Do you love your wife? You better do !
There were few changes proposed weeks back in the marriage laws in India, which everybody should be aware about. A bill called “Marriage Law’s (Amendment) Bill 2010″ was passed by the cabinet, which is pending for discussion in Rajya Sabha and some major changes in the women rights are suggested, on how the properties would be divided after divorce.
The biggest change says – “As per new Divorce law, Wife share in property would be 50% in all her husband’s residential properties, no matter what and in other properties, her share will be decided as per the court decision.”
Wife share in property owned by husband would be 50%
Earlier, before this change – a women was entitled for a share in husband’s properties, but there was no quantum defined as per law, it would be any percentage depending on the case, but now with this suggested change, a women will enjoy equal sharing without any condition in all the residential properties owned by husband. But in this case, women will have to specifically apply for her share, she should be aware about this law about “50% share” .
A major change in this amendment is that this rule is applicable to all the properties of the husband acquired before and after the marriage, whereas as the earlier law made sure that the wife gets share only in those properties which are acquired by husband only after marriage. Now men stand to loose on this front, in-case things so sour with wife.
Husband & Wife joint holder’s in a residential property
You should be clear by now, what will happen in the case where a property is registered in the joint names of husband and wife. A lot of couple register a house in joint names, a lot of times both pay’s from their respective salaries, and in some cases only one party pays (generally husband). Imagine divorce happens – Who will get how much ? Women will keep her 50% part and she will also get half of her husband share in the house, so 75% wife and 25% husband.
Rights of women after divorce on other properties in India?
Apart from the mandatory 50% share in husband’s residential properties, the wife will also be entitled to get a share in other kind of properties, but the quantum is not set, as per the Bill, it will depend on “living standard of the wife”
Waiver of six months cooling period possible
As per the old Indian law which governed the division of assets for women after divorce, it was mandatory for husband and wife to spend at-least 6 months together before applying for divorce, but with this new amendment bill, there are provisions of waiving off the 6 months cool off period or lessen it, but only if both husband and wife wants it. Which means if one of the spouse wants to get divorce on an “urgent basis” , but other does not, it will not be possible. This is one of the major change in the bill and will help those couples who do not want to serve that “6 months” cool off period of living together.
Is this a anti-male law ?
A lot of groups have termed this change as anti-marriage and ant-male law and critically oppose it, they have termed it as a bill totally against males and illogical. The major issues with the amendment are as follows
- The bill talks about only the division of Husband Properties, but not wife’s properties. So in-case women is at fault, still she will get 50% share in husband property, but her share of property will not be divided.
- A major disappointment for men in this bill is that, even the “person at fault” can apply for getting the share of property, and the other party will have to respond to it. Generally as per old law’s when mutual consent was not there, the victim applies for the property share and the person who is the “bad person” has to respond to it. Now with his law change, wife can seek a divorce and ask for share in property.
- If wife and husband are living apart from many years, a wife can oppose the divorce on the grounds of financial hardship, but men can not! . This is called Irretrievable breakdown of marriage
- There are concern’s raised like this law will encourage more divorce’s are women can get hold of property easily for sure.
Now there are some serious concerns due to these changes. If a husband has one residential properties, old parents who are financial dependent on him and there is divorce between husband and wife, the wife could take 50% share, in which case the men will be left with 50% property, this seems very unjustified. What is the women already owned 2 more properties on her name? She has nothing to worry! .
One serious drawback of this law is that some men, who are undergoing a bad phase of marriage, may convert their residential properties into immovable assets, or just transfer it on other names to save themselves from parting away with 50% share in worst case.
While there are cases where women are deprived of their share in wealth at the time of divorce in India and there was requirement of strong laws which focuses on rights of women in case of divorce in India, this amendment seems to have gone beyond what it wanted and has loopholes which can be exploited by women. With due respect to each gender, it would be great if there would have been some balanced law, and some thought should have gone for worst cases.
To summarize things, here are the take away’s from the changes made in marriage law’s.
- In case of divorce, Woman will have 50% share in the residential property of a man
- The wife will have to take the initiative of seeking her share in such cases.
- Women and children will also have rights in the other assets of man, which will be decided by court
- It does not matter if the property was acquired by before or after the marriage
What do you think about this amendment ? Do you also feel its too anti-male but only designed keeping women in mind ? Do you feel its correct to keep 50% share for wife in husband’s property in case of divorce as per law in India ? Note that the bill still needs to be passed and right now only the cabinet has passed the changes. It is yet to become a law after getting passed in both houses.
Note : The information provided on this article is based on various media articles and the exact circular could not be found out. Also the bill still needs to be passed, only then it will become an act finally and will be implemented.