Thursday, August 29, 2013

WOMEN FRIENDLY MARRIAGE LAWS

A new bill is being passed giving rights to women in the property of their husbands including ancestral property, even after divorce.

However, husbands have not been given any right to the property of their wives.

Like most laws, this marriage law too seems lopsided in favour of women, whereas all laws need to be gender-neutral. 

Sometimes, such biased laws may be counter productive as husbands may try to find ingenious ways to beat the law like:

1. Avoid buying immovable property. Never buy your own house and live in rented houses.

2. Hide your earnings and movable property from your wife. Avoid joint accounts or investments in joint names.

3. Avoid marriage

4. Have a legally binding pre-nuptial agreement before marriage

All this will lead to an atmosphere of mistrust in a marriage and result in trust deficit between husband and wife and spoil the marriage relationship.

Since a divorced wife can claim a share in ancestral property (which the husband has not self acquired but has inherited) parents (who have self acquired the property) may be reluctant to bequeath such property to their son and also ask their sons to live separately - this will adversely affect parental and familial relationships too.

Also I wonder whether making divorce easy is a good idea.

Marriage is more of an emotional relationship than a legal one and too many laws will spoil the sanctity of the marital relationship.

It looks like the only persons who will gain are divorce lawyers. 

Also, I wonder why this new law will be applicable only in cases where marriages have been solemnised under the Hindu Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act. What about other women? Why not have universal laws applicable to all citizens?


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