In India, rules for divorce are connected to religion. Divorce among Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains is governed by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Muslims by the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, Parsis by the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 and Christians by the Indian Divorce Act, 1869. All civil and inter-community marriages are governed by the Special Marriage Act, 1956.
When the husband and wife both agree to a divorce, the courts will consider a divorce with mutual consent. In case of a contested divorce, there are specific grounds on which the petition can be made. It isn’t as if a husband or wife can simply ask for a divorce without stating a reason. These grounds include- cruelty, adultery, desertion, conversion, mental disorder, communicable disease, renunciation of the world or Presumption of Death.
When two people are married, they have an obligation to support each other. This does not necessarily end with divorce. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the right of maintenance extends to any person economically dependent on the marriage. This will include, therefore, either spouse, dependent children and even indigent parents.