Legal Advice

Divorce within one year of marriage on husband’s inappropriate behavior

Question: The individual is pursuing a divorce within one year of marriage due to several substantial issues. These concerns encompass the husband's inappropriate behavior and his insistence on the wife's mother-in-law and siblings' involvement. Additionally, the husband's failure to disclose significant personal loans has disrupted his financial stability, leading the wife to believe that the marriage revolves around financial motives, leaving her feeling exploited. Moreover, the wife is troubled by the husband's overly intimate relationship with his sister, and there have been ongoing disputes concerning the retrieval of gifted jewelry. Past family conflicts and disagreements over living arrangements, coupled with persisting financial and in-law disputes, have eroded the marriage's foundation, resulting in a lack of love, care, and respect and frequent arguments. These cumulative issues have created a strained and unhappy marital environment, prompting the individual to seek a divorce.


Husband’s inappropriate behavior is however, not a ground of divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. If the inappropriate behavior of husband is such a extent that it becomes dangerouns to the wife to live with him, shall constitute a valid ground of divorce. Such an inappropriate behavior amount to cruelty. Cruelty either physical or mental is a ground of divorce under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

Mental cruelty under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, refers to the infliction of severe psychological or emotional distress on a spouse by the other, to such an extent that it makes it impossible for them to continue living together as a married couple. This form of cruelty doesn’t involve physical harm but can be equally damaging to the well-being and mental health of the affected spouse.

Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, provides the grounds on which a married person can seek a divorce, and mental cruelty is one of these grounds. To establish mental cruelty as a valid reason for divorce, it must be proven that one spouse’s behavior has caused significant and enduring mental agony, suffering, and a breakdown in the marital relationship.

Examples of mental cruelty can include constant humiliation, verbal abuse, threats, neglect, emotional manipulation, harassment, or any other behavior that creates a hostile and intolerable environment within the marriage. The court will assess each case on its merits and consider the evidence presented to determine whether mental cruelty has occurred to the extent that it justifies granting a divorce under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Divorce within one year of marriage

Section 14(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, establishes that, ordinarily, a court cannot entertain a divorce petition unless at least one year has passed since the date of the marriage. However, there is an exception provided. The court, following rules set by the High Court, can allow the presentation of a divorce petition before the one-year mark if there are grounds of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent.

But if it’s discovered during the hearing that the petitioner obtained permission to file the petition through misrepresentation or concealment, the court may condition the decree to take effect after the one-year period or dismiss the petition without preventing the filing of a new one based on the same facts after the one-year period.

Under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, divorce within one year of marriage can be sought under certain circumstances. Section 13 of the Act outlines the grounds for divorce, and one of the grounds for divorce within the first year of marriage is cruelty.

If a spouse can prove that they have been subjected to such cruelty that it has made it impossible to continue living together, they may be eligible to seek a divorce within the first year of marriage. This cruelty may be physical or mental. However, in cases of divorce within the first year, it often involves cruelty of a severe nature.

It’s important to note that the law recognizes the sanctity of marriage, and divorce within the first year is not granted lightly. The burden of proof lies with the spouse seeking the divorce, and they must demonstrate that the cruelty was of such a serious and intolerable nature that it warranted the dissolution of the marriage.

Leave of the court is mandatory to admit divorce suit which has been filed within one year of marriage. In your situation, the husband’s overly close relationship with his sister constitutes a form of mental cruelty, making it impossible for the wife to continue living with him. Therefore, you can seek divorce within first year of your marriage.

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow

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