Legal Advice

Wife is demanding compensation despite committed cruelty and desertion

Question: My wife left me last year (now its around 14 months). Wife is demanding compensation despite committed cruelty and desertion. Its been 20 months since marriage and we have no child. She had done suicide attempts, at my home (We lived with my parents{60 yrs old} and my younger brother). Also she threatened that she would die over phone calls, whatsapp messages and whatsapp video call (video call was recorded over screen recorder in phone).  She has demanded for a separate house for which I was denied becz of covid. 5 months back she asked for divorce over email saying she was treated with cruelty and all, but I responded that all was a lie and gave consent to her divorce request. But her lawyer demanded 8 lakhs compensation and then reduced it to 5lacs.  But I didn't accept it as initially they only asked for divorce saying they don't need my money. Now her lawyer told me to file the divorce for which I didn't respond, becz it's she who asked for divorce and for the draft petition they sent I had already responded to the necessary corrections. At the time of marriage I was earning 1lac/month, but due to covid and the torture of my wife with her frequent threats and blackmails, I had to lose my job.  I am currently doing MBA, and my next salary won't be that much, it may be around 20-30k/month after 17-19months. when can I contest - divorce for desertion and mental cruelty. 2 yrs of desertion as far as I know, but can i apply with mental cruelty now and add desertion after completing 2yrs or should i apply after 2yrs). What would be the compensation I have to pay if I contest - divorce for desertion and metal cruelty. Is it necessary to respond to her family's calls now? as already they said they want divorce? Can inlaws come around my house for reconciliation even after saying they want divorce? they may simply come to make proofs? how to face it? can I take police help when the come around my house?  They already have around 10lac worth of gold that she got during marriage. The gold was bought with my money(credit/debit cards) still does it account to streedhan? Is there any way I can get back my gold? Mutual consent wouldn't work as they are demanding lot of money. What could be done to end this soon?


You can contest when your wife will file the divorce petition. However, you can also file a divorce case on any of the grounds mentioned in Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Desertion and cruelty are valid grounds for divorce. 

You can file divorce on the ground of mental and matrimonial cruelty when the period of desertion will complete for more than two years then you‘ll have an additional ground for divorce. 

Compensation is not mandatory in divorce cases. If the wife is the guilty party then she cannot claim compensation. Your wife has deserted you without a valid reason. She has also committed cruelty. Hence, she is not entitled for compensation. 

Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow