How to Address Matrimonial and Domestic Disputes Effectively?


Matrimonial and domestic disputes are complex issues that often require careful handling and legal expertise. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of matrimonial law, including reasons for disputes, the role of lawyers, key legal provisions, and the procedures involved in Family Court and under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. Our aim is to provide a practical approach to understanding these disputes and how they can be addressed effectively.

Reasons for Matrimonial Disputes:

  • Temperamental Differences: Differences in upbringing, lifestyles, and backgrounds can lead to conflicts.
  • Stress and Tension: Work-related stress, career pressures, and other external factors can strain a marriage.
  • Family Issues: Disputes within the extended family, including parents, can impact marital harmony.
  • Sexual Problems: Often an underlying issue, sexual dissatisfaction can contribute to disputes.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: Changes in hormones during different life stages, such as puberty, childbirth, and menopause, can affect emotions and relationships.

Duties of an Advocate in Handling Matrimonial Disputes:

  • Client Interview: Assess the mental state and background of the client.
  • Written Instructions: Detailed, written instructions from the client are crucial.
  • Document Finalization: Collaborate with the client to finalize notices or petitions.
  • No Interaction with Relatives: Maintain professional boundaries; avoid conversations with the client’s relatives.
  • Record Keeping: Document all communications and maintain records.
  • Guidance During Counseling: Accompany the client during counseling sessions and provide guidance.

Matrimonial Law at Family Courts:

  • Applicable Laws: Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act, Divorce Act, Mohammedan Law, Guardians and Wards Act, Cr. PC (Section 125), PWDV Act (Section 26), and more.
  • Types of Proceedings: RCR, Divorce, Nullity of Marriage, Injunctions, Declarations, Maintenance, Custody, Mutual Consent Divorce, and more.
  • Interlocutory Proceedings: Monthly maintenance, residence rights, injunctions, access orders, and production of documents.
  • Specific Provisions: Section 14 of the Family Courts Act allows flexibility in following the Evidence Act.

Drafting of Petition:

  • Include a detailed account of facts, incidents, and relevant dates.
  • Avoid opinions and stick to factual information.
  • Separate applications for different reliefs.
  • While filing a written statement, file a counterclaim with a separate title and prayer.
  • Write averments regarding the bar of Section 23 of the Hindu Marriage Act if applicable.

Procedure in Family Court:

  • Filing of petitions, summons service, and objections by officers.
  • Hearing of petitions with mandatory counseling sessions.
  • Filing of interim applications and replies.
  • Trial under CPC, but not strictly; Evidence Act is not followed strictly.
  • Use of affidavits of evidence in lieu of examination-in-chief.
  • Cross-examination, arguments, and judgment follow standard court procedures.

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act:

  • Overview of key sections (12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 29).
  • Detailed explanations of provisions related to applications, protection orders, monetary relief, custody orders, and compensation orders.
  • Emphasis on the recent Supreme Court judgment in Prabha Tyagi v. Kamlesh Devi regarding shared household definition.



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