Christian Divorce


The procedure to dissolve Christian marriage is different from Muslim Marriage. The suit for dissolution of christian marriage can be brought by either husband or wife. Related law is Divorce act, 1869 which solely regulates matter of christian marriage. In this act there three modes to dissolve christian marriage.

Modes of Dissolution of Christian Marriages

These are as below;

Dissolution of Marriage

The section 10 of Divorce act 1869 deal with this mode of dissolution. A husband can invoke this section and may present a petition to the Court of Civil Judge, praying that his marriage may be dissolved on the ground that his wife has, since the solemnization thereof, been guilty of adultery.

on the other hand,  wife can also present a petition to the District Court or to the High Court, praying that her marriage may be dissolved on the ground that, since the solemnization thereof, her husband:

Has exchanged his profession of Christianity for the profession of some other religion, and gone through a form of marriage with another woman, or

has been guilty of incestuous adultery,

of bigamy with adultery, or

of marriage with another woman with adultery, or

rape, sodomy or bestiality, or

of adultery coupled with such cruelty as without adultery would have entitled her to divorce a mensa et toro, or

of adultery coupled with desertion, without reasonable excuse, for two years or upwards.

Nullity of Marriage

Section 18 of the Divorce act,1869 deal with this kind of dissolution of christian marriage. According to that Section, any husband or wife may present a petition to the Court of Civil Judge, praying that his or her marriage may be declared null and void.

Grounds Taken in Suit For Nullity of Christian Marriage

Such decree may be made on any of the following grounds:

  1. That the respondent was impotent at the time of the marriage and at the time of institution of the suit;
  2. That the parties are within the prohibited decrees of consanguinity (whether natural or legal) or affinity;
  3. That either party was a lunatic or idiot at the time of the marriage;
  4. That the former husband or wife of either party was living at the time of the marriage, and the marriage with
  5. such former husband or wife was then in force.

Judicial Separation

According to Section 22 of the Divorce Act, 1869, No decree shall hereafter be made for a divorce a mensa er toro, but the husband or wife may obtain a decree of judicial separation, on the ground of adultery, or cruelty, or desertion without reasonable excuse for two years or upwards, and such decree shall have the effect of as divorce mensa et toro under the existing law, and such other legal effect as hereinafter mentioned.

The parties in a suit for judicial separation of christian marriage can raise any above mentioned grounds. A decree of judicial separation is a court order similar to divorce, under which the couple remains legally married but their normal marital obligations cease and they no longer have to go on living together.

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