India is one of the most secular states in the whole world. The people in India belong to various religions and several laws have been enacted based on religions. Many of the issues are settled between the parties as per their personal laws. Matters such as succession, marriage, divorce, etc are solved by the prevailing personal laws. One such major law is the divorce law. Either party to the marriage can apply for a divorce as per the procedure stated in their personal laws. The beginning of such a procedure involves serving legal notice for divorce by one party to other in a marriage.
For example: A Hindu married couple who is willing to get divorced shall follow the divorce procedure stated in the Hindu Marriage Act.
Taking divorce should be the last resort after trying various methods to save a marriage. Many couples act impulsively and ask their spouses to get a divorce without following a proper procedure established by the law. The divorce notice is even not properly drafted stating all the legal complications involved.
As per law, the parties must mention the basic details required for filing a divorce in the notice. Since seeking divorce is a huge step, one must consider all the after-effects before taking such a big decision.
When a divorce notice is sent by one party to the marriage to the other party, it states that parties are willing to seek divorce in the manner specified. People seek divorce due to several issues such as cruelty, harassment, or when the parties are not able to solve any problems between them. A legal notice intimates the other about the intentions of the party sending the notice.
It has been noticed several times that parties have solved their problems through discussions and mutual understanding out of the court after the divorce notice has been served mentioning all the grievances faced by the party serving the notice.
If the other party is also willing to take this forward, he has to send a reply to the notice for proceeding to file a petition for divorce before the court. It is usually suggested that a legal notice should be drafted by a legal and competent professional who has experience in the respective field. Such professional has knowledge about what details must be mandatorily stated in the notice. A legal notice for divorce should necessarily state:
- What acts of the opposite party made the first party serve a notice?
- What are remedies available with the party to be used against the opposite party while serving the notice?
- The notice should state a maximum time limit to be given to the opposite party for sending a reply to the divorce notice served.
What Is A Legal Notice For Divorce?
A legal divorce notice is a formal communication made by one party to the other in a marriage. The notice contains details informing the other party about the intention of the first party to undertake divorce proceedings against him/her.
What Is The Procedure To Send A Legal Notice For Divorce?
There are two types of divorces, namely, mutual divorce and contested divorce. Under mutual notice, there is no need of serving notice and parties are required to file a joint petition before the court to apply for divorce. In cases of a contested divorce, there is a need to serve a legal notice to the other to that he/she can get an idea about the intentions of the first party. There is a basic process for sending a legal notice for divorce by either party to the marriage. The process is mentioned below:
Hiring a Professional
The first step is to hire an advocate who has the required skill set and knowledge about the respective personal law and in the field of law. A professional helps in drafting a legal notice mentioning all the details and facts and the issues in the marriage which led a party to the marriage taking such a huge step. The party and the advocate need to ensure that the divorce notice contains the name of the person against whom the party is intending to serve the notice. The language of the divorce notice can be either English or any other language being the local language understandable to both parties.
Details of the Legal Notice for Divorce
While connecting and hiring a legal professional, it is important for the party to provide all the necessary information connected to the divorce. The information includes:
- Name of both the parties seeking divorce
- Address of party and the opposite party
- Details with regard to the cause of action creating problems in the married life
- Other major issues being faced by the party in the marriage, and
- Any previous conciliation methods to solve the problems of marriage between the parties.
Drafting Case Notes
After the advocate contacts the client and discusses all the issues with the party, the advocate needs to carefully examine the details provided by the party. After examining the details, the advocate needs to make relevant notes based on such examination and the information provided by the party. The advocate can contact the party in case any additional information is required for drafting the divorce notice.
Drafting a Legal Notice for Divorce
After gathering all the required information, the advocate drafts a legal notice as per the set rules and laws related to divorce and a legal notice. A well-drafted legal notice for divorce must contain:
- The cause due to which the notice is being sent to the opposite party.
- All relevant details discussed with the party along with the reason for the grievance and possible solution to the issues
- The notice should also state his contact details and the address of his workplace
- The advocate must provide a reasonable time limit of days lying between 15-20 days to the opposite party to either send a reply to such notice or solve the matter by means of conciliation, mutual settlement or by performing a required task.
Sending Of Notice
The advocate is required to send a duly signed divorce notice to the intended party along with the date of signing. It is preferred that such notice must be printed on the letterhead of the advocate or the organization where the advocate works. Such notice can be sent to the opposite party via courier, registered or a speed post and acknowledgment receipt of the same must be retained by the advocate as proof. The advocate also retains a copy of said divorce notice with him.
Reply to the Notice
The party to whom the notice has been sent has two options: to either reply to the notice or solve the matter by mutually solving the same. The opposite to whom the notice is being served, must reply to the notice within the time prescribed in the notice or try to reconcile the marriage. If the opposite party does not reply to the served notice in the given time frame, then appropriate legal actions can be taken against the opposite party as stated in the divorce notice.
If the opposite party sends a reply stating his/her willingness to solve the matter, it can be resolved with the help of a professional. But if the opposite party sends a reply showing his/her intentions to continue with the divorce proceeding, then the parties can file a divorce petition before the competent court showing their intention to terminate the marriage and state the reasons leading the parties to seek divorce.
There is a general and basic procedure in which a legal notice for divorce is sent to the opposite party by the party intending to seek a contested divorce. Personal divorce laws contain certain grounds on which the parties to a marriage are allowed to terminate their marriage by way of divorce. As the whole process of divorce affects the mental condition of the parties, it is advisable to hire an experienced advocate to remove all the legal complications involved in the process. The advocate along with collecting all the information from the party can also look after all the required paperwork to be submitted before the court so that the parties can look after themselves and their families while going through a stressful phase of life.
What If Divorce Notice Is Not Received?