Disputes in NRI Marriages – How to Handle?

POSTED BY: NRI Legal World | 2 May - 2018

divorce lawyers for NRIs

A marriage is a forever union based on trust and love and the promise to be the best partner possible for the entire life. Nowadays, with an increasing number of divorces, it seems that even this ‘forever’ union has become just become a “bond” and people behavior have also become very moderate towards it.

If we talk about an NRI marriage, “Wow! It’s a dream come true” for many Indian families and girls too. As in India, girls have that fantasy of getting married to an NRI groom and settle out in abroad. Moreover, even the family supports their decision and look for an NRI to maintain their status in the society. However, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

The number one and ever-rising problem in NRI marriages is fraud and abandonment. So let’s come to the problems related to NRI marriages in India:

Meaning of an NRI Marriage

“NRI marriages” typically means a marriage between an Indian woman and an Indian man who is residing abroad, who can be either an India citizen and going to be lawfully an ‘NRI’ or can be a permanent resident of the country where he is presently residing.

Common Problems in NRI Indian Marriages:

Usually, problems arise in the case when an Indian woman is married to an NRI boy and later she gets trapped in a deceitful marriage. The biggest challenge faced by an Indian woman is her being stuck in a foreign country where there is a language barrier, no proper knowledge about local laws, regulations etc. In a lot of NRI marriages – the cases of dowry, harassment, and polygamy of an NRI husband are also quite common.

Another significant problem faced by women is their compromised social and financial security in a foreign country. The situation becomes more terrifying when she is not in touch with her parents, relatives and friends; at the end she is all alone, helpless in a foreign land facing difficulties with nowhere to go.

What problems can arise out of an NRI marriage?

  • Most of the time, women who are married to an NRI boy may be dumped even before taking her abroad after marriage.
  • If she goes to the foreign country with her husband, he harasses her mentally and physically. A lot of times, NRI husbands mistreat their wives and restrict their freedom. They also demand a lot of dowry.
  • There are many examples wherein the girl is dumped in the foreign country without any financial or moral support.
  • The most common issue in an NRI marriage is polygamy. After getting married, the girl comes to know that her husband already is married to another girl in the foreign country. The reason why he married an Indian woman could be under the pressure of his parents or sometimes to use the girl for domestic help and demand dowry from her parents.
  • In order to cheat in the marriage, NRI boy give his wrong information to the parents of the girl regarding his job, status, earning, marital status and more.

As per a research report by NCW, the maximum number of FIRs relating to NRI marriages is registered from India, thereafter followed by US and Australia.

In this report, Supreme Court has highlighted some integral points regarding its verdict in cases like Neeraja Sharaph vs. Jayant V. Saraph and has advised to consider legislative protection of the interests of women and also stated the below-mentioned provisions:

  1. When an NRI gets married to an Indian woman in India, it cannot be negated by any overseas court.
  2. In the case of separation, a justified alimony must be paid to the wife from the husband’s property.
  3. The verdict of Indian court should be made practicable in any foreign court both on the principle of harmony by entering into mutual agreements and notify them under section 44A of the Civil Procedure Code.

How to avoid such problems?

Prevention is better than cure. There are a few precautionary measures that can be taken prior to marrying an NRI:

  1. Verification of NRI groom’s background before getting married- Before getting hitched with an NRI groom, parents should verify some important documents that include:
  • Visa or Passport
  • Voter or registration card
  • Social Security Number
  • Tax returns
  • Bank details and statements
  • License details
  • Property Documents
  • Marital Status
  • Employment details
  • Immigration status
  • Criminal record
  • Family background
  1. What measures parents should take to keep their daughter safe and secure on the foreign land and decrease the chances of fraud?
  • Along with a religious marriage ceremony, register the marriage in court and keep an authentic proof like marriage photographs, video recordings etc.
  • Don’t opt for secret marriages – invite more and more people for the wedding ceremony. This can also work as a proof, later on.
  • Deny the plan of getting married abroad as the rules and regulations might differ pertaining to marriages there. In many cases, legal decree of Indian court does not bind in any other country.
  • Parent should educate themselves regarding the laws related to domestic violence or abuse in other country.
  • Open a secretive bank account in the name of bride that has the address of foreign residence, which can be helpful in case of emergency.
  • Make sure that you have all the important photocopies including visa, passport, marriage certificate, etc.
  1. Be prepared with a safety plan in case of emergencies –
  • As mentioned in the above points, keep the photocopy of all the documents handy.
  • Try to arrange a bank account in the bride’s name, so in case of emergency she can withdraw money.
  • Keep the contact details and email ids of the Police, State authority, and Indian Embassy in the foreign country handy with you.
  • Have some basic knowledge of laws against domestic violence or abuse in the foreign country where you are living.
  • Find some decent-paying job so you can be financially independent.
  • Be in touch with relatives and friends and update them about yourself regularly.
  • In any circumstances, don’t give your passport or visa to any unofficial person.

These are some of the precautionary steps that an Indian woman and her family must take into consideration before marrying an NRI boy to avoid issues in future.

If you are going through any problem or legal issue concerning NRI marriage, we at NRI Legal World are there to assist you. Our team of experienced lawyers provides extensive help to provide a quick and right resolution to NRIs facing problems in their marriage. We also have a qualified team of divorce lawyers for NRIs. To learn more about our services, feel free to call us at +91 85-85-85-71-71 or email at info@nrilegalworld.com.


By : NRI Legal World

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