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Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan granted divorce on grounds of cruelty by estranged wife

Shikhar Dhawan has been granted a divorce on the grounds of cruelty by the family court of Delhi. The court's decision came after mutual consent and noted that the estranged wife had intentionally left the matter uncontested.

Cricket Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan granted divorce on grounds of cruelty by estranged wife osf
First Published Oct 5, 2023, 1:22 PM IST

In a significant development, the family court of Delhi has granted a divorce to the renowned cricketer Shikhar Dhawan and his estranged wife. The court ruled that Shikhar Dhawan is entitled to a decree of divorce on the grounds of cruelty. The judge, Harish Kumar, noted that both parties had mutually consented to the divorce and had not lived as husband and wife since August 8, 2020.

The court further highlighted that the respondent, Shikhar Dhawan's estranged wife, intentionally chose not to contest the matter, indicating her willingness to accept the divorce even at the cost of being held guilty of matrimonial offenses. This decision stemmed from her knowledge that she had already obtained favorable orders from the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Australia.

The court stated that these circumstances and facts supported the petitioner's claim for a divorce based on cruelty. Consequently, the court issued a decree of divorce under Section 13(1)(a) of the Hindu Marriage Act, dissolving the marriage between the parties, which had been solemnized on December 30, 2012, according to Sikh rites.

Furthermore, Shikhar Dhawan had also sought permanent custody of his minor son, arguing that it would be morally, psychologically, and mentally detrimental for the child to remain with the respondent. This claim was bolstered by the existence of a pending criminal case against the respondent, which weighed in favor of the petitioner.

The issue of custody in this case presented unique complexities. A court in Australia had previously directed Shikhar Dhawan to withdraw his custody claim in India, while this court had instructed the respondent to withdraw her custody proceedings in Australia. This was primarily due to a dispute over the "doctrine of forum convenience."

The court ruled that the child, who is an Australian citizen residing in Australia, could have visitation with the petitioner during school vacations in India, with the respondent obligated to facilitate these visits. Additionally, unsupervised meetings between the child and the petitioner were to be allowed in Australia, subject to the child's academic schedule.

In his plea, Shikhar Dhawan had revealed that he had discovered post-marriage that the respondent had married him with the sole intention of extorting a substantial sum of money from him. He alleged that she had threatened to fabricate false defamatory material against him if he did not comply with her financial demands.

Moreover, Shikhar Dhawan stated that he had purchased three properties in Australia with his own funds but had been coerced by the respondent to make her the majority owner in one property and a joint owner in two others. She had also reportedly taken a significant portion of the sale proceeds from one property and the entire proceeds from the second property, while demanding the transfer of the title of the third property to her. These allegations were made in support of his plea for divorce on grounds of cruelty.

This divorce case, involving a prominent cricketer, highlights the complexities and challenges often associated with high-profile legal disputes.

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