Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

This post is an attempt to understand the implications of the, ‘New bill gives woman share in ex-husband’s inherited residential property, in which they were living‘.

A wife will have a share in her husband’s inherited or inheritable marital [edited to add: residential] property on divorce, though the exact quantum of the compensation has been left to the discretion of the judge … if the ancestral property cannot be divided, then the woman should get sufficient compensation by calculating husband’s share in it. The amount of the compensation can be worked out by the court hearing the divorce case. 

Here’s what I found. 

Link I

Three reasons why women deserve a share in inherited property

1. Property in India is ‘inherited’ or ‘inheritable’ — but only by men. At first blush, the notion of having to divide inherited or inheritable property seems grossly unfair. A spouse ought to have a claim on wealth created or acquired during the course of a marriage. But why should anyone have to share property that belongs to the family, or was inherited from the same?

But, ‘According to experts in this NDTV discussion, the new amendment is limited to residential property — i.e. the property in which the family resides.

The home is very often inherited by the husband or in the case of a joint family, remains in the name of his parents. Divorce then becomes an excuse to push the woman out of the house.’  

IHM: Or, Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, but she does not have a steady income of her own..”

‘Since daughters don’t inherit property from their natal family, she is left without any property in her name.’

IHM: True. But eventually would it not work better if women were not denied equal inheritance? [Link] That would help deal with dowry issues too. [“Is it possible that some women secretly want a dowry…& Can Dowry be compared to Inheritance?]

‘The proposed law merely ensures that the husband has to compensate the wife with 50 percent of his share in any such home.’ 

IHM: This agrees with, “… No impression should be given that she (the daughter in law) can be thrown out of her matrimonial home at any time,” says Supreme Court

Also, if women are expected to relocate to live in patriarchal joint families, should they have the legal right to the roofs over their heads? But what if the marriage lasted only a month or less? Shouldn’t there be clarity with respect to how long the marriage lasted?

2. Alimony is not a dirty word.

“Alimony is not charity. A share in marital property in any modern society is a legal compensation of the unpaid work of a woman as wife and mother.

This work allows the man to earn an income, accumulate wealth and property, and play the role of the breadwinner over the course of the marriage. In India, women are often not allowed to work after marriage.

When they do work, they usually earn less than men, and therefore become the logical choice for the stay-at-home parent. According to a recent study, in “more than 60 percent of the cases, women claimed that marriage affected their career opportunities, because they either could not work after marriage or were able to work in a limited capacity. In about 85 percent of the cases, separated women ‘bear the burden of looking after their children single-handed.’”

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

“And if women receive alimony more often than men, it is because we live in a lopsided world… [so maybe we should work towards] a more egalitarian future where women will be just as likely to write the settlement checks.”

3. “Divorce is a financial disaster for women.

Indian women are more dependent and helpless because our alimony laws are weak and ineffective.

….Currently, the rights of divorced and separated women are limited. This is primarily because of two causes — women have no place to go once they are separated/ divorced and the maintenance laws are extremely weak…

Literally left without a roof over their head or earnings to support their children, women are forced to live with parents or siblings where they are treated as an embarrassing burden.”

IHM: The disinheritance of women.

Link II

The ugly truth about Indian divorce: Why the new cabinet law is important  

The end of even the worst marriage usually spells disaster for the average Indian woman. The reasons are straight-forward.

One, there is no concept of joint marital property. The assets (vehicles, houses etc.) remain with the person who holds the title, most often the man.

Two, when the woman has a case, she often can’t afford the extended legal battle required to secure her rights.

And three, while Indian laws make provision for alimony and child support, these rarely offer relief in the real world:

In India, where tax authorities estimate just 3 percent of the population pays personal income tax, and “black money” or under-the-table cash is common, the man’s actual earnings are often hidden, Ms. Singh says. Additionally, the wife may not have access to documents that prove what her husband earns, Ms. Singh says. Even if she does, the maintenance amounts are tiny. Citing courtroom experience, Ms. Singh says judges generally fix a share of 2 percent to 10 percent of the husband’s annual earnings for maintenance amounts.

The result: most women prefer to stay and suffer.

“… 46 percent of the women never received their awarded maintenance, “and of those who received them, 60 percent said the funds did not come on time.” In terms of dowry, a paltry 30 percent recover any part of the assets given by their parents. The survey also “found that 75 percent of women return to their “natal family” – parents or brothers. Nearly half reported they had no income, and 28 percent earned less than $50 a month.”

The kicker: If the woman files for a divorce, she “has virtually zero chance of obtaining a financial settlement of any kind.”

Link III

Divorce on the rise in India, but archaic laws leave women cast aside

In the vast majority of cases, it is men who petition for divorce – because women suffer terribly if their marriages end.

There is no automatic right to maintenance payments in the case of separation; women must hire lawyers and go to court to petition for this – a step that is already out-of-reach for millions of poor and illiterate women. Less than half of women ever ask for maintenance. They must make a separate petition for child support. In the clogged and dysfunctional legal system, it often takes years to obtain even an interim order.

When these are awarded, they tend to be negligible

“In the West, women also pay an economic price for divorce, but here it is much more dramatic, because we don’t have the basic rights and entitlements we should have,” said   Singh, an advocate at India’s Supreme Court.

…research found that maintenance awards were for between one-twentieth and one-tenth of a man’s stated income. “The biggest problem for a woman is to prove what he actually has.” With the dysfunctional tax-collection process here, men typically report only a small fraction of what they actually earn – “whether they are daily wage-earners or businessmen, that’s the same.”

Then, regardless of the size of the award, the maintenance orders are almost never enforced, Ms. Singh added, so that in practice, women frequently receive nothing. 

Link IV

Division of Property after divorce

Division of property law needs to take into consideration what assets each party brings into the marriage including inheritance and must allow for the fact that women are less likely to receive inheritance than men. It must also consider the income that each party brings into the marriage taking into account the potential restrictions on women’s paid employment due to family or social expectations, lack of employment opportunities for women and inequalities in women and men’s wages. It must make allowance for the unpaid work undertaken by each party throughout the marriage and ensure this is valued as equal to economic employment and must also consider the number of children in the family and which party will take on the primary caring role after the marriage. Finally, the length of marriage and the capacity of each party to earn an income after the marriage must also be considered when dividing property.

The decision of the Union Cabinet to guarantee women’s right to 50% of residential property will ensure women’s financial security in the case of divorce, will empower women who experience domestic violence to file for divorce and enshrines in the law women’s equality within a marriage. These are all positive steps for Indian women.

Link V

For Indian Women, Divorce Is a Raw Deal

Much has been written about divorce being on the rise in India, sometimes accompanied by hand-wringing about the egos and inflexibility of younger couples, who seem less willing than their parents to stay in marriages they are not happy with.

National statistics don’t exist on divorce in India, but some local records do show a rise. Still, some experts say the divorce rate in India continues to be artificially low, because of how biased the system is against women, who can be left financially destitute even if their husband is wealthy.

“Divorce rates have not increased as much as they should have,” said Kirti Singh, who practices family and property law in India.

Five links to help you make up your mind. What do you think?

1.  Three reasons why women deserve a share in inherited property

2. The ugly truth about Indian divorce: Why the new cabinet law is important

3. Divorce on the rise in India, but archaic laws leave women cast aside

4. Division of Property after divorce

5. For Indian Women, Divorce Is a Raw Deal

More related links.

How can the society ensure that marriage (and homemaking) does not result in women becoming financially dependent on their husbands?

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

“Women are forced by in-laws to get share in her parents property. This creates a divide between brothers and sisters.”

Destitute husband cannot seek wife’s company, rules HC

Should couples’ assets be treated as joint property?

An email: Can a woman be married off with a promise to the in laws, that her father would find a job for her?

Men and women work equally hard in general, and yet society only considers “men’s work” as work deserving of pay.

Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property

Can dowry ensure happiness and security for a girl?

Can Dowry be compared to Inheritance?

A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

So what could make even the average, selfish, money-minded Indian family welcome baby girls?

Society benefits immensely from childbearing, childrearing, and caregiving work that currently goes unpaid.

Cabinet clears bill: Equal rights in Marital property, Easier divorce.

The traditional arrangement is equal in distributing the responsibilities?

My wife will inherit my family’s property, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives.

“My wife often rakes up property issues, or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health.”

“Is it possible that some women secretly want a dowry – perhaps to enhance their social standing?” 

178 thoughts on “Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

    • it is woman’s individual responsibility to look after herself….we cannot use our sympathy to do robbery on husband…..if we feel bad for the woman, we can give our own money if we want…..marriage has to work based on mutual agreements

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  1. For me, the main question is this – why mention women at all when they can just refer to “financially weaker” or “financially stronger” parties? Divorce laws need to be gender neutral. In any case, most of the time the financially weaker party will be the woman. So what is wrong with framing it in those terms?

    Second, there is a tendency in India to create makeshift laws that hide the real problem. If the real problem is that women do not get a fair share in their parents property, then that is the problem that needs to be solved. If the problem is that it’s difficult to know what a person’s true income, is then that is the issue that must be tackled.

    What is this slipshod bandaid kind of laws that are being promulgated? Doesn’t this law categorize every single woman in India as a victim? Is this not insulting? How can this be projected as a victory for women?

    The only bright spot is that the actual amount is left to the discretion of the judge. If it was a fixed percentage, it would be an unpardonable crime to take away property from a man who earns much less than his wife.

    My wife and I have decided to sign a post nup as soon as we get back to India. It’ll basically say that what’s mine is mine and what’s hers is hers in the case of divorce. I’ll put up the entire agreement on my blog after we’ve signed it.

    Why should I have to do this? Shouldn’t have I have faith that the justice system will treat us fairly and equally without having to resort to legal measures to protect myself?

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    • “IF the real problem is that women do not get a fair share in their parents property, then that is the problem that needs to be solved.”

      THIS.

      The law can be anything, but the bitter truth is that many women do not inherit from their parents, and their only access to any kind of inheritance is through their husband’s share of his family’s ancestral wealth.This law tries to balance that out, but I’m betting that nothing will really change on ground for there will be ways around this.

      I personally feel that in the event of a divorce, the joint marital property should be up for division, and ‘inheritable’ property left out completely. Not so sure on already inherited property- but ideally feel it should be left out as well. Even if it is ‘residential’.

      In the short term it may seem anti-woman (to some, I disagree naturally) to deny women a stake in their husband’s inheritance but in the long run it will hammer home to women the importance of demanding a true share in the birth family’s inheritance. The law already supports this.

      P.S My mother was made to sign an affidavit giving up her claim to my grandfather’s property . By her brother. Forget legal action,she isn’t even mad/pissed about it.

      That to me, right there, is the true problem. I’d rather her have her get her ACTUAL share of her grandfather’s property than give her a HYPOTHETICAL share in my father’s ancestral property that she would only control in the event of a divorce (and by extension have very little control over while the marriage lasts!)

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      • It’s interesting that your mother signed this affidavit that her brother thought to framed and that she sees no wrong in this. Isn’t this what is actually the problem? Even women accept the injustices handed out to them. so deeply ingrained are these beliefs.

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        • Injustice only comes into picture if she was willing to have her share in that property. Still arguing ??? Try an understand it this way – if you had an accident on road, you are the best judge to let the other party go without paying you or you choose to drag him to PS or settle it out with some compensation. Hope you get it now.

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        • Why do you think would someone willingly sign away their inheritance?

          If we do not make an effort to understand this we would not be able to see how deep rooted is the idea of all wealth being owned by men. The same logic sees alimony as charity or extortion, we also would not see why if claiming one’s inheritance is not weakness, then why is claiming of alimony seen as weakness?

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        • Well this property is truly “ancestral”-created by my great-grandfather- in some godforsaken village that my mother hasn’t visited in decades.Nevertheless it is valuable farm land that is cultivated to this day, with all proceeds going into the brother’s pocket.

          She signed it despite any negativity because she has been conditioned to not feel any injustice at this state of affairs.
          It’s literally only when I framed in the the context of ‘favouring your brother over your children’ that she “got” it, and admitted that yes, he behaved in a ‘slightly’ selfish manner.

          Coming to her own father’s property- the land was bought by him (and is worth a dizzying amount of money today, being in an area of Bangalore where prices have skyrocketed), but the cost of house was partly borne by the same mama. This latter fact basically means that my mom will consider it sinful to bring up the topic of a share in the land- the grandfather died nearly two decades ago, and the house is occupied by the brother and his family.

          Thus she will inherit nothing directly- despite the wealth creation done by her grandfather and father.

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        • Women have been signing off their lawful right to inheritance from parental side in the name of filial piety and love for her brothers since the women’s right to parental property came into existence in Punjab. Women usually give up right to agricultural property coz’
          1. it brings down the land holding for her brothers thus reducing the yield for survival
          2. practically, it is difficult to manage when they are already removed from the natal home at the time of marriage.
          3. where the share can be exchanged for monetary compensation the amount is not used by her another piece of immovable property but is used by her natal kin and she ends up nothing no money and no natal family to support her.

          The women who refuse to give up their right by their in-laws faced the music in the form of severed ties with natal family. In exchange of giving up their right to immovable property the male siblings assured them life long visitation rights to natal home and annual gifts on Rakshabandhan and some other community festival and most of all one time big payment at the time of her first child’s wedding called Mama Bhaat in North India.

          Now there is a new trend where in-laws ask women to not only ask for share in natal property but transfer it to her husband’s name in order to secure right to live in marital home and the longevity of her marriage. We had quite a few cases here NRIs bringing brides to US and Canada and then start create hardships for her so that she ask her parents transfer the property to her name and she’ll transfer it to her husband’s name or else they’ll not file her papers for residency.

          Either way desi marriage is a male a game where women are just pawns to be sacrificed at their whims and women have learned to take pride in this beheading.

          http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/desi-sex-ratio-and-marriage-nirmala-1925-to-2011/

          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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        • @Anonymous,

          Social conditioning is designed to make some sections of society ‘sacrifice’ their right. Not every sati was forced onto the burning pyre, since it was such a glorified process, but every sati incident was wrong, tragic and unjust. A lot of this comes down to money and inheritance and we must question what is happening. Examples of what I mean:

          -One reason for the sati practise was that the in-laws were supposed to send widows back to their parents along with all their dowry. Why send the dowry back when you can burn the widow and keep it?

          -One big reason for haryana khaps opposing same gotra love marriages, even killing these couples, is that they wish for the daughters to be married off in far-away villages and not in a neighbouring house so that the girls can’t easily come back asking for inheritance. When the government planned the equal inheritance law for sons and daughters, haryana khaps strongly protested against it.

          It sounds nasty but a lot of social evils boil down to economic incentives. Women are conditioned to see themselves as ‘paraya’ and a burden and are discouraged from seeking their fair share in finances. Similarly parents of daughters are conditioned to see them as ‘paraya’ and treat them differently post marriage. Herein lies the root of inequality. It’s not as straight-forward as ‘oh, she didn’t want it’. That’s why we look to understand social constructs. Hope you get it now.

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        • Actually, I can see this law being unfair in context of my family. My father’s siblings all inherited property on a mutually-agreed split. In fact, in my community, it is the custom that siblings decide who split/share the property. It was a sister who received the most. So in case of divorce, that sister also gets part of her husband’s property? Two birds in one stroke?

          How does this law help families like mine where property is split fairly?

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      • Shouldn’t it be upto grandfather to decide whom the property should go? I think women (and men) should have no right to rob anyone, be it their parents or wife/husband. If woman is getting married or giving some services with the intention of getting money and property, she should get it into a mutually agreed agreement without any intrusion from the government. Government or other people should have no authority to decide terms and conditions of a marriage.

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  2. First, Thanks for writing this article.

    First let me tell some simple facts.
    1. A man and women marries. As per Indian law, marriage is nothing but legal contract.
    2. Man have a job. Women may have a job, may know all the things need to be a home maker. these two are the basic qualities.
    3. Man already have job, so he can earn with or without the help of so-called wife contribution.
    4. Man have his property, women also bring her property in the name of “stridhan”.
    The contract begin…
    Man earning continues as usually, women helps him in and his house as home. She give birth to babies. and all things are fine. Now Divorce happen..

    Is there any unpaid work by women?
    No. There is no such thing. Because, women is not doing all the work in husband’s home like coocking,cleaning, giving birth to children and going back to her parents home and eating there, sleeping there, leaving children to her husband not claiming anything from those childrens. That is not happening. She eats whatever husband and children eat, stay in husbands home with all comforts, getting every respect as a mother from childrens and after divorce wife takes her childrens with her and father will become visitor. If she fell ill, she will be treated with her husband’s money. Then where is the question of unpaid work?

    After divorce, she is not going to work in that home, she is not going coock for the man, she is not going to give birth to another baby for him. Then Why a man need to support her financially?

    The only reason for that is may be she is underpaid for her work and she must not sent out without any support to live. These two are the reasons. IMO.

    First reason is a doubt for many women from upper middle class to high class. Because they do have many electronic home appliance to make her work easy, and they can even have a maid to do some household work. Middle class women and lower class women really deserve lot of respect here. So, women’s contribution to man’s property must evaluated case by case and award alimony as per that only. Not half of his entire property, because, she can’t contribute to man’s property earned before the marriage and his ancestral property. Only in the property he acquried and she contributed during the marriage.

    That’s so simple. If women also working, then also the division is same. Only from the marital property. Not the property earned before marriage or ancestral property.

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    • I actually agree. I don’t want the man I marry to have a stake in my parent’s property, so i can see why men would be wary of this law.

      Here’s are examples, however, of laws I would like to see-
      -Laws that make it difficult for in-laws to insist that they control all their DIL’s earnings.(not sure if it’s possible, but one can dream)
      -Laws that help couples to create ‘joint marital property’ even if they are staying in a joint family (?tax-breaks)
      -Laws that remove the tax-benefit status enjoyed by HIndu Undivided Families
      -Laws that make it easier for women to claim their birth families ancestral property without necessarily getting dragged through the slow legal system- In other words, an equal division must be default, and in cases where it does not happen, the party that benefits should be hauled up before the courts to clearly explain why the daughtesr and sons are being treated unequally.

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      • As for marriage, terms and conditions of marriage has to be purely based on mutual agreements with government having nothing to do with a marriage. If the woman is getting into marriage with the intention of getting properties or she is doing some service with the intentio of money, the compensation and terms of compensation can be agreed in mutual terms. It can also help man understand the intentions of woman while offering him services and he can decide if he can have the services or hire a maid instead or do it himself. Government entering into marriage is trapping men and imposing injustice…..after all compensation for a service has to be based on mutual agreement…..not imposed by government….in any case woman can grab property purely based on gender and law does not even quantify any contribution from either gender.

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    • “may be she is underpaid for her work and she must not sent out without any support to live”

      What about opportunity cost? If she worked or continued to work after marriage, she would have accumulated a certain amount of work experience. By being a homemaker, she would be more or less unemployable if she’s been out of the job market for many years.

      What about the wealth she might have accumulated if she had been paid for her work? I plan my expenses, savings and investments out of my salary. If I am not paid, I cannot do that. (I pay my maid more than food, clothing, shelter, medical expenses.)

      What about legal tenant rights? If the wife had been a tenant, she could not be evicted as simply as she would be in the case of a divorce.

      What about compensation for job-related injuries in case she is injured during childbirth or “in the kitchen”?

      What about PF and other retirement benefits which a full time job would provide?

      What about the cost of relocation, transfer, travel in case she moves with her husband several times during their life?

      The marriage contract does not state anywhere that a homemaker should be a slave. It doesn’t state anything about division of labour, wealth, or any other assets. The marriage contract is actually based on an assumption of decency. Something which is probably lacking if people view homemakers as employees. A homemaker is not an employee of her husband or family. She is actually opting out of the job market for the sake of fulfiling certain duties. That is what she should be compensated for. Not just for the work she’s done as a mother, cook, housekeeper, and caretaker.

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      • what if I was not chosen to be software guy, I could have earn more if I started a business instead of this job. But, the point here is it’s my choice. May be situations forced me or the software boom at that time attracted me. But, no one to blame other than me.

        And how many women are employable in the first place? Even if they are employable, in the current job market how many will get a job (we must consider the competition, if all women and men applying for jobs).

        We pay to maid more money just based on demand and supply rule, we have more demand but we don’t have enough supply. If all women are available to do “home maker” job, then the salary will be very less. Enough supply for the demand. Isn’t it?

        you are talking about job related injuries, then I will talk about firing an employee for not doing work well or the salary cuts in the difficult situations like personal problems to me or lock out the factory if I feel the factory is profitless. And termination of employee for wrong doings, no PF or any allowences.

        A tenent may have some rights, but he/she must evacuate the house without any monetory benifits for staying in that house or share in it, Isn’t it?

        And the marriage contract never mentions anywhere that husband is a free ATM mechine for wife. So she can take money at her will.

        And why we are feeling that only woman is doing all these services, isn’t man doing his services to her? He will protect and provide her. He will take her to shopping or cinema, he will pay all the expences. He take care of her. Doing all works that need to be done out side of the home for that home (bringing vegetables from market to bringing rice bags or taking fridge for repair for example). Aren’t these are works or services a man doing?

        Who is going to pay for them? If he choose to do all these services somewhere else he will be paid for them, isn’t it?

        ———————-
        I am saying all these just to counter your views and some women organaizations views who are asking 50% share in man’s property earned befor marriage and his ancestral property.

        I agree that marriage contract made with decency. That’s why no one leaving her(wife) helpless or pennyless after divorce. There are enough maintenance laws which are gender neutral and give sufficient money to her for living decently as per her man’s living standards.

        Even if a girl deserve a share, it must be in marital property not money earned before marriage or ancestral property. because it’s a decent aggrement. Not extortion.

        While giving alimony, many parameters need to be considered. Like how long they stayed together, is she have enough capable to get a job and earn or she already have job. These are the parameters that many countries laws consider. No share of 50% of man’s wealth, no blind division of property. And what about pre-nuptials? Many countries have them, why should not we have them too? So, the problem solves.

        A Comparative analysis of property division on divorce in different countries

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        • //And how many women are employable in the first place?//
          How many opportunities are given to women in the first place?

          //If all women are available to do “home maker” job, then the salary will be very less. Enough supply for the demand. Isn’t it?//
          Replace ‘women’ in this sentence with ‘men’. Works equally well. But does that happen in enough numbers? No.

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      • That’s an excellent way of saying it: the spouse who has not been working will need some time to get back into the workforce and the alimony is really to help them until they can get to this level. For this reason, I believe the duration for which the alimony payments are made is proportional to the length of the marriage (and many other factors, of course).

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        • Lets make the gender neutral law.
          1. When a marriage happens girls side inherited property and her income should come under the joint property of both husband and wife. When they get divorce let them have equal share.

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        • That should be the case if the husband relocates to, live with and serve the wife’s family. What about dowry? Some people see that as the wife’s inheritance, but who receives this inheritance?

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    • //Is there any unpaid work by women?
      //No. There is no such thing.

      It amazes (and appalls) me to see the degree to which women are taken for granted. All the work women do morning-to-night is taken to be as what she must do – nothing great about it! Women must realize that the work they think they do out of love, can be brushed away so easily. Better that they remain single till their dying day than to marry men like these.

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  3. Every argument to justify inherited property of only husband in a no fault divorce simply reflect the easy money making greed. The day Man marries or becomes husband all responsibilities of matrimony automatically legally rests with him only while a girl when marry she gets the title of “Wife” bestowed with numerous rights legally through all gender biased matrimonial laws but JUST THINK IS anywhere under any law the responsibilities of WIFE is defined in indian legal system? WHY only RIGHTS to wife DEFINED in laws and why not duties ? Who is Wife in matrimony ? When it comes to give rights to wife we believe same old age patriarchal roe of her(homemaker) but for husband we changed the beliefs he is believed be always a criminal in matrimony while wife always a victim, Its complete hypocrisy. Pl. STOP taking advantage of playing victim always. This will never empower the women on the other hand it has maligned the image of women in society to great extent which is quite evident from rising of crimes against women.

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    • So you do not think that an average Indian wife contributes anything in her marital home?

      Do you think whatever the couple earns or creates (home, property, fixed deposits etc) during the time they were married should be considered Couple’s Joint Property?

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      • What compensation she gets for her “contribution” has to be based on mutual agreement….if she has intention of taking away husband’s money for her services….they need to get it legally documented based on mutual agreement and mutual understanding…not dictated by feminists or the government or anyone else…..and not law imposing on husband to pay whether or not wife contributed (imagination of wife contribution is only made during discussions…not in law, law would give her irrespective of her contribution and no money for husband irrespective of his contribution)

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        • Quoting SB from above:
          //A homemaker is not an employee of her husband or family. She is actually opting out of the job market for the sake of fulfiling certain duties. That is what she should be compensated for. Not just for the work she’s done as a mother, cook, housekeeper, and caretaker.//

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        • Sometimes opting out of workforce is not an option but a command. And at other times is shrouded in duty towards new born and at other times it is sheer economics- more cost effective to have her stay home and care for children than pay a nanny who may have to be paid a proper salary and day offs not be as devote to the children as biological mother or her parents.

          Why don’t people just say it out loudly, woman you are getting room and board, social identity, free sex and the privilege to be abused or staying unhappy in a bad marriage for your services
          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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  4. And let us come to the reasons you mentioned in support of ancestral property division..

    1. If women are not getting share in ancestral property, then she must get share in ancestral property. Make a law as per that and put the father of women and her brothers behind bars if they don’t give her share in the property. Why to blame husband and asking his property for the fault of some other?

    And after divorce, if she compensated as per the maintenance law, we should not look it as throwing out of home. It’s just sending out of a home which is not belongs to her anymore after divorce.

    The expert in NDTV discussion are nothing but biased people and just trying fool the nation. The draft bill clearly says 50% of property of husband including ancestral property goes to wife, the only amendment that GoM made to that is laving the share of property to judges. So, it’s not 50%, may be less or may be more as per judges observations. (As far as the reports available in the news paper, the final draft is not available to anyone). Then from where these experts got this extra gyan?

    2. Yes, some women are forced to stop doing work after marriage. Some women are able to earn less after marriage. But many women are earning well after marraige also. The world changed a lot, so the man. we can’t stay in previous decade when it comes to changing roles of men and their supporting roles to working women or women who are staying at home and became “home makers”. There are many things still need to change, I agree, but we must recognise a change in modern man. So, you can’t really blame men for everything related to less earning capabilities of women or less representation fo wome in workforce. There are many women who really opt for this. I already told why women is not doing unpaid work in my previous comment.

    3. Divorce is not a financial disaster for women. It’s the justice that’s take long time to deliver is disaster for women (of course, even for men). In fact, the maintenance law is good, and it’s gender neutral. That’s why women orgs want to change it. They don’t want gender neutral laws. So, this IrBM. If the maintenance laws work well, deliver speedy justice they will serve the purpose fairely for both parties. Else, even after this new law passed the situation remain same, women are going to claim the same. They find it’s finacial disaster for women, because the justice is delayed for both men and women. So, speeding up the process is the solution for this.

    And the laws should not be anti-men to give some support to women. How can a women deserve share in house acquired by husbands parents or forefathers? Men and their rights are not disposable. Law must recognise this.

    And have a look at this debate.

    And what about women’s share of her ancestral property? Why women think that women are contributing to man’s property but man is not contributing anything to her? The contribution is mutual. Do they think wife is a worker went to work in husband’s house? Then why not men get share in women’s ancestral property? why women are saying… “My money is my money, your money and your ancestors money our money”?

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    • //The expert in NDTV discussion are nothing but biased people and just trying fool the nation. The draft bill clearly says 50% of property of husband including ancestral property goes to wife…//

      Could you share the link from where you got this please.

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    • Men getting agitated about losing their ancestral property when there’s no threat of that happening. Women don’t even have a right to ancestral property or marital property in case of divorce and that’s ok?

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  5. Dear Indian Home maker, plz don’t encourage women 2 become Home Breakers. Marriage is a sacred institution. Money, Society, Govt never took care of any women. If anyone really bothers about her it’s his HUSBAND.

    STOP MISANDRY !!!!!

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    • Wao, IHM is so all powerful that she can make or break marriages especially the Hindu Marriage that is signing of unbreakable bond for seven life times in the presence of sacred fire.
      Bow, Bow salute, salute… all powerful IHM
      Peace,
      DG

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  6. Why the hell would a husband part with his property..ask her father to give it to her from his ancestral property..let her fight with her mother, brothers and sisters for easy wealth. Why burden the poor husband?

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  7. Im sorry but I don’t think ancestral property of either should be given to te other. Whatever a couple earn after marriage and acquire after marriage should be evenly divided in case of a divorce. Care of the kids if any Gould be split or the spouse not caring fr the kids or earning less should be compensated to bear the expenditure of the kids. Alimony should be provided by spouse who earns more to the other.

    Ansestral property is handed down thru family and why would I split that??

    If this were so it would be so unfair eg. I came into this marriage with a bag of clothes. Yes I’ve worked and earned but my husband inherited considerable property, he also earned way more than me before marriage and bought property. How can I claim half of all that, those were the fruits of his and his parents labour . Yes we are joint owners of all property but if we were to split I cannot in good conscience chain half of everything. Yes he wants me to own it all but if we split and I took it I simply would not be a good human being.

    I’m not a lawyer nor do I claim an insight into the minds of women suffering everywhere. But this is my opinion. This may be v simplistic and I’m not an expert in complicated cases. This is fir simple ones

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    • It seems only the house that the couple has been living in, and only the husband’s share in that – is being considered.

      The idea is that the divorce should not make the woman and children homeless. It’s a common practice by couples who live in joint families to buy or have nothing in their own names, everything is in the husband’s parents’ names (hence inherited or inheritable). This bill is more applicable in cases of villages and smaller towns, where divorce means homelessness for women, and who live with the threat of ‘throwing her out’, although married Indian women have the right to residence in their marital homes.

      Kabir Bedi in the video asked how it would affect the very rich, it seems to be clear that the spouse would have no rights on any inherited property except the house in which the couple has been living. This is connected to her right to residence in the house in which she has been living.

      What I would like to see is clarity about the length of the marriage. They have also mentioned that divorced women in India almost never get any child support, alimony or maintenance. It is easier to deny an income or show a smaller income or to neglect paying any alimony/child support, it’s difficult to hide a house in which the couple has been living.
      What (Kabir Bedi mentions this too) is generally done is – all the property is bought in the man’s parents’ and jointly with his brothers. One email writer described this here, An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives? https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/an-email-arent-the-sons-supposed-to-have-their-own-family-lives/
      Her husband contributes from what he earns to build a house in his parents’ name, her income is used for running their home. They have no home in their own name.

      And this is what Indian women who are married into Joint Families are lead to believe:
      My wife will inherit my family’s property, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives.
      https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/my-wife-will-inherit-my-familys-property-her-brothers-too-will-share-their-property-with-their-respective-wives/

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      • If she or her husband contributed to he home being built, thn yes their share based on contribution must be given back to them and split. But if she to married and moved into his parents home, then no it’s like she had rent free shelter. That’s it.why should se get a share?
        Women need to be aware, don’t buy property in someone else names, even parents thinking you will inherit.
        Buy in you names together and don’t demand, ask, depend on inheritance.

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        • I am sure many people see Joint Family Homes this way. Does it sound fair?

          //But if she to married and moved into his parents home, then no it’s like she had rent free shelter. That’s it. Why should se get a share?//

          Edited to add: Should women and everybody who contributes in some way, in fact, not have a house or a roof over their heads?

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        • Women have to realise the legal implications of marrying into a joint family/into a home where her husband’s parents are the owners of the property.
          To a certain extent, the ‘fault’ lies with the woman/her family, as they consciously make a choice to enter into marital relationships that make the woman open to financial exploitation in the name of ‘culture’.
          I’d like to see women reject this cultural practice of moving into in-laws house. It makes them very vulnerable indeed. In a thousand ways. If they do so, they should work on creating a protective cushion for themselves, in case things go wrong.

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        • //the ‘fault’ lies with the woman/her family, as they consciously make a choice to enter into marital relationships that make the woman open to financial exploitation in the name of ‘culture’.// It would help if women and their families heard this instead of all the talk of culture and family values.

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    • @Radha,
      You asked:

      Ansestral property is handed down thru family and why would I split that??

      Answer: for exactly the same reasons you’ll uproot a woman from her natal home and force her live in an almost stranger’s home with his natal family.
      This is exactly the reason used for centuries why would you split ancestral property by giving a share to female child.

      The word “joint property” needs to be replaced by “community property” and defined as assets and income generated by the couple or the earning member after marriage will be held jointly and divided equally at the time of dissolution of marriage.

      What man or woman brings into the marriage; assets and income they had acquired before they got married remains their sole property.

      I’ll love to see the faces of all these men jumping up and down at this pronouncement when their sisters and daughters are thrown out of marital homes? If they are lousy spouses they are equally lousy siblings.

      The question here is just the marital home, primary residence where couple lived during their marriage no matter if it is inherited is to be divided according to the share of man so that woman can have a roof over her head or be provided with money so that she can buy a place or pay the deposit for a rented home (deposit often runs in lakhs).

      There is a big section of middle class that works in family owned businesses and no one knows who is earning what. It is here court has to decide what the primary earner (usually man) earned during the life time of marriage so that wife can be compensated and child care can be assured.

      At the name of woman walking out of a bad marriage man’s family immediately declare him absconding or lampoon who doesn’t contribute an iota to family business. Thus woman is rendered penniless and roofless in a minute.

      Peace,
      Desi Girl

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      • I agree.

        1. ..for exactly the same reasons you’ll uproot a woman from her natal home and force her live in an almost stranger’s home with his natal family.

        2. I’ll love to see the faces of all these men jumping up and down at this pronouncement when their sisters and daughters are thrown out of marital homes? If they are lousy spouses they are equally lousy siblings.

        Inheritance is for male siblings, Dowry for husband’s family, if women earn that too frequently goes to in laws/spouse.

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        • I agree women are uprooted but that is no reason to Ask for husbands ancestral property , the fight should be not to get uprooted. Again I’m not saying women should not ask for their share from their parents. I’m only saying I don feel right asking for a share of my grandparents in laws or parents in laws ard work just because I choose to move to my husbands city.
          So if a wealthy women marries some loser , abuser guy and splits , she has to give him her inherited property? For what joy?
          Inherited is not entitled. At least in my book. No child has the right to demand. It’s something given of free will , so what appends if a couple live in a joint family and the parents who own the house will it to an orphanage after their death ???
          Women should be educated, women should be taught that everything after marriage belongs to both , no claims on the past, women need to use thir brains and realize marriage is not the begin all en all of life

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        • //so what happens if a couple live in a joint family and the parents who own the house will it to an orphanage after their death ???//
          She is only allowed half of her husband’s share, can be compensated if the house can’t be sold.

          In most cases she is not allowed to build her own home (is called a home-breaker if she does), and she is not paid for her contribution – as some of the comments above convey, shelter and food is her ‘payment’ for homemaking and motherhood (no children/no male children is of course seen as a very valid reason to throw her out).

          If there were six people living in a house and each owned it, each had contributed for a certain number of years while they lived in it, then I feel it should not be okay for just one of them to be thrown out.

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      • @Desi Girl,
        Let us see this…
        Why a man and his family need to adjust to a woman who is not known to them. and why they have to adjust to her or support her. Why they have to give shelter to unknown girl after marriage? Why they need to add a girl came form somewhere into their circle? For this reason may be they need not to share the ancestral property. may be the girl need to give something to man’s family. Isn’t it? What I want to emphasize here is .. “The door swings in both ways”. Both are doing their own adjustments. Then why to treat women as victim here? Women is not doing any sacrifies by marrying a man. This kind of “Women are victim” attitude is the reason for these kind of biased laws. Women must stop treating themselves as victims when they are not.

        And I too like to see the face of those women who suppor these kind of unfair laws, when their brothers and sons are hit by a woman who just came into the so-called matrimonial home just one or two months back and applied for no-fault divorce and take the 50% share from her husband and 50% share of man’s share in the joint matrimonial home. They can’t divide the house, so they have to pay the money, they never have that much money as cash, because it goes to multiple lacks may be two digits sometime, so they have to barrow money and has to pay the interest every month which is a large share of their monthly income. Women too have opposite sex relatives, and women too have faces.

        In the first place, if a girl get share in husband’s earnings (leave the ancestral property) and have exclusive rights on her ancestral property is a crime against natural justice. Because, man is losing his property and women gaining it.

        Women must get their ancestral property. So, it can be useful to her in future. If man uses that property, he has to pay back it with interest. Then there is will be no financial hardship for women. There is no need of sharing husband’s hard earned money after divorce, After which she is not going to contribute to him in any way. If the property she gets from her parents is not enough then she can ask for maintenance under the existing maintenance laws. No one saying that women need to go out without any support.

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        • //Why a man and his family need to adjust to a woman who is not known to them. and why they have to adjust to her or support her. Why they have to give shelter to unknown girl after marriage?

          Indeed. Because the man and his family are doing all the “adjusting” – the woman is just lording it over in a new home, having left behind her family, her name and the world she knew to come stay with her husband.

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      • @girlsguidetosurvival:

        “for exactly the same reasons you’ll uproot a woman from her natal home and force her live in an almost stranger’s home with his natal family.”

        If you folks hate marriage so much, why even get married ? AFAIK, forcing someone to get married is still a crime in India. Rights always come with responsibilities. If you don’t want to move out of your natal home, then get the courage to say no to any guy who wouldn’t move in to your parents’ home. Or wait till you find a guy who will move out of his parents’ home. If you want to be treated as an independent adult, then it’s time to stop blaming other and start behaving as one.

        “Why don’t people just say it out loudly, woman you are getting room and board, social identity, free sex and the privilege to be abused or staying unhappy in a bad marriage for your services” – quote from a different comment

        IMO, if you want to attach a price tag for every aspect of marriage, then there wouldn’t be much of a difference between a wife and a prostitute/maid. The whole point of a marriage is to find a partner who stands with you both in sickness and health. It’s not about finding a partner whose cost of “services” matches exactly as yours.

        PS: Obviously, when I say you, I don’t literally mean you.

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        • Who said rights come without any responsibilities?
          You not DG

          In most cases it is women who stick through thick and thin. It is more women who take more slack than men, it is only a handful of men who do the right thing, provide child support and share child care. DG was divorced while she was still in the hospital🙂

          Yes, the way marriage is conducted in these times and even in past it was nothing more than glorified prostitution if you really want to say it so. Women has moved into 21st century and desi men are still in 19th toasting their shins basking in the glory of male privilege and crying wolf.

          Marriage is a partnership of equals not slavery of one and entitlement of the other. Spend more time on the relationship than on band baja and barat so that marriage can last.
          http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/ask-before-marrying/

          Peace,
          Desi Girl

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        • @DG – My point was if you don’t want to move into your in law’s house, then don’t marry a guy who expects that. Marry someone who is willing to move out. I don’t see this as a justification for having this new law.

          And, if we have to associate a price with everything a man/woman offers in a marriage, we just won’t have the institution of marriage.

          PS: I am really sorry for the way your spouse treated you. That’s just plain wrong and cruel.

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        • @Anonymous,

          How many women have a choice in selecting a mate?
          How many women are capable of sustaining themselves independently? Same question goes for men. You, I and few more may refrain from marriage in any form but a greater poplulation will still marry and take forward the baton of unhappiness forward for generations.
          Remove your middle class rose tinted eye glasses and smell the coffee, a large section that is not debating this on internet lives in a different world and needs protection.
          Don’t be sorry for DG, you are not responsible for what happened to her, it was the best that God forsaken now ex could do, couldn’t expect more.
          Peace,
          DG

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  8. 1. What about property of women, which might have been bought by husbands on her name?
    2. Rather than IrBM, govt should have strict law on daughter share in parent home. you should not penalize husband for ur parent fault!
    3. Why cant husband oppose the divorce, when wife can oppose? is this equity?

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    • 1. What about property of women, which might have been bought by husbands on her name?

      IHM: I think whatever the couple has made during the marriage is shared equally – so what is in her name would be shared equally too.

      2. Rather than IrBM, govt should have strict law on daughter share in parent home. you should not penalize husband for ur parent fault!

      IHM: That is what I thought too. But I think they are not talking about all inherited property – only the house in which the couple was living, which is frequently inherited because of the Joint Family System – if I understand correctly, it is this house they are thinking should be shared if they are divorced, only so that the wife and children are not left homeless.

      3. Why cant husband oppose the divorce, when wife can oppose? is this equity?

      From what I understand – both the partners need to agree for a divorce. I do know of women who are not able to divorce their husbands because they are afraid of losing their children’s custody.

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      • a marriage broken is broken. question of custody arises not only in case of woman but also men. this is absolutely against the basic human tenet enshrined in our constitution that a person shall stand equally before law, irrespective of caste creed gender….

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      • IHM, I think you are ill informed, the law never says what ever couple owns, the law specifically says property of HUSBAND, not marital property or property of wife included.

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  9. There is a slight delay in publishing the comments because I need to read each comment and watch the video, read the links too.
    Abusive comments will not be published, please do not waste your time.
    Please read the post before commenting.

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  10. I had a quick reading.
    It’s a bit complicated but I have simplified it in my mind
    Marriage must mean an EQUAL partnership.
    Fifty – Fifty.
    That means EVERYTHING they own must be shared fifty fifty.
    EVERYTHING obviously includes a husband’s share of his inherited property.
    I believe this law does not give a share of the value of the inheritance to the wife.
    It merely gives her a share of HER HUSBAND’S SHARE.
    I see no problem with that.
    Regards
    GV

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    • If it was truly fifty fifty, then the husband should receive half of the wife’s share in her ancestral property too no? Why is this only one way?

      Equality is the goal here…so why unequal laws?

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      • Bhagwad if we are completely honest then we have to acknowledge that in our traditional and patriarchal society women do not get anything, the inheritance goes to male siblings and the dowry goes to the husband. Time, skills and energy goes in preparing for a future that does not let them become self reliant, and the labour is seen as not worthy of even being recognized as labour (read some of the comments above, like Sunil’s) Every step towards self reliance is frequently questioned and challenged – for most women. They are still expected to honor this system and keep it alive.

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        • I guess my question is…in the pursuit to correct social equality, is it acceptable to throw even a small percentage of innocent and harmless citizens under the bus?

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        • “I guess my question is…in the pursuit to correct social equality, is it acceptable to throw even a small percentage of innocent and harmless citizens under the bus?”

          Would you apply the same argument for other laws like those against rape or marital rape? There are obviously a small percentage of cases where people are falsely accused of rape. In fact, it is more probable in cases of marital rapes. So, just to protect those few innocent citizens should laws against rape/marital rape be scrapped?
          A small percentage of women may want to voluntarily abort female fetuses without being forced or coerced. So, just for the sake of those few, should female feticide be legalized?

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        • @Atul,

          Being falsely accused of marital rape is a bad analogy. The law doesn’t state that all men rape their wives. It’s a regular criminal investigation that is evidence based. It has no comparison at all to this law.

          You make a better example when it comes to abortion of female fetuses. And yes, I believe that it should be legal because it violates the rights of women. In fact I’ve even written about it: http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2013/rights-and-freedoms/abortion-pro-choice-and-sex-selective-abortion.html/

          If you’re going to make laws that are meant to help only a specific portion of people, then the language of the law has to reflect that. Imagine an alien from Mars coming to read our laws. What will they think about it? You have to always look at laws from that perspective. Whatever the law says is the official stance of the government. You can’t be lazy and just generalize mindlessly.

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  11. it is said, ‘“… No impression should be given that she (the daughter in law) can be thrown out of her matrimonial home at any time,” says Supreme Court. Here I have a point. The law has to be such that the husband and wife as far as possible have to find solution to live with understanding. if a wife claims that, there is a threat for her to be thrown out of the family of husband and in-laws and the threat she claims is false claim, how can she be accepted to get the property share? She makes this claim just because she doesn’t want to live as a wife and she just wants property. How can we distinguish between genuine claims and the false claims wives make?

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    • Do you think the house in which a couple lives when they are married should be jointly owned? Should one of them have more right over it than the other?

      It’s the woman, generally, who relocates to the man’s house (though I think the bill is gender neutral) – so almost always the house would belong to the man, and unless the wife moves out of that house to live in a nuclear home, she would never own or have any legal right on the house she lives in?

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      • Do you mean that even if the husband and his parents and his siblings had worked very hard sweating a lot to acquire the property and the wife has done nothing for the property, still she also must be a owner? And after marriage she is made owner and in one month she leaves the husband, then also does she deserve that ownership/

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        • No I mean only the property home that is owned or will be owned by the husband himself, in which the couple has lived. Like in Joint families, where the woman had no chance or permission to make Joint Marital Property, where the couple lived with the husband’s parents.

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        • @maha2us,

          Do you think it is a cake walk, get married, get divorced and claim the share in marital home that was shared withe extended family and it will be served you on the platter?

          The statute to file divorce for what ever reason is 1 year from the date of marriage under law no matter how battered you are you have to stay married for a year before you can even file for divorce, if it will be granted that is whole another story.

          Here they are talking about three years before divorce by mutual consent can be even considered.

          DG is really amazed at all these learned comments that woman will be made owner in a month of man’s hard earnings. It took 3 decades to come to this draft that is still a bill. It took 20yrs of working with women and 10yrs of policy work for DG to come this understanding and her foremothers have been in this for longer than her won lived life.

          Every thing will depend on the jointly acquired assets in the duration of marital union, even if it is one month of marriage and the woman lived with man’s extended family during that time as her primary marital home the her share will be calculated according to days spent together and that will never amount to the 50% of the house, it will only be miniscule amount that she can use as paying for deposit to rent a roof over her head.

          Please educate your self than shooting arrows in all directions.
          Peace,

          Desi Girl

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        • Yes, what’s wrong with that? As a wife, she must have ownership rights on the roof over her head or she can be thrown out in middle of the night at anytime. Without legal property rights, she is at the mercy of in-laws/husbands for her most basic needs and she dare not upset or disobey them in anyway. Marriage is an equal partnership with equally shared rights and responsibilities. If the in-laws do not want to share their home with their son’s new wife who may potentially leave after a month, then the married couple can setup a new home and the parental home is safe from grabs of the evil DIL. Indian in-laws want all the free cooking/cleaning /waking up early/male grandchild and other adarsh-bhartiya-nari services from the wife but she should not have any property rights over her place she is forced to call home? How is that fair? Without legal property ownership rights, the roof over your head is not really a home, it is just a rental where you stay at whim/mercy of your landlord.

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      • Did she had a written,legal right in her father’s house when she was staying there,will she ask for one after she relocates to her husband’s place after marriage, will the father divide his property between his son and daughter equally, no he just finds a husband.Only for the reason that she is relocating is not enough for the house to be co-owned by her too, if she wants that, even after moving to a nuclear home, why should’nt she be expected contribute to the finances in owning that abode,if the house is bought on a home loan after marriage. be it co-owned,how is she expected to pay the EMIs, the argument that she works on the domestic front does not hold for the banks in case the man defaults in paying the EMIs, if there is talk about equal rights on owning a property in case of non payment only half should be recovered from the man and the other from the wife,when you talk of rights, do not forget responsibilities,when you talk of ownership, also talk about liabilities, when you talk of women,also talk about men .If the wife contributes to in terms of domestic responsibilities, so does the man too…Why it is almost generally assumed for man to be the provider, only because she has relocated.Do not relocate, don’t get married.Have a contract.

        IrBM and even the DV act should be gender neutral.

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    • why supreme court also does not say ” no impression should be given to woman that she can dump the husband any time and also fleece him at her will”

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  12. You say, ‘No I mean only the home that is owned or will be owned by the husband himself, in which the couple has lived. Like in Joint families, where the woman had no chance or permission to make Joint Marital Property, where the couple lived with the husband’s parents.’ Has this to be the case if the wife lives for only a month with the husband and then quarrels for no reason and then walks away and files for divorce by IRBM?

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  13. What if the wife decides not to stay in matrimonial house ( or the house of son’s parents), she is expected to relocate after marriage, but rather than relocating stays at her father’s house and will only stay with her husband?
    Why does the father of the girl not disclose his property and give her the natural share while marrying ( in her name)?Why does the father of the girl is not interested in getting her a proper education and job before marriage?
    What does the husband do if she starts to mistreat his parents while staying with them who are often senior citizens and suffering from some ailment or the other, what option the man has, part ways with the wife or dump his parents?
    Why is the woman of today claiming to be equal and then the law for giving her the ancestral property of the man, what right and contribution she has in acquiring ( real or virtual) the property of the ancestors or those acquired by the man before the marriage?

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  14. why should only a man’s inheritable property be divided?? why not give woman an equal right in all her parental property ? this law is extremely biased against a man. 70% of marriages are broken because of woman having adjustment problems with men. so for no fault of his he is penalised. I feel even maintenance or alimony should not granted to woman who walk out of her marital home unless genuine threat of life or limb.

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      • People really need to watch this documentary for the excellent points made. We don’t need any further ill thought laws which we know will never have any impact. Women need equal inheritance in parents’ property — this is the only acceptable solution, one that is our rightful share. This ensures our self-respect not the insult that comes with handouts from anyone . Women need to be strong and fearless, not weak victims needing redressal.

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        • Kishwar sums it up in this pithy statement —
          “The question is not about taking or not taking inheritance/property.

          The fundamental question is that a girl whose own parents consider her a burden, who regard her not as their own but someone else’s (paraya dhan) ..Why would her marital home consider her as one of their own??

          A girl whose own parents disinherit her, why would her husband give her an equal share of his property??”

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  15. and if the there is only one such house, where the son,his parents and the wife stays, then there is a divorce, so the girl should stay in the same house (claimed as 50% share), will she saty theer even after divorce ?? Not possible, the court orders to sell the property and give the share to the divorced wife, so where does the the man and his parents go, the wife will go back to his parents house( as is mostly the case always) and also pocket the share received, and the man and his parents stay on road.

    If the law wants 50% share in man’s property they should first also make sure that the father of the girl divides his property and hands it over to his daughter in the same proportion as to his sons.This does not happen often even with existing laws, this is injustice to the girls, because this can not be implemented because the girl has emotional bonds with her parents, she does not ask for her share and because she has no emotional bond with his husband and in laws, she gets their share, why punish the husband for the injustice done by the father of the girl.

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  16. also if the mans a liability in terms of financial loans acquired before and after marriage, will the wife gets a 50% share of that too on divorce.why not ??

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    • Yes, woman suffer more than the idiot who gambles away family assets and his earnings.
      When you talk about equal division of joint marital property losses are included by default for the duration of marital union not for what debt one acquired before marriage, be it for building his parents a house or paying for his sister’s dowry or capital fee for his brother’s admission.
      Same way a woman may bring her student loans into marriage she is responsible for them not him. It is student loans that become a bone of contention with man and his family coz’ they expect her parents to pay for it and she should just hand over her salary to them as is spend it in the marital home.

      Peace,

      Desi Girl

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      • If the man and wife are both earning and not in a joint family system, why should she be not expected to share the household expenses with the man,who is asking for handing over the salary???Have a joint A/C and pool part of thir salaries for the household.In other case why is the man then expected to hand over his salary to the wife.Losses as mentioned by a wife in terms of building his parents a house….etal. why is the man expected not to fulfill his responsibilties to his parents/siblings.Will the wife stop her brother from doing the same to her parents/siblings/unmarried sister or a brother.She won’t, if a wife has rights on her husband so have the parents on their son.
        If she brings her liabilty, let her pay if she is working, otherwise why should it not be a bone of contention for the husband,if her parents or herself could not have funded her education, why find a husband for that.

        I am asking for a fair play.

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  17. You’ve certainly set off a hornet’s nest with this much needed post. All the points you’ve made are very relevant and it is so true that a woman, once divorced, often doesn’t even have a roof over her head in addition to being shunned by her own family. Looking at the comments I’m amazed at the amount of paranoia floating around with regard to the devious nature of women and their apparent desire to milk a husband and in-laws dry in the case of a divorce. Most people seem to think that the laws will be misused, by women, and therefore it’s better to keep them under their thumb, not allow them to work, accuse them of not contributing to the household therefore they have no right to ask for a share of property…Incredible how deep the roots of misanthropy go. Quite a reflection of society.

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    • ” Most people seem to think that the laws will be misused, by women, and therefore it’s better to keep them under their thumb, not allow them to work, accuse them of not contributing to the household therefore they have no right to ask for a share of property…”

      THIS. THIS THIS THIS.

      If you want to fix the divorce law, you have to fix everything else in our society that keeps women down. But often times, the people who protest this law outright completely forget about the reality that women face in our country. They are completely barking up the wrong tree.

      PSA: If people want the unfair divorce laws to stop, they need to seriously re-evaluate why they exist to begin with. Once they can figure that out, they need to find out how to fix it. If they find out how to fix it, but are unwilling to implement the solution (because they think women are still inferior and don’t deserve equal rights), then they are continuing to facilitate this problem. They are not solving it.

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  18. Wife’s property/wealth/parents property/ancestral property should be considered. Make the law (IrBM, 498a, DV etc) gender neutral. Stop extortion of husband’s wealth and property. Do not make judiciary system of our country to an legal extortion provision. If passed, IrBM will be grossly misused by rich/educated/adulterous/greedy women.

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  19. I think this short term solution is complicated and a bit of a band-aid solutiom. I would personally feel better about this proposed law if it said ‘financially weaker spouse’ instead of ‘woman’. The entitlement should be for the financially weaker spouse so that they don’t have to stay married just because they have nowhere to go. It can’t be based on gender, that would just be sexist. Even so, one would need to figure out how long people need to be married for to get a share in each other’s residential properties.

    In the long term, this reinforces that we need to start treating our daughters differently.

    1) Give them equal inheritance as sons.

    2) Stop treating them daughters as ‘paraya dhan’. This means treating marriage differently. So basically no ‘kanyadaan’, no ‘vidaai’, no name changing. This would mean that men and women have to be well off enough to set up their own homes if they are to marry. I don’t know if this is economically viable at present but if marriages depended on it, it might become viable. Perhaps we could spend less on weddings and more on setting up homes!

    3) Focussing on bringing up daughters to be financially and socially independent, rather than bringing them up to be married off. Women should not by default be in the position of having no property or wealth in their names in marriages.

    I think the short term solution cannot helping without changing oppressive social structures in the long term.

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    • “I think the short term solution cannot helping without changing oppressive social structures in the long term.”
      This is so true.
      Marriage and all the new social relationships it creates is SO lopsided in Indian society that lop-sided laws (tilted the other way) are being created for balance.

      That’s disturbing on one hand and even ineffective on the other, because the people who would potentially benefit are also arguably the least likely to adopt legal force to utilise the law.

      Real social change on the other hand, would make these laws redundant. It is happening, but at a pace we consider inadequate.

      Whatever said and done, the position of women in India is the strongest it’s ever been and is likely to get only stronger, as time passes by.

      Our job should be accelerate the pace as much as we can, in our personal lives. The direction has anyway been decided, and isn’t likely to change!

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      • When you talk of social change and an inadequate pace, social change is happening at the cost of eroding the institution of marriage,why even in today’s age when the girl is still not unmarried there are scores of families who would just educate her and then wait for a groom to get her married and if it fails, then bring in IrBM and all other existing laws which have been misused.When a girl sees her peers working and becoming independent with her finances, and for reasons best known to the father of the girl ( being overprotective, social conditions in our society etc.)…that makes her feel inferior somehow,and then starts the whole cycle with the husband, he is not to blame for that, in such cases he is the one who provides for the family and the wife takes care of the domestic front,and not all alone, husband also shares it in after his professional commitments.No one commands her to bear child and then stop working if she does,but then when you marry, you do it with certain expectations of starting family, if not do not get married,so either have a pre-nup contract or the families should empower their girl child so that the father does not need her to be married off just to be adopted by the man.irBM should be gender neutral, if social change has to be at a adequate pace, this law treats women with nothing more than a slave with only a severance bonus, and men with inequality.

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        • //No one commands her to bear child and then stop working if she does,but then when you marry, you do it with certain expectations of starting family, if not do not get married//

          I didn’t understand this part.

          Women are ‘commanded’ to not just bear children, but to bear only ‘male children’, our skewed sex ratio is a result of the same.

          Do you mean women should continue working when the child is very young? But then who would take care of the child? Of course paternal leave is worth fighting for so that fathers can do their share of parenting and both the partners continue to remain as financially self reliant.

          When two people want to be parents, then it’s only fair that both take responsibility for the children, as it is –
          Society benefits immensely from childbearing, childrearing, and caregiving work that currently goes unpaid.

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        • IHM: Child bearing is not a decision that is forced on the wife ( it happens in uneducated and poor families, but then IrBM is neither going to reach them nor benefit them nor empower such women), if the wife and husband take a decision to have a child its mutual and not a command to the wife,point is if two people marry , of course there is expectations of having a child…and if child custody in cases of divorce goes to the mother in majority of the cases it’s not because she is only one who takes care, it happens because it is largely perceived that way.Its because people do not talk about paternal instincts.When a child is reared in a healthy environ its not just because of the mother and her “sacrifices”.The man taking leaves to rear a child when young will happen too,too often the mother feels she is more caring for the child and sometimes even chiding the father for handling the baby as caring as she would. so that is maternal insticnt, so as the decision to bear and rear a child is mutual so is her decision to take a break from work and not forced upon her.She opts out of the job market for rearing their child, thats not a domestic chore that a concious and basic decision she knows about when getting married.If not do not get married.Running a household and raising a child is a joint responsibility, in such cases it so natural for the man to provide and as natural for the woman to care for the child.If role reversals happen, who says men dont want to stay at home.

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        • //too often the mother feels she is more caring for the child and sometimes even chiding the father for handling the baby….//

          //the decision to bear and rear a child is mutual so is her decision to take a break from work and not forced upon her.She opts out of the job market for rearing their child, thats not a domestic chore that a concious and basic decision she knows about when getting married.If not do not get married.//

          Let’s assume I agree with this, and the father is not able to take care of the child and the mother has no choice but to take care of the child – then who should compensate for the affect motherhood has on her capacity to earn? If both the parents wanted to be parents, why is only one partner’s career affected? Why not have the father do his share, take leave and bond with the child?

          Did you read this? https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/society-benefits-immensely-from-childbearing-childrearing-and-caregiving-work-that-currently-goes-unpaid/

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        • IHM: I read https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/society-benefits-immensely-from-childbearing-childrearing-and-caregiving-work-that-currently-goes-unpaid/

          Some of the points are really worth noticing, but are they really practical,you talk about patriarchal-communism, existing capitalism and then go for for complete change to a socialist thinking , that’s really wishful . Thats not the way to bring about social change.
          No body can compensate for motherhood, not IrBM. not any share in propert neither alimony, motherhood, is the right of a woman bestowed by Biology, why do you want compensation for that ?
          //If both the parents wanted to be parents, why is only one partner’s career affected? Why not have the father do his share, take leave and bond with the child?// ……..Only mother’s career is affected because a man can not bear a child for sole biological reasons,if motherhood and career interferes for a woman she has the right to say no to the man, reach an agreement before marriage on that issue, or better still do not marry.But why marry first, acquire conjugal rights and if the man (say) wants a child then ask compensation for motherhood and caregiving,Even if men do not bear child and give birth they are as responsible in caregiving and child rearing as the mother.If the mother takes a break for the reason of motherhood, the man does not because he goes to work to provide for her and the child.

          IrBM is not equality, really the kind you are talking is almost a contract marriage, or pre-nuptial agreement where everything is laid down on a paper before entering marriage, but then why marry at all, thats erosion of the marriage system that this law will bring about.DV and 498A have failed to do to woman what it was intended for, neither will IrBM till women continue to play victim and are denied education, job opps by their parents, dont punish the husbands.

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        • It is taken for granted that women would not, cannot refuse to be mothers but if women are made to choose between self reliance and motherhood, more and more women might find themselves choosing self reliance.

          I think they would be within their rights to not want to go through pregnancy and child birth.

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      • I agree on this with you,women have every right to say no to pregnancy and motherhood(surrogacy is an option, but again only a woman can be a surrogate).
        what I am saying is agree on this with your partner before marriage, if not do not marry,or marry one who would agree.But do not marry and then this becomes a discord and then comes in breakdown of marriage and IrBM,pocket the share and done,thats unfair.
        More and more people going to get married should go for written agreement before marriage,

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  20. Pingback: Property for divorced Indian women | divorced doodling

  21. im not sure if the writer of this blogger is actually capable of thinking in practical way or not. What she is taking about of rights, rights and rights. What about the responsibilities then?. Just wondering, why are we so very desperate to align indian women with “PARASITISM”??? That too on man and marriage??? For the sake of keeping it simple, i only have two questions

    1. There is never a measurement to how much “UNPAID” work the wife has done for the husband. Just want to understand how do people measure how good a woman is as a wife, for she actually is eligible for property of husband which she has never paid even a penny???

    2. Writer says, woman are unpaid for their dometic work for husband and family. WHAT ABOUT THE CONSUMPTION OF WIFE DURING THE SUSTENANCE OF MARRIAGE??? WHO WILL BE PAYING WIFE’S FOOD BILLS, MEDICAL BILLS, BEAUTY PARLOR BILLS, CELL PHONE BILLINGS, SHOPPING BILLS AND EVERY OTHER BILLS???HOW MUCH WIFE SHOULD PAY FOR HUSBAND FOR HIM PAYING ALL HER BILLS???

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  22. The answer is NO. few reasons, Its exposed to severe misuse by urban women who will get share in parents, husband property and remarry and further ask in second husband property….

    Secondly, you don’t even know her before marriage how come she is entitled to your parental share and even your property share. Life has bigger meaning than only marriage, A man has brother, sisters, mother and parents to support.

    Joint families will get destroyed by this. if one daughter-in-law ask for her share, the husband though have share on his name but no liquidity to pay wife and it will put pressure to break the joint family.

    Please do not pass such gender biased laws and make country suffer. If you want men to fight such cases in future and increase litigation on courts we are not contributing to the GDP growth and busy fighting and its loose – loose for all.

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  23. You claim that the wife deserves to have share in marital home if she is married for 7 yrs, 10 yrs etc. During 7 yrs of marriage in which she always quarelled because she is immature and is mentally ill and she spent good part of that period in her parental home and the rest period only in the marital home, still does she deserve right in the marital home property?

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  24. I am educated , qualified , blah , blah , blah.

    My parents do not have any intention to give me any share in the marriage , ( but backdating the date of my marriage in 1998, they will give a dowry of 5 lakhs Rs. Not still given. I then just asked a few years ago – put one flat in my name . I ASKED. my father said he will. My mother does not want to give !

    In my husband’s case, his mother does not want to give anything because she does not like her son’s wife, me.

    Here’s the irony. Isince 2003 , both the set of parents are earning dividends from the principal that we have put in their name . We are not even the nominee ! to our principal amounts.My parents have put me as the nominee.

    But my husband’s mother and sister just dont want to give it away. The sister will get all that in the bank, she can even stifle away the principal ( the dividends in 10 years total more than the principal now ) , 3 flats and a bungalow which should total to

    She tells the brother” Dada take whatever you want “, but she is not willing to disclose any amounts !!! My brother-in-law has sent some information, but my husbands own sister does not want to share anything, nor does his own mother.

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  25. there should be a clear demarkation between working wife and non working wife.A property can be inherited by women also under hindu succesation act.There should a clear division of property of both husband and wife’s inherited property.We have already seen that our biased laws are being heavily missued.so we need to think in unbiased manner.

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    • Biased laws are those which allow parents and society to disinherit their daughters, keep them in dependance, marry them into joint families where the dependence continues and where they have no financial (and many other) rights and then laws that leave divorced women and their children without a roof over their heads and with generally no alimony or child support.
      Please take a look at the post. The only ancestral property being shared is the house in which they were staying.

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  26. There are a lot of emotional arguments flying everywhere here, as was to be expected on such a touchy subject. As a guy, I understand why people feel that this bill will be unfairly partial in favor of women. However, I feel all of us first need to understand that these laws are not being made in a vacuum. There is a shamefully long history of exploitation, desertion and abandonment of millions of Indian women stretching across decades post (and pre) independence that serves as the backdrop for these laws.

    There was a survey conducted a couple of years back by the Economic Research Foundation in Delhi on the financial status of hundreds of divorced women across different regions in India and across different social backgrounds and income groups.

    The main findings were

    1.) 41.5% of the divorced women (6.5% of the divorced men) had no income of their own.
    2.) 27.4% of the divorced women (1% of the divorced men) earned less than Rs 2000 per month
    3.) Only 14% of the divorced women (70% of divorced men) earned more than Rs 6000 per month.
    4.) 18.5% of the divorced women initiated the divorce
    5.) 62% of the divorced women had a loss of earning capacity post marriage.
    6.) 64% of the divorced women suffered physical violence in their marriage.
    7.) 58% of the divorced women did not receive any maintenance at all (most of their cases are pending in court).
    8.) The remaining 42% received approximately 10% to 13% of their spouses income as maintenance. In one case from Kerala, the woman fought for 17 years to be awarded a maintenance of Rs. 900 per month even though her male spouse was earning Rs. 56,000 per month.

    There are a lot more points brought up in the survey about the pathetic condition of most divorced women in our country. You can refer the below document for further details.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KGuHtWAK6udX6Dq1pn9DkzKR0awOqv5vwNTixHu9TAE/edit?pli=1

    I don’t deny that there are instances of wives cheating their husbands out of their hard-earned money and property. However, as the survey data shows quite clearly, financially speaking, women get a much, much bigger, rawer deal in a divorce than men. In the event of a divorce, they are left far more vulnerable and economically much more destitute than their spouses. I request the people calling for “equal rights” to address this glaring inequality as well while forming their arguments for “equal rights”.

    I agree with Bhagwad’s point that laws need to be gender neutral and can be phrased in terms of financially weaker or stronger spouse rather than specifying husband or wife. That would take a lot of heat out of these arguments and would also provide a (minor) check against spouses who aim to keep their partners financially weak and dependent.

    A lot of people arguing for both sides have brought up valid points. This discussion is a much needed one across the country to ensure that a vague law that can be unfairly misused does not get passed. However, let’s also take the current ground situation into account before freaking out about wicked wives and blameless husbands.

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    • Thank you so much for your comment. It’s lovely, and balanced without all of the emotional baggage attached. I agree with you, women do in fact get a rawer deal, as the statistics show.

      “I don’t deny that there are instances of wives cheating their husbands out of their hard-earned money and property.”

      This is especially true, and no one is denying this fact at all. But in order for women to be able to cheat their husbands, they must first have some kind of power over themselves and their circumstances. A lot of women who divorce do not have this power. For women who go through divorce, in many cases it’s an act of final desperation, where they simply want to get out of the marriage. I don’t think many of the women who go through a divorce even consider the financial repercussions they will suffer past that point.

      That being said, there is no doubt that divorce laws in India can be used as instruments of extortion, and it’s really important to prevent this as well. I wonder if the laws we have are so rudimentary because Indian society, in general, is still getting used to the concept of divorce as a whole?

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  27. After all the decades I’ve spent living my life, it amazes me to see people’s views and attitudes towards marriage. Excuse me for drifting off the topic in between but I really cannot stop myself from making the following points.

    Shouldn’t marriage be between two individuals solely because they want to live and enjoy their life together? Instead, we have people marrying for the sake a mixture of sexual gratification, social status and financial benefits. Hence, the concept of arranged marriages.

    Even if two people marry because of their love for each other, it is very possible that the love may fade out and differences may creep in. Thereby, resulting in the logical separation through a divorce. But how does the aspect of money and property come in suddenly once two individuals separate?

    If the wife is financially independent, then why should she need a share of the money or property owned by the husband? The same logic should apply to a financially independent husband before sharing the property of his wife. Weren’t they financially independent before marrying each other? Then why the sudden need now?

    The only logical relevance arises if either of them is raising a child or more by being a single parent especially if they are not financially capable enough to raise the kid(s).

    And what if either of the spouses is not financially independent? If either a man or woman marry a person who isn’t financially independent, why should they be forced to share their property if the marriage splits?

    And what if the husband is not financially independent and moves into the wife’s house and becomes a homemaker? Should he then not be eligible to demand for a share of the property owned by the wife?

    But it is taken to be an unsaid rule (as mentioned by one commentor above) that a man HAS to be the one who earns in a marriage, not necessarily a woman. Why?

    As has been said a lot on this blog before, parents have no business to enforce their choices on the marriage of their children. True. And very logical. But then, why should a son or daughter expect and demand a share in the inherited property of the parents? How can someone demand for something they never earned? So, how does sharing of inherited property come within legal purview? It should solely be the choice of a person to whom he or she leaves their property behind.

    Yes, parents do not usually include their daughters in their will. But that should be their choice. Even a son should not demand a right in his parents’ property.

    So, for each point raised in this blog-post, my responses would be :

    1. Property nowhere should be inherited or inheritable by right. It should be entirely the choice of the person who actually earned that property to give it to the children or throw it in trash.
    2. If either of the spouses in a marriage considers self or the other to be contributing in the marriage by doing their bit of ‘work’, either paid or unpaid, they are no different from a business agreement and hence, should demand or pay accordingly. But ideally, marriage should be about togetherness, not a business contract.
    3. If a woman compromises with her financial independence after getting married, the financial disaster starts right with the marriage itself. Same should apply for a man in similar circumstances too. But the point is, do people marry just for the sake of financial stability?

    Sometimes it is difficult to imagine if marriage is really about togetherness and love. As another commentor above is so proud to mention about his post nuptial agreements, one wonders whether people are only concerned about their property instead of the life with their partner.

    People do change. People do fall out of love. And eventually many people divorce their partners. But then, shouldn’t each person gather their belongings (which they earned) and move away?

    Though post nups are a (financially) smart thing to do, but they signify the level of trust and faith the partners have on each other. So little that they need to insure themselves from any dispute arising from a possible divorce. A level of trust that requires the court to decide and tell what’s his is his and what’s hers is hers.

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    • “If the wife is financially independent, then why should she need a share of the money or property owned by the husband? The same logic should apply to a financially independent husband before sharing the property of his wife. Weren’t they financially independent before marrying each other? Then why the sudden need now?”

      That’s exactly it, they were NOT financially independent before marrying each other. In many many cases, women who get married were not financially independent to start with, or their financial independence is eradicated forcibly after marriage.

      If women ARE financially independent, before, during, and after marriage, then your statement hits the nail on the head. But they aren’t. And it’s important to address THIS issue, the issue of why they aren’t financially independent, rather than splitting property willy-nilly.

      “If a woman compromises with her financial independence after getting married, the financial disaster starts right with the marriage itself.”

      Much of the time, in India, the woman is not compromising out of choice but out of coercion. I think that many people fail to realize this when it comes to divorce laws. A lot of people seem to think that women make conscious decisions to become financially dependent, but this is often not the case. If given the choice, I doubt anyone would want to be destitute at any point in life.

      If people can address the reasons as to why women are coerced into giving up their financial independence, I think they would be surprised to find the problem of alimony taking care of itself on its own. If people can support themselves after divorce, on their own, they do not need anyone else’s money.

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  28. Pingback: Instead of eyeing their husbands’ ancestral property, why don’t Indian daughters in law make their own homes? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  29. Some of the comments here are interesting, and some are borderline weird.

    First of all, I agree with those who say that this is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. This seems to be a recurring theme with Indian law makers. They continually slap problematic solutions to societal issues, and don’t bother addressing the true root of the problem at hand.

    If people want equality in divorce laws, they must first be willing to address the question as to why are so many women financially dependent on people other than themselves? What causes this problem, especially? At the end of the day, the reason this law exists is because women are viewed as not being financially independent. WHY is this true?

    This is something that many people who oppose these laws never consider. They stay silent in the face of the inequality that women face financially, and when laws such as these are made, they only consider it from their own point of view, but never consider why such laws are made to explicitly benefit women. Questioning this aspect of our society is vital. WHY are women consistently not allowed their share of property from their parents? WHY are their education and careers not given any attention? WHY is anything that might allow them to stand on their two feet denied to them? If you can solve these problems, if you can give women the ability to be financially independent, if you can give them their proper inheritances as is their due, then there will be zero need for the husband to pay alimony for anything (except maybe in the case of children), in cases of divorce.

    THIS is the problem that people need to start solving in India. These are the societal perceptions that must be changed. If women can take care of themselves, there is no need for others to do it for them.

    That being said, I don’t think it’s correct for the husband to give a share of his inherited and inheritable property. This is no different than the wife being forced to give up her own inherited property (if she gets any) to her husband’s family. Other assets, purchased by the husband or purchased jointly, should be divided in a mutually beneficial way. But anything that is inherited is not something that should be touched.

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      • so address the problem of dowry…the girl has every right to say NO to a marriage if dowry is involved,also dowry is “seen” as wife’s share in her parents’ property,by the girl and her father both, she is often neglected by her own parents after being married off,thats what is the patriarchal mindset,which favours son and cribs at daughter being born.So to balance out what has been a discrimination from her birth ( not always, not in all families), why punish the husband,why IrBM without gender neutrality.Talk about equality of sexes and then inheritance of husband’s propert is not justice to the man,and in the event almost the boys’ parents and senior citizen of the country are not spoken about,ours is a culture where the son traditionally looks after their parents,let the girls take charge and take responsibilities of their parents with their brothers too.If she is financially independent it is rather very medieval to talk that she is coerced into handing over salary, to bear children and give up her career.Today more and more men want their better half to be working and contributing to the household, but somehow it is seen by the wives as only the man to be the provider, while she can spend her earning as she sees fit,she defiinitely can but only after contributing to the household ( talking about a nuclear space).And at the same time should not question if the man supports his parents,siblings.Thats not happening, unfortunately.Women of today are independent financially,but its so hard for them to accept the fact that if they are earning, they can also be the provider along with the husband.

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    • A, Your comment is really well-balanced. And you have said how women could find a better lot in the society. Though it is long-term one has to be patient for that. And most importantly even as women are brought up in the parental homes, they are to be fed with positive thoughts of being independent and loving. If they have the attitude that they are not financially dependent on husbands after marriage totally but the marriage is based on interdependence and understanding, it will be a much healthier society.

      Of course misuse of these laws are definitely there and this problem has also to be solved. One reason biased laws are found ineffective and creating problems is because of the way judiciary works. My honest opinion is judiciary in India is not at all giving justice efficiently for those who genuinely need it. But judiciary is such that it gives endless scope for harassing any individual. The judiciary works only if the judge provides justice by trying to understand the two persons who are fighting with each other. What really happens is there are lawyers for both sides, who extort money from the two parties and a new law benefits only the two lawyers. The laws which were there even before 498a, DV act etc. came into existence could have given justice to the right person if only they were effectively implemented by an efficient and effective judiciary. But when they were not how could a new law help? Biased laws don’t help downtrodden people. Only effective work for them helps.

      As another point, those who misuse the laws bring more problems for themselves.

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    • The main contention here is a philosophical one. As a man who earns less than his wife, of course I’m looking at this from my point of view first and foremost. I’m not ashamed of that. Each and every one of us considers their own viewpoint before anyone else’s. As anyone who follows my blogs know, I’m obviously in favor of women being treated equally and am willing to lend all kinds of support to that end.

      But not at my expense – especially when I personally am not doing anything wrong. I have no intention of suffering for someone else’s benefit and I resent any attempt to make me do so. If my country doesn’t offer me a good deal, then I just might consider moving to a country that treats me fairly. I empathize deeply with the problems faced by many women in India – any reasonable person does.

      I’m sorry, but I come first. And when I haven’t done anything wrong, any mistreatment of me is unpardonable.

      What’s especially frustrating is that it’s possible to create laws that are fair. I mentioned in a comment that we can talk about “financially weaker” or “financially stronger” parties instead of “man” and “woman”. Can someone who is in favor of these laws please do me the favor or explaining to me why they cannot be framed in gender neutral terms without having such an obvious bias?

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      • The problem is not that you look at things from your point of view first and foremost. There’s nothing wrong in that. The problem is that you think and expect that everyone does and should look at things in the same way as you do.

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        • Of course trying to get people to agree with us is democratic. And yes, there will be people who will agree and those who will not. Still very democratic. But the problem is with the attitude that only our viewpoint is right and those who don’t agree are fools.

          Apart from trying to get people to agree with us, we should also realize that there will be people with different viewpoints who may also have some valid reasons to back their views. If one lives in the delusion that everyone will agree with their views because only they are right, well…….

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  30. Pingback: Her Marital Home: His Inherited Property | A Desi Girl's Guide to Relationship Survival

  31. Pingback: So why don’t Indian women fight for their own ancestral property rights? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  32. IHM, Definitely one can argue there are women who are finding it unsafe when divorce happens. In fact everyone takes some action based on what gives him/her safety. And we can also say it is the Govt:’s duty to provide safety for the people. But the question which comes is , is it possible to provide safety for women by making men unsafe or insecure? The reason the laws 498a and DV fail to provide safety for women is because, they have created a lot of insecurity among men. Innocent men are feeling unsafe and this insecure feeling really hampers the free flow of love and trust. And those men are prompted to take actions for their safety when they are with threatening women. Already when there are laws which are a threat to men, why make another draconian law which makes a man feel insecure? This law because it creates unsafe environment will see that no more marriage takes place. How then this law helps? And very unfortunately it becomes possible only women who threaten the safety of men use this law.

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  35. My two cents regarding this issue is that the marriage should be seen in a different light: an union of two persons that are in love and wants to spend their life together and not like a secure contract for future. All problems will stop then. If you are a man or a woman and you accept to be married with a stranger in the name of culture then you should accept all that come with that culture and customs. If you want to have your personal life then fight for it, work, earn, find a person that you love and share your life with, do your personal rules in marriage and life in general. We should start to understand that the war between genders should stop. We should start to fight with the sistem, with our demons, with customs, with old culture rules. These are our fights. I am a woman and if i will accept to marry with a stranger, go in his house, work for benefit of his family and to bend my head all time then means that i accept that i don’t exist like a person, that i accept to loose my identity and then why i shout for my rights? What a woman should do is to work. Earnings will give her power and will secure her future. Marriage is not the door to a secure future because in life bad things are happening so we don’t know if the husband, that is the only provider, will live long to secure our future. So work is the key. When men will stop to be seen like providers then also they will loose the so called rights on the women. Men should also work hard to get a woman. And i don’t talk about financial part. Men should be gentle, caring, to behave nice, to help in house and to know that they can loose the woman any time. In this way both, women and men will work to protect the relations. Relations are the most sensitive thing in the world. If we don’t work to maintain them for sure will die and together with them will go any human feeling and we will became robots…. animals….. whatever….

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    • Nice post by you, Bandaria. Your post is well-balanced and you have told valid points. Feminists could do better things if their focus is on awakening the inner powers and capabilities of a woman which gives her better happiness and satisfaction instead of making this war against the males. What has to be there in marriage is caring, compassion, gentleness, tenderness and understanding and these qualities inside both males and females could be awakened and enhanced and that is how marriage blooms. Fighting only gives tension and is a waste of energy. Definitely men are only too happy to help the wife in household work and also like to establish rapport with her parents and siblings which calls for understanding all over. Men also like to have independent and loving women as their partners who can be their friends instead of doormats.

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      • Agree with you maha2us,but the problem is the girl’s parents want then to be adopted by their husbands rather than making their dughters self reliant and not depending on marriage.First they marry their daughters and then try to control the son in law and the whole nine yards.IrBM is further going to denigrate iindian women and the system of marriage.Should be rolled back or give equal representation to men to in the law.

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        • Nick, What you say exactly is the root cause of the problems males are facing due to the anti-male laws. And the one point, IHM has totally ignored. As I find men do establish rapport with their in-laws, if they are understanding. If they are controlling, problems result. In that situation, men have to fight as what is said in Bhagawad Gita. Yes, I don’t go for fight just like that, but I have the right to take care of myself and defend myself if people try to harm me. Still I have no hatred towards my wife or in-laws.

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      • Yes, you have right! We live our lifes wasteing so much time and energy just to destroy. We forget that we have power to create, build, change. We can do this with love, patience, understanding. We are same but some persons took care and still taking care to make us fight with each other. We loose the importance of life in stupid fights, in our run for fortunes, money, more money, more land, more gold……… We forget one simple thing. When we die we don’t take anything material with us. We all die poor. And is just a shame that we die poor also in feelings. To think rich is the answer to all problems. As much as you have 2 hands and a brain no matter what is the gender. Why to wait to take things for granted when you can work for them? The satisfaction is more big when you do like this.

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  36. IHM, This is based on what you say in Link IV. What you have said all seem to be fair. Still there are some questions here. How far whatever you said is practical? How is the unpaid work evaluated? And how much fairness is possible in the evaluation? If these things are argued in the court by what all you have said, the debate will become endless. The way judiciary works is no simple system and the lawyers could endlessly say any number of points. These debates would go through many years. And both males and females will find the justice they got as unfair and the only persons who benefit are lawyers.

    Then a crucial point which applies to both men and women. You are talking about unpaid work carried out by both male and female. One type of unpaid work which needs to be given high importance is inducing positive attitude to children and encouraging in their strengths which makes the kids bolder as they grow and provides the kids drive to earn more and make the kids work smarter. How can it be proved which parent has taken more positive decisions for the kids? And it is quite possible, when the wife is in her husband’s home, the husband truly believes his mom has been the inspiration for his high earning capability and so his mom’s unpaid work deserves to be compensated handsomely. How about this scenario?

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  38. Pingback: Some basic questions on joint family finances and daughters in law. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  39. Pingback: “Although my in laws maintain a facade of being content with what they have and never asking the girl’s side for anything…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  40. Pingback: “What if I let go the gold and money, not that I am rich, but they won’t give me a divorce easily…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  41. Does a husband get if he is having health problem . What about fidelity issues ?
    Previously in India major share was given to men. Now women also can claim the property .
    What if wife does not claim her ancestral property and sits for husbands property ?
    I think now husbands will solve the case in their own hands than going to court, because result is not of much different ( in either case husband will lose, in case of fidelity also law favors women ). Lot of example of well educated couple who were good have at all time killed their spouses and ended their life .

    It is the women now a days who are scoring high in academics not men .

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  42. if my fathers own property my mother was house wife . my father put his name in house property. she was died. she was no income to his fathers side. my father was put his name after death of my mother.

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  43. Pingback: These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  44. If the same situation continues i think soo these politicians in parliament would pass a bill for 50 % share in Indian men’s cricket team for women…sooo sad….lets not vote for these brainless politicians anymore…..tht is how we must teach lesson to them..

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  45. I separated from my hsbnd under domestic vilolence along with my daughter in2007.My yonger dtr stayed with my hsbnd.My elder datr is now 22 n yngr is 18 yrs.I hv no income but get Rs 7000 from my hsbnd as allimony.He is U S citizen n is a Pensioner under Social Security US law. I STAY WITH MY 90 YR OLD retired FATHER which is toughest situation so far.My husbnd inherited a joint property along with his 4 brothers which d value goes around 25 crores after redevelopment, after d death of their parents.Now I m looking forward to Divorce with d custody of my younger dtr .I also plan that my elder dtr should get married at her right age.I am so helpless.What is my legal stand in my husbands propery.I sacrificed my 18 years n helped my husbnd to acquire his share in d property.Now he stays alone in my matrimonial home.? I appointed lawyer but accoding to her advice I should start living in my house which I wont prefer.Pls help me.

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  46. Pingback: ‘Will it be possible for Indian women to negotiate a postnup when finding a mate is a feat in itself?’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  47. Pingback: “He wants divorce. She wants to know what wrong she did to be treated this way, why he chose her, but repents his decision immediately after marriage.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  48. Pingback: An update: ‘I am told that I am very wrong since I think of money, but is it not an important factor here?’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  49. I suggest 2 ways to help women. 1 The daughter must get share in her ancestral property. At the time of birth her name must be included. 2 The ladies must take lead and start a new custom .Send their sons to in laws and keep daughters at home Bring a son in law to your house. All dowry related and dil related problems will be solved. Start from your own son.

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      • Not really – in one case the property belongs to the woman whether or not she marries, divorces, loves, lives with or separates. In the other case her often even the dowry belongs to her husband’s family, what she earns (if she earns) may or may not belong to her.

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    • Why should parents ‘send’ and ‘keep’ their children? Why not adult children live in their own homes? Dowry issues will not end so long as a daughter’s parents feel their daughters’ marital home is not really her rightful or ‘own’ home, and that only her husband’s parents and family have a right to live with, get support or affection from their married daughter.

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  50. Pingback: Eloped girl can’t ask for father’s FD: Court. Eloped boy can? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  51. Dear Indian Home Maker,

    This is an amazing article with lots of info. I especially enjoyed the rants by men who are so afraid of losing their property for sure to their wives. And this fear is mainly because they know they have done their wives wrong. They used the wives and want to get rid of the wife with nothing when the time comes.
    This law threatens their place in the institution. They are threatened. They did not think for one second about their mothers and sisters and grand mothers and their plight.

    Dear Married working guy,

    First of all, forget the metro people, who have access to the internet and can reply to this blog. Look at the village people with less privileges. They need the protection, they need the support. If this law offends or threatens your existence, protect yourself with a pre-nuptial agreement.

    Dear Threatened guy,

    This is law is in place for people who do not know their rights and have been living in a certain way. Like sailing in a boat. When the time comes to jump off the boat, and there is only one lifebuoy, the law is telling that both the people have to share it and they both have equal right. If both you and your partner can afford a lifebuoy, then don’t be a dick about it!!

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  52. Why a woman should be given rights in husband’s propert, did she marry a man for property, did the husband give birth to that girl, the girl should have a rightful share in her father’s property and not her husband’s, why a girl is being treated as a bundle of load by her father and then married and then debate on husbands property, the husband has toiled for what he earns so it should be his and his only, if the wife earns and who is stopping her, let her earn and make her own popert, the govt. can help them with reduced interest rates, but then don’t cry about men and women being equal.I know most of the girls in our country are being reared for marrying them off, so this has to change and giving away the property of husband to his beloved or estranged wife is not only wrong it is unjustified.I know you wont publish this.

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  53. My brother is at the verge of taking divorce, he doesn’t own a house, stays in fathers self acquired house. My father gave him shop to run buying with his own money but the shop.is.in my brothers name. Can his wife claim share in shop, which is means of his livelyhood?

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  54. Pingback: “When my first pay check came, my MIL made a huge drama about how I am not informing them about my finances…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  55. unemloyed men divorce to working women have 2daughter 17and21age what cmpensation given to wife property husband namd and his lat mother combined

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  56. my sister and brother in law are about to be getting separated.my brother in law is from a village and doesnt want to settle in city for work.earlier he was in city and both were teachers in a school.after few years he left and does not want to come back.they have a daughter and she is staying with mother and going to school.Since birth brother in law has not made any expenses on her daughter.my sister is only taking care of her.he has agricultural lands in village,But I am not sure whether it is in the name of his mother or divided between 3 brothers.I want to know ,what share will my sister get after divorce.

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  57. Pingback: An email: “I cannot stay in this marriage for society anymore. But I’m so so scared of what people will say.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  58. Pingback: Divorce by Mutual Consent: How to protect my child’s interests? – An email | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  59. Pingback: An email – “Divorce by Mutual Consent: How to protect my child’s interests? “ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  60. Prenuptial agreement have to be implemented like US to ensure the financial security of a woman. Now a days giving up highly paid jobs to take care of kids and family among women are on the rise. Because they are forced to give up jobs for family welfare. Which in turn makes them more vulnerable in unpredictable future problems like divorce, fight with in laws. Women permanently enslaved in their marriage life and forced to live a life with no dignity, fear of living alone in society, fear of seen as burden by their own brothers and parents. After a few year break up in their career lands them in devastatingly low income jobs even if they want to rehabilitate on financial front when trying to be independent. Burden of rearing the children. In every aspect men are the most privileged to walk out of a bad marriage even without a scratch. Whereas woman walking out of bad marriage totally devastated with unrepairable damage . women rich or poor are the most vulnerable section of the society. Ensure laws to be amended to protect them financially to lead a dignified life.

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  61. Pingback: An email: “I am 32, Going through a very messy divorce…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  63. Pingback: “A Delhi court has refused alimony and advised the wife to find a job. Now that’s Equality.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  64. Pls guide me if house property is in the name of parent and that property is not distributed by th parent between her children then the sister inlaw will get the share in that house and sister in law is working somewhere

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  65. Pingback: Married daughters having sufficient means, are under an obligation to maintain their parents: Bombay High Court | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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