Rights Of A Wife After Or Before Divorce In India


Certainly, Marriage is an without end bond between a man and woman, but when both of them decide to part their ways, a lot is divided, including the assets they own.

An amount which husband has to pay to the wife for the Divorce is known as maintenance and an amount which is to be paid to wife from the date of filing of petition of divorce to the date of dismissal or decree is known as interim maintenance.

The main aim is to provide financial independence to the divorced women so as to facilitate convenience. Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Court provides remedy to those who are neglected and seek maintenance. Section 125(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that if both husband and wife are living separately with mutual consent, the wife cannot claim allowance from maintenance but a divorce decree by mutual consent to live separately cannot deprive her right to claim maintenance.

The amount of maintenance fixed by the court depends upon the monthly income of the husband, the income of the wife, his financial status, among other things.

Maintenance Rights
  • A married woman can claim maintenance when she is living separately from her husband even if she is not seeking divorce under Hindu law alone. She is entitled to reside separately from her husband without forfeiture of her right to maintenance under Hindu Adoption Marriage Act, 1956. But, Section 125(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that if both husband and wife are living separately with mutual consent, the wife cannot claim allowance from maintenance.

  • Under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 a Hindu wife is entitled to claim maintenance from her husband in case if he is guilty of cruelty, desertion, polygamy or has a venereal disease, thereby enforcing her rights in divorce.

  • Under Section 25 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 act, it provides for permanent Alimony and Maintenance of wife and child.

  • In Hindus, The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 grant the right to women to claim maintenance after divorce.

  • In Muslims, The law that governs maintenance of divorced women is the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

  • In Christians, Divorced Christian women can claim maintenance under the Indian Divorce Act, 1869.

  • In Parsis,The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act,1936 provides the right of a wife to claim maintenance from her husband as one of the rights of wife after divorce in India.

  • As per the Special Marriage Act, 1954 a divorced wife can claim spousal support and maintenance from her husband on the basis of his financial ability, property, miscellaneous assets, wife’s current earning, etc. There is a provision of a wife’s right on the husband’s property in India.

Ancestral property Rights

A married woman has to be provided with shelter and maintenance by husband after the divorce. If she is a member of a joint family then she will be entitled to equal share of the husband, jointly with his mother and her children(after his death).

Child Custody Rights
  • The custody of child in India is governed by the personal laws of the religion practices with Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 which is applied to every citizen.

  • A Hindu child’s custody is decided according to Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 along with Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 which also includes Jain, Buddhists and The Sikhs.

Belongings Rights
  • In the case of abandonment, the wife has the right to get the possession of everything that belongs to her. She becomes the sole owner of what she owns, including her personal ornaments, insurance policy, bonds, Fixed Deposits (FD) or something else.

  • In case, if the in-laws do any misconduct with her while returning the same, the husband or his family is held guilty under the Section 14 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956, and Section 27 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Matrimonial Home Right

A person has a right to live in a property if it is their matrimonial home. This means that even if your spouse owns the property in their sole name, you have the right to live there until your marriage ends. This is called matrimonial home rights.

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