Advocate, New Delhi
457 Answers
0 Consultations
3.8 on 5.0
you have to check from the registrar office. if it is valid marriage the your problem will come to end  as your marriage will be null & void in that case
Avdhesh Chaudhary
Advocate, Greater Noida
565 Answers
20 Consultations
3.9 on 5.0
1. It appears that both had filed apllication for marriage before the marriage registrar who is required to 30 dyas notice to enable the concerned persons to submit their objection of such marriage. After the notice period is over, both shall have to sign the register after which their marriage will be called to be registered,

2. If the said marriage has not been registered,they will not be treated as married legally,

3. If your wife's earlier marriage was not registered, her marriage to you is valid legally,

4. You can file divorce suit on the ground of her cruelty after collecting evidence through audio/video recordings,

5. You could have filed an application for annulment of your marriage for suppression of vital fact of her filing application for marriage but you, by your act, has already condoned her such act of suppression,
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12113 Answers
231 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. You are going by her statement that she has not signed the marriage register after appearing before the Registrar on the marriage registration date being 30 days after giving the said notice,

2. May be that she has not given you the correct information for which you should collect the certified copy of her marriage registration certificate, if any. You should visit the said marriage registrar to ascertain the fact and then collect the said copy of the marriage  certificate,if they are found to be married,

3. If they are found to be married, your marriage with her is void at law & you can file a cheating case against her and her parents.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12113 Answers
231 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Marriage performed before the registrar is popularly called 'court marriage' in common parlance. Registered/Court marriage as you call it is solemnized under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. All such marriages can take place between any two Indian citizens as well one Indian citizen with a foreigner irrespective of their religion, caste or creed, and you can say this is the secular form of marriage available in our country. 

2. Such a marriage is solemnized before the marriage officer/registrar usually D.C. deputy commissioner of the area /SDM where both or any of the parties to such a marriage reside permanently or for at least one month. Cost of such a marriage is the rate prevalent in your area. 

3. Now how you proceed? Both the parties to the marriage have to file a joint application before the marriage officer along with individual affidavit attested by notary public specifying the age, place of residence, marital status(unmarried or divorcee as the case maybe) mental status(not idiot or not with unfit mind), etc. Along with this you have to give proof of age (School certificate, Passport, Pan card), proof of residence (Passport, ration card, voters ID card, rent agreement), & the application/notice of such a marriage maybe asked to be witnessed by 3 independent adult persons, affix one photograph of each of the parties & all the 3 witnesses.  

4. On receiving such an application/notice the marriage officer issues a month notice regarding the intended marriage & get such a notice affixed on the notice board out side his office, a copy of such notice is sent to the marriage officer under whose jurisdiction the other party lives, also a copy is to the individual parties address. After expiry of the period of notice a date is fixed on which all the persons parties to the marriage & 3 witnesses appear again before the marriage officer who declare them married & issue a certificate to this regard. 

5. If the above procedure has been complied with threadbare then the earlier marriage of your wife is legally valid. A search would have to be undertaken by you at the office of marriage registrar to ascertain whether your wife had married or not. 

6. A case for cheating and fraud can be filed against her if she did not disclose at the time of her marriage to you her earlier marriage.

7. Annulment cannot be filed now as it ought to have been filed within a year. You are well past that time limit.

8. You may file for divorce on the basis of desertion as your wife did not join you in London.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18102 Answers
448 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. If the marriage was done in the office of registrar the certificate of registration would be lying in the record room of the office. 

2. If you succeed in getting a copy of the certificate from the office of registrar you can file for nullity in addition to filing a case of cheating against your wife.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18102 Answers
448 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Dear Querist

My opinion on your queries are as under:

1. What does the first sign and 30 day period and then 2nd sign in court marriage mean?
Opinion: when the parties file an application for registered marriage then there is a rule for affixed their application before marriage registrar office and wait till 30 days for any objections, if there is no objection then only the marriage will be solemnized, at the time of marriage the second signed of both the parties are mandatory with three witnesses along with the sub-registrar/marriage registrar

2. Does marrying in court but not registering still considered one as married?
Opinion: apart from the above, without following above procedure the marriage can not be valid.

3. I want to know if her marriage before ours is still valid & does that make my marriage with her void?
Opinion:  yes, if she is already married then your marriage with her is void ab-initio

4. On what grounds can I file divorce? Or I can file for annulment of marriage?
Opinion: If she is already married then file annulment petition otherwise i don't think so that there is any reason for divorce as per the ground mentioned in the act.

5. Can I file a fraud case against her & her parents?
Opinion: if she is married then you may file a cheating/fraud cases against them before criminal court under section 420 of IPC.

does that mean it was marriage even if it was not registered?
Opinion: Non-Registration of marriage is not means that the marriage is not registered, the marriage will be valid.
 
 There must be some details in marriage registration office about this event took place, Is there any way I can acquire the proof of registration from Marriage Registration office?

Opinion: Yes, there is a provision, you may file an RTI before Sub-Registrar office for got the information with her detail, if there is any information is avaliable then they will provide the same to you within 30 days.

 If at all succeed to acquire the proof can I file divorce on the basis of it?
Opinion: If you get the proof of her marriage registered with the registrar or otherwise, then file an annulment case u/s 12 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
you may also file a criminal complaint against her u/s 494 of IPC for Bigamy.
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
3534 Answers
130 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
Hi,
Make efforts to resolve the matter amicably through negotiations and bargain.
Mohammad Khaleel Ahmed
Advocate, Hyderabad
184 Answers
1 Consultations
3.9 on 5.0
You must check with the court reagarding the same and in the office of marriage registar to know the truth if the facts since yours is Second marriage it is not legal without divorce. You can file an application to nullify your marriage
Jeshma Mohandas KP
Advocate, Kozhikode
567 Answers
1 Consultations
3.5 on 5.0

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