Temporary Separation in Hindu Marriages

Apart from divorce, which has a certain finality to it, you and your spouse can even opt for a decree of judicial separation to better understand if you want a divorce.

Through this measure, the Court orders that you have been officially separated temporarily.

Judicial Separation does not have the same legal effect as divorce. This is because your marriage continues to exist. You cannot remarry legally during judicial separation.

You can apply for a decree of judicial separation for the same reasons as that of divorce. But it will not have the same effect as it does for a divorce. You will continue to be a married couple that lives separately.

After the order for judicial separation has been passed, you and your spouse can exercise one of the two following options:

Option I: Cancelling the Order of Judicial Separation You can approach the Court to cancel this order. You are able to reconcile with your spouse and get back together and live as a married couple after cancelling this order.

Option II: Get a Divorce After one year of receiving the order for judicial separation, if you and your spouse believe that there is no possibility of reconciliation you can file for divorce.

During this period you are entitled to alimony from your spouse. Please read this for more information. Further, the Courts will decide on the question of custody of children.

When can you file for a Hindu Divorce?

You can only file a divorce case if you have a reason recognized by Hindu law. These reasons can vary from ill-treatment by your spouse to your spouse suffering from a mental disorder.

In India, the law provides for specific reasons under which you can file for a divorce.


  • When your spouse has been cruel towards you.
  • When your spouse has had sexual intercourse with another person.
  • When your spouse has left you.


  • When your spouse is suffering from a venereal disease that can be spread to you.
  • When your spouse has a mental disorder.

Absence of Spouse

  • When your spouse has withdrawn from you.
  • When your spouse has been presumed to be dead for 7 years or more.
  • When your spouse has renounced the world by entering any religious order.
  • When you and your spouse have not gotten back together for more than a year, even after a decree for judicial separation was passed by the Court.
  • Even after the Court has passed an order asking you or your spouse to resume your marital obligations, it hasn’t been done for over one year.


  • When your spouse has converted to another religion.