‘NRI Divorce Lawyers’ are the need of time. 18 million Indians are living abroad. This is the highest in the world. Divorce itself is complicated. Complication compounds and aggravate when it involves the Indian Law of Divorce and Foreign Divorce and issues arising out of the same.

General Questions on NRI Divorce

  • Can a marriage that is solemnized in India dissolved by a foreign Court?
  • Can Indian’s living abroad file a case for Divorce in a foreign Court?
  • Whether a decree of divorce granted by a foreign Court is valid, legal, and binding in India?
  • Whether exparte decree of divorce as granted by the foreign Court is valid and binding in India?
  • Can Indian Court restrain a spouse who has instituted divorce proceedings in a foreign country?
  • Is it necessary that if a divorcee decree is obtained from a foreign Court need to validated in India by Indian Courts?
  • What will happen to Child Custody if one spouse comes back to India?
  • Will the foreign judgment regarding Child Custody in NRI matters enforceable in India?

Answer to aforesaid questions differs from situation to situation and case to case. basis. However, as per Indian Law as interpreted by Indian Court including the Supreme Court of India on NRI divorce issues, the settled position can be stated as under :

Mutual Consent Divorce amongst NRIs in Foreign Court

Mutual consent divorce amongst NRI granted by foreign Court will be considered as legal, valid and binding in India. Section 13 & Section 14 of the Code of Civil procedure recognizes the validity of a foreign judgment. Section 13 of CPC says that a foreign court is valid and conclusive unless it falls under any of the following six categories:-

  1. where it has not been pronounced by a Court of competent jurisdiction;
  2. where it has not been given on the merits of the case;
  3. where it appears on the face of the proceedings to be founded on an incorrect view of international law or a refusal to recognize the law of 1[India] in cases in which such law is applicable;
  4. where the proceedings in which the judgment was obtained are opposed to natural justice;
  5. where it has been obtained by fraud;
  6. where it sustains a claim founded on a breach of any law in force in 1[India].

Mutual Consent Divorce does not fall under any of the exceptions mentioned above. It is done with the consent of the parties. Consent gives jurisdiction to the Foreign Court. Hindu Marriage Act and other similar laws have provisions for mutual divorce. Therefore, it does not violate the law. The irreconcilable differences is a valid ground in India in mutual divorce. It is in conformity with the Indian law of divorce. It does not breach. Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has affirmed this issue in the classic case on the subject in Y. Narsimha case.  

It is not mandatory and compulsory to obtain a declaration or ratification of mutual divorce by the Indian Court. However, it is desirable and advisable to seek a declaration from the Court in India to avoid future conflicts and explanations.

Exparte NRI Divorce by a Foreign Court

An exparte decree  of divorce granted in NRI divorce matter is not valid, legal, and binding in India. Exparte NRI divorce implies that one spouse had initiated a petition for divorce in a foreign Court. And the other party could not contest the same. Such foreign divorce is not applicable in India as it falls within the exceptions of section 13 CPC as mentioned above. Foreign Court will not have jurisdiction. It is not given on the merit of the case since one party could not participate. Divorce laws of foreign countries generally accept irreconcilable differences or irretrievable breakdowns of marriage as the ground for divorce. However, it is not applicable in India. Divorce by mutual consent is the excepti0n is an exception to this rule. This view was laid down clearly by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Y. Narsimha(supra).

Contested NRI Divorce in a Foreign Court

Contested Divorce is the the most intriguing aspect of NRI Divorce. Being NRI Divorce Lawyers, we have been contesting such cases in different jurisdictions across the Court. There is no definite and conclusive rule in this regard considering different scenarios and circumstances. However, we can understand the same at a broad level.

When parties contest divorce in a Foreign Court

In this case, divorce is likely to get recognition in India. It is held that after contesting a divorce case in a foreign Courts jurisdiction and submitting to the jurisdiction, the losing party can not initiate a fresh round of litigation in India.

When parties do not contest divorce in a Foreign Court

In this case, upon receipt of the summons, it will be appropriate for the party involved to immediately file an objection to the jurisdiction of the Foreign Court. It is equally advisable to come back to India if the summons is served in the foreign Court.

Besides the above, there are several situations and circumstances that call for NRI Divorce Lawyers’ expertise to deal and advise according to the individual circumstances of the case.

As of date, we have extensively covered various foreign jurisdictions. We worked closely with the aspect of foreign Divorce.  We are fully in sync with the laws of divorce of the United States of America(USA), Germany, Australia, Canada, UAE, Singapore, United Kingdom( UK), and all major countries.

We also have achieved a unique distinction of fighting in the jurisdiction of the foreign Country. We objected to their jurisdiction. Foreign Court has recognized it does not have jurisdiction. One of the matters is widely reported in Australian Law Journals.

Our hands-on approach always helps us aligned best with our clients to foster a relationship that goes beyond the usual Advocate and client relationship. We understand the sensitivity and compassion involved in the cases.