Navigating Divorce: Like Preparing Biryani but with More Rules

Special Considerations for Divorce within the South Asian Indian Community

Divorce is a difficult and challenging process for anyone, regardless of their cultural background. However, within the Indian Community, due to the many distinctive traditions of people from India, there are some unique concerns that may arise during the divorce process.

Social Stigma

In many Indian communities, divorce is still seen as a taboo. This can lead to feelings of shame and isolation for those who are going through a divorce. It can also make it difficult to find support from certain members of the community, and sometimes even from family and friends.

Financial Challenges

Division of assets is always a concern in a divorce. Within the Indian community, these assets are often quite complex. Quite often, both people may have successful careers and they may co-own a business as well. Considering these complexities, and taking property and retirement account into consideration as well, it is imperative that the parties obtain expert legal counsel who has an understanding of the various intricate details of the Indian community, as well as of complex financial implications of divorce.

Child Custody

In some Indian communities, there is a preference for the mother to have custody of children. However, in the United States, the law generally favors joint custody, and favoritism towards either the mother or father is not allowed. The law requires strong consideration of best interests of the children.  This can be a source of conflict for couples who are divorcing, as they may have different ideas about what is best for their children. Currently, there is a lack of common knowledge in the community regarding court-ordered child custody. How to co-parent while living separate lives is complex and those issues should to be addressed in the divorce proceedings.

Religious Beliefs

Some Indian Americans may have religious beliefs that conflict with divorce. Their Church, Temple, Gurdwara, Asrama, Mosque, etc.  may teach that marriage is a sacred bond that should not be broken. This can make it difficult for people to come to terms with their divorce, and it can also make it difficult to find support from their religious community.

Cultural Differences

There are many cultural differences between India and the United States. These differences can make it difficult to navigate the divorce process, as couples may have different expectations about how the process should unfold. For example, in some Indian communities, it is customary for the husband to pay for the divorce. However, in the United States, both spouses are typically responsible for their own legal fees. In some cases, there may be a pre-marital agreement that provides for financial consequences for one party in the event of a divorce.

Sometimes, the husband has control of the family funds. This can make it difficult for the wife to obtain legal counsel. Within the State of Texas, all family funds are generally part of the community and both members have rights to the funds.

If you are a member of the Indian American community who is considering divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, it is important to be aware of the unique challenges that you may face. At our Law Firm, we have a great understanding of the issues that are faced by people of Indian descent.  Additionally, there are many resources available to help you through this difficult time, including legal assistance, financial counseling, and support groups.

If you are concerned about the social stigma of divorce, you can talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you to understand your feelings and develop coping mechanisms. You can also find support groups for Indian Americans who are going through a divorce.

If you are worried about financial challenges, you can contact a financial advisor who can help you to develop a budget and create a plan for paying your legal fees and other expenses. You may also be eligible for government assistance, such as food stamps or housing assistance.

If you are concerned about child custody, you should speak to an experienced attorney who can help you to understand your rights and options. Ideally, you should seek out an attorney that has experience in working with the unique considerations of the Indian American community.  At Law Firm of John & Morgan, P.C., we have a diverse group that includes Indian American personnel.

If you are facing religious challenges, you should talk to your religious leader or a therapist who can help you to understand your beliefs and how they may be affecting your decision to divorce. In some cases, one party in the divorce may want to consider seeking a different religious community to avoid understandable awkwardness.

No matter what your concerns are, there are people who can help you through this difficult time. Please reach out for help if you need it.


JOHN AND MORGAN is a versatile law firm that handles Family Law cases such as Divorce, Child Support, and Child Custody. We do Wills and Estate Planning. We also do Intellectual Property work such as Patents and Trademark


Call to schedule your consultation at 713-934-7000

Our Website