Divorce, which is often done in court, is a legal termination of a marriage. Both couples find that experiencing the divorce procedure is very draining and unpleasant. Legal agreements involving alimony, maintenance, and property make the work more difficult. Throughout their marriage, a couple may have a solid financial foundation, but things may change drastically following divorce. In order to handle one of the most troubling issues, they must comprehend and be conscious of the regulations and procedures that are in place to determine who receives what portion of the property. In India, it is believed that women are dependent on their spouses at the moment of marriage. After their divorce, they lack sufficient employment opportunities and the freedom to become independent. Due to the rights, they may pursue after their divorce, some of these restrictions are eased.
Rights of a Woman in Divorce in India
- Claim for support and alimony
In the case of divorce, women have a right to alimony (https://bestdivorcelawyerindelhi.com/2023/07/31/rights-of-a-woman-in-divorce-in-india/). Women may ask the court for maintenance if they feel they have not received enough alimony. Following a divorce, alimony is paid as a one-time lump payment; however, maintenance is when the same amount is paid on a monthly basis on the designated date. The woman could ask for maintenance up to her remarriage if her alimony does not cover her expenditures.
Women have the fundamental right to request support from their spouses after a divorce in order to support themselves. In order for the woman to sustain herself after their divorce, the husband must give her a certain amount known as maintenance. The prerequisites for maintaining oneself are maintenance. Women may not have the resources to support themselves after the divorce, allowing them to make a maintenance claim. In India, women are entitled to this privilege. Women may seek redress under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code if their husbands are violating this right.
However, section 125(4) stipulates that if both spouses are not cohabiting with mutual agreement, the women are not permitted to request support. But if a divorce ruling permitted them to live apart, the wife may file a claim for support. There are also provisions for maintenance in certain personal laws, such as Parsi and Christian laws. In the event that the wife is refused support, Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code is a criminal claim that is equally applicable to all laws.
There are many circumstances in which women may be granted maintenance:
- She has received brutal treatment from her hubby.
- She has either been purposefully ignored or abandoned by her spouse.
- The spouse has a serious case of leprosy or a venereal condition.
- The spouse currently has any other wives that are still alive.
- The spouse either maintains a concubine within the home or lives with the concubine elsewhere.
- The spouse no longer identifies as Hindu and has had a religious conversion.
- Insanity (mental illness and unsound mind) is the husband’s condition.
- If the woman hasn’t heard from her husband in at least seven years, there is a presumption that he has passed away.
- Any further cause that is acceptable in the eyes of the law as a basis for the divorce of the husband and wife.
- Rights to reside
Even after a divorce, the woman is still entitled to a home. Both the husband and the wife are entitled to live in the marital home where the pair previously dwelt. Therefore, the woman may assert her right to abide there even if the home is owned by the husband, is rented out, or is an ancestor’s home.
- The Legal Right for Streedhan
Streedhan is the collective term for all of the presents presented to the bride at the wedding ceremony, including money, jewellery, and other material possessions. The Streedhan is hers alone, and unlike the dowry, since the bride deliberately gave it to her, it is her own property. Given that she is the only owner of the Streedhan, the wife is free to keep it. She was free to do anything she wanted with her Stree Dhan, including selling, buying, and giving. Both Section 14 and Section 27 of the Hindu Succession Act, both of which date back to 1955, guarantee women’s rights. The wife is free to keep her Streedhan after the divorce, and there are no restrictions on it.
- Right To Children Custody
The suffering of the children is obvious once the marriage splits up. Every component connected to a marriage that disintegrates also separates. The kids are forced to choose a side as well and stick with one of their parents.
The responsibility of children is governed by the Guardian and wards legislation of 1890 and the Hindu Minority and guardianship act of 1956. The mother shall get custody of a kid under five years old per the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act of 1956.
In most cases, a child’s mother or father is regarded to be their natural Guardian. Any unalienable right may be asserted if the father’s care of the kid in such a situation is not adequate or if it is inferior to the mother’s. The custody of the kid may be divided between the mother and the father depending on the child’s safety and well-being.
- Child custody types include:
- Proper custody
- Mutual custody
- Lawful custody
- Non-parental custody
As the children’s principal carers, both parents have a right to their children’s custody. Nevertheless, the kid’s security and welfare are taken into consideration when the court makes this judgment. The “best interest of the child” criterion is taken into account when selecting who gets to keep the kids, and custody is given as a result.
- Rights to ancestors’ property
The lady will continue to hold ownership of the property even after the divorce if it is joint family property. She is not deprived of the ability to keep her possessions.
Even after a divorce, women have full freedom and are not constrained by any boundaries when it comes to the defense of their rights. She is able to use her rights to support herself, have custody of her children, own property, keep her gifts, etc. Over the years, a few of these rights have been legally established, and laws have been interpreted differently, paving the door for women to fight for justice. In the event that they seek redress, the law assures that their rights are recognized and safeguarded.