How to register foreign divorce in India ?

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Matrimonial laws are not same throughout the world. They differ on a country to country basis. But Indian courts do recognize the foreign judgments if they are granted on valid grounds. The execution of a valid foreign decree can be done in the Indian Courts with the help of a good divorce lawyer. For example, if a party from Pune living in USA got a divorce decree in USA and wants to execute it in Pune can do so with the help of a best divorce lawyer in Pune.

Divorce decree obtained from a foreign court can be of two types-

  • Mutual Consent Divorce which has been passed by a competent foreign court
  • Contested Divorce given by a foreign court having Jurisdiction

Mutual Consent Divorce-

In case of this type of divorce, decree granted by a foreign court is considered a valid in the Indian courts. This is by virtue of Section 13 and 14 of the Civil Procedure Court. Section 13 provides the conditions that invalidate a foreign decree while on the other hand Section 14 states the grounds when the Indian Courts would consider a foreign judgment conclusive.

But in the case of contested divorce it is not sure whether the Indian courts will consider the foreign judgment as valid or not. Cases where Indian Courts will not consider foreign judgments as valid-

  • When the judgment is passed ex party i.e. without hearing the other party.
  • When the divorce is granted on grounds other than the ones considered as valid as per the personal laws of India.

The Supreme Court in the case of Y Narasimha Rao and Ors. Vs. Y. Venkata Lakshmi and Anr, has laid down various conditions which are required to be fulfilled to validate a foreign divorce decree in India. These include-

  • The divorce must be granted on grounds recognized by Indian Courts like cruelty, desertion, adultery, etc.
  • It must be in conformity to the Indian Laws. It must not breach them.
  • The court must have the jurisdiction to deal with the case.
  • The divorce must be given on merits that means after evaluating the facts and circumstances of the case.
  • The decree must not be obtained by force and principles of natural justice i.e. right to be heard and fair process must have been followed.

Execution of a Foreign Divorce Decree in India

The decrees passed by the foreign court can be executed in the Indian courts by filing an execution under Section 44A CPC.  If the decree is not passed by reciprocating territory then a suit on the decree needs to be filed and the decree acts as an evidence in the case. This is when the decree is passed by the court of a country which is not a reciprocating territory mentioned in the official gazette of India. In this case with the help of an advocate, you can file a suit in the Indian Court where this decree can be provided as an evidence.

So, with the help of an advocate, if the decree passed by the foreign court is fair and valid you can get it executed under S44A of CPC or else file a fresh suit for it.

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