POSTED BY: NRI Legal World | 6 May - 2019
In India, marriage is regarded as a sacred institution that not just binds two souls but also their families. Regardless of this, a number of atrocities on women who are married to NRIs are increasing day by day. Be it deaths on accounts of domestic violence, abandonment or dowry; the numbers have been rising at a shocking speed.
It appears to be ironical that many Indian women are not aware of their legal rights, and therefore keep quiet and continue to tolerate atrocities carried out on them. To combat injustice, one needs to have a thorough understanding of her legal rights. The Indian constitution, under Article 14, backs women for their rights in the country. It ensures that women get equality in terms of protection of the laws.
Listed below are 7 legal rights that every married must know:
1.Right to Live in NRI Husband’s Home
According to Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, the wife has all the rights to reside in the household where she got married (her husband’s home). Her NRI husband or his parents could own this house. It could also be self-owned, inherited, or a rented house. The wife also has the right to reside in her matrimonial home if her husband is not there or has passed away.
A lot of incidents have occurred wherein the NRI husband has abandoned the rented house when his relation with his wife deteriorates. Nevertheless, this does not allow the husband to free himself from providing the basic necessities to his wife and children.
2. Right to Maintenance by NRI Husband
A wife has all the rights to reasonable living standards as well as basic comforts of life and it is the duty of her husband to provide them. Nevertheless, these standards and amenities are proportional to the husband’s living standards, his assets along with his income. If the relation between the NRI husband and wife turns sour, the husband is obligated to provide the basic comforts to his wife and children. The ‘basic comforts’ refers to things like a place to live, clothing, food, medical support, education, etc. Section 125 of CPC, 1973 is in favor of this right.
A woman even after separating from her husband can legally claim up to 25% of her husband’s net income in the form of alimony.
3. Right to Child Maintenance
The husband and wife are bound to provide for all the needs of their minor child. If the woman is not monetarily capable of earning a living, then it is the duty of the husband to take care of all the financial help. If both husband and wife are unable to make a living, they can seek help from their parents in order to take care of their child. Furthermore, a minor child also has the legal right of seeking partition in the ancestral property.
4. Right to Committed Relationship
A satisfied and successful betrothed life can never be led without full commitment from both NRI husband and wife equally. A married man cannot be in relation with some other woman during his marriage. This means that having an extra-marital affair is a punishable offense. He can be charged for adultery by his wife. Adultery in India is also a common reason for divorce under Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
5. Right to Streedhan
As per the Hindu Succession Law, Streedhan is referred to as the gift that a lady receives before her marriage ceremony, during her wedding, or when she gives birth to her child. It can comprise of all kinds of immovable as well as movable things such as properties, furniture, gifts, money, etc.
The primary aim of providing a married woman Streedhan is to ensure that she has some kind of financial backup after her marriage. It must also be noted that even after separating or losing her husband, the woman does not lose her ownership rights to all her Streedhan. Any denial of Streedhan to the wife makes the husband and her in-laws guilty in the eyes of the law. In case, the mother-in-law has the woman’s Streedhan and passes away without any Will, then the woman can claim it legally and no one can deny her access to Streedhan.
6. Right to Parental Home
There was a time in the past when people had a strong belief that ‘Beti Paraya Dhan Hoti Hai.’ However, as time progressed, people’s outlook for daughters changed considerably and so did the laws. At present, daughters can legally acquire the assets of their parents in the same way their male siblings do. And, their marriage does not affect their right to inherit.
Daughter’s Inheritance Rights in India
According to the amendments made in 2005 to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, the daughter, whether unmarried or married, has equivalent rights as her brother when it comes to inheriting her father’s assets after his demise. In other words, daughters have equal rights, responsibilities, and duties as their male siblings. Furthermore, the daughters also have a share in their mothers’ properties. In case, the father passes away without any Will, the daughters can seek legal help from the court to get their rights.
A Daughter as Coparcener
A coparcenary is constituted with the four generations in the family. In earlier times, a daughter of the family was not eligible for becoming a coparcener. However, under the Hindu Succession Act of 2005, the married women have equal rights to becoming a coparcener. It gives woman the legal rights on the coparcenary properties. This means that now women have an equal share in the property that is undivided since birth.
7. Right to Live with Respect and Dignity
A wife has the legal right to live with nobility and self-respect at her in-laws. She, likewise, has the right to enjoy the similar type of lifestyle that her NRI husband or in-laws enjoy. Women can legally enjoy independence after their marriage. They also have the right to speak against any kind of mental or physical torture carried out on them.
To conclude, the daughter-in-law across India, in any home, must be treated as a family member, i.e. with complete affection and care. She must not be regarded as an outsider, by any means. She also must not be treated like a maid. The family must not give her any kind of feeling that she can be thrown out of the house anytime.
Have you been deprived of any of your legal rights as a wife of an NRI husband? If yes, NRI Legal World is there for you. We have the most experienced and skilled lawyers who will help you in getting the complete compensation and every right which you deserve as a married woman. Feel free to contact us at +91 85-85-85-71-71 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org today itself!