Legal Rights of Married Women in India

Law
07-Nov-2022
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In India, marriage doesn't happen only between two people but also between their families. Marriage, referred to as a social institution, is an affirmance of civilized social order where two people are capable of entering into wedlock.

Once a woman is married, she is supposed to leave her in-laws' house when it's her final rites." This line is usually used in daily soaps, advertisements, dramas, and movies to represent the unwavering loyalty and love of an Indian woman towards her husband and in-laws.

Every woman must be aware of specific laws and rights for married women. Hence, we are sharing a detailed list of Indian legal laws/rights to which a married woman is entitled.

Right to Reside in Marital Home

A married woman furthermore has the right to live in a marital home. The property belongs to the husband or in-laws or is leased; a woman has a right to live there. The right to the marital home at the time of separation can not be taken away, not even during ongoing domestic violence proceedings.The Supreme Court justified the same while analyzing the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act requirements, which cover women's legal rights against domestic violence.

Right to Streedhan

Streedhan refers to a woman's possessions at the time of her marriage. It is different from the Dowry; it is a gift given to the wife before or after marriage without force. The Courts have clearly stated that women will have exclusive rights over their Stree Dhan even if it is in the control of her husband or in-laws, excluding any content for the husband's joint status.

Right to Maintenance by Husband

Maintenance refers to the financial support that a husband gives to his wife during marriage. A woman financially depends on her husband for her basic costs and can seek maintenance per the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and the CrPC, 1973. After divorce, until she gets married to the other person (if she wants to).

The legal rights of divorced women in India have alimony rights that can be in annual payments, lump sum, full payments, or monthly as decided by the court. It must be noted that the requirement of maintenance is gender-neutral. That is, it doesn't depend on any specific gender. In some instances, maintenance to the husband can be given by the wife when he is dependent upon his wife. Know More about Maintenance rights of Divorced women.

Right to Live with Respect and dignity

A married woman has the right to live with respect, dignity and Decency have a similar lifestyle to her husband and in-laws. She furthermore has the right to live free from any torture. It is stated in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution rights women to live with dignity. However, the definition of the right to live with dignity and respect may vary among persons.

Right to a committed relationship

As per the act, a Hindu male is restrained from having an affair with anyone else or not marrying any other girl unless he is legally divorced. According to section 497 of IPC, if the spouse has an affair with any other woman, he will be charged with adultery. His wife has the right to file for divorce because of having an extramarital relationship with any other lady.

Right to Succession in Parental Property

Under the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, the Supreme Court upheld the right of a married woman to her parental property. It is stated by the court that 'Once a daughter, always a daughter. Before 2005, the laws did not include the right of a female to have a part of Parental property. Yet, in the 2005 revision to the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, a woman (married or unmarried) has similar rights over the property as a son.

Rights Against Violence

Domestic violence is a concern to worry about in India. As per a survey, this rose during lockdown due to COVID-19. The law grants protective rights to married women in India to protect women from this issue.

The lawyers of domestic violence must be reached without any delay. Besides violence and cruelty as a reason for divorce, cruelty by a husband or relatives is also punishable under the Penal Code. Any woman suffering from violence, mental or physical, must raise their voice and take legal action. Understand more about women's legal rights against domestic violence.

Right to have the Body

Every person has a right to one's Body. And as a legal right, the woman has an exclusive right over her own Body. She has the legal right to her fitness and abortion. However, it may be noted that these rights are part of a marriage, and there is no transparency over the long-debated topic of spousal rape. Yet, the right to Body also includes the right to deny bizarre sex against the husband.

Right to Move Out of Marriage

Having each other's consent is essential to enter a marital relationship. The couple enjoys certain rights against each other as a husband and wife. Although, moving out of such a marriage when cohabitation is no extended bliss is the right for both. It can be enjoyed mutual consent Divorce or contested divorce over specific grounds if one of the spouses does not agree to divorce. The law also grants Muslim woman's right to divorce in particular scenarios. Since rules under Muslim laws are tricky, lawyers for Muslim laws should be consulted.

Property Rights of Married Women in India

There are specific aspects concerning women's legal rights in India regarding the property. It may be understood that marriage does not affect cutting married women's property rights in India. 

As we discussed above, If it is her parental property, she has a similar right that a son has. Furthermore, the husband's property, the married woman has no right to the acquired property of her husband during his life. In India, a widow has legal rights to her deceased husband's property. If joint property she has invested in and the spouses have decided to divorce, she has the right to share proportional to the percentage she has invested in the same. 

Conclusion:

Most women seek to take legal help only when the situation becomes unbearable do they act; even some return to their parent's home without taking any legal action. Most women prefer to consult female lawyers for marital issues to assure ease and trust.

I hope this article clarifies the rights and laws that the Indian constitution provides you. It is adequate to be aware of your rights. One must live to the fullest, not suffer through in silence.

For any legal help related to the laws and rights of a married woman, call Rest the case. Our lawyers will provide you with the best solutions.