On an all-India level, the Special Marriage Act was passed in 1954, and the Hindu Marriage Act, in 1955 which legally permitted divorce to Hindus. Divorce can be sought by husband or wife on certain grounds, including: adultery, cruelty, desertion for two years, religious conversion, mental abnormality, venereal disease, and leprosy.
Divorce causes great stigma among Hindus, especially those of the higher castes, and thus it is not common in this population. For consensual divorce there is a 6 months cooling off period after filing the consent terms in court before the divorce is granted. There are different laws for granting divorce in many communities.