Divorce in the USA for Indian Couples: A Legal Analysis

New Delhi, January 3, 2024: In a recent judgment delivered by the High Court of Delhi, an interesting legal dilemma unfolds in the case of matrimonial discord between an Indian couple residing in the USA. The appellant-husband, sought relief against an order dismissing his application under Order XXXIX Rule 1 C.P.C. & XXXIX Rule 2 C.P.C. read with Section 151 C.P.C. The court’s decision raises questions about jurisdiction, forum conveniens, and the recognition of foreign judgments. The Delhi High Court’s judgment has raised pertinent questions about the recognition of foreign divorce decrees in India.

Key Points

  1. Background: The couple, who married in Delhi in 2018, moved to the USA shortly after. A child was born in the USA in 2021, and the couple returned to Delhi temporarily in 2022.
  2. Divorce Proceedings: The husband filed for divorce in Delhi in 2023, alleging cruelty. Simultaneously, the wife initiated divorce proceedings in Michigan, USA, claiming irretrievable breakdown.
  3. Anti-suit Injunction: The husband sought an anti-suit injunction in Delhi to restrain the wife from proceeding with the US divorce. The Delhi Family Court dismissed the application, leading to the present appeal.
  4. Legal Arguments: The husband argues that the USA lacks jurisdiction, emphasizing the couple’s Indian citizenship and the marriage solemnization in Delhi. The wife contends that the USA is the appropriate forum, citing the child’s US citizenship and their prolonged residence there.
  5. Court’s Decision: The Delhi High Court, citing precedents, rejected the anti-suit injunction, asserting the USA as the forum conveniens. The judgment emphasizes the need for both parties to present evidence in the USA court regarding the applicability of Indian matrimonial law.
Image of a Building and Flag of USA in the background. Image overlay is of an Indian married couple. Text overlay says "Divorce in USA for Indian Couple" Image over

Legal Precedents and Analysis

The court referred to Y. Narasimha Rao and Ors. v. Y. Venkata Lakshmi Rao, establishing that foreign judgments must align with the matrimonial law under which the parties were married. The judgment also considered Dinesh Kumar Thakur v. Sonal Thakur, highlighting that the court should not presume a foreign court is wrongly exercising jurisdiction.


The judgment underscores the complexity of jurisdictional disputes in matrimonial cases involving international dimensions. The legal battle, now centered in the USA, will determine the fate of the divorce proceedings, emphasizing the importance of recognizing foreign judgments in India.

Download Judgment

Click above to download this Judgment in the case titled MAT.APP.(F.C.) 358/2023. It can serve as a valuable resource for legal reference.

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