Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Separation can be a painful Experience

Separation can be a painful experience, and nobody in his right mind would want to go through the pangs of a divorce. Yet splits do take place, thanks to our Indian Goverment for making family killer Law like 498A/DV Act. And they are on the rise. According to one study, 11 marriages out of every 1,000 break up in India today, as against seven or eight in the 1990s.

Big question: What should a husband and wife do to safeguard their individual interests when the marriage does finally end up on the rocks? The first thing on the mind apart from the custody of the children is the quantum of financial settlement. And it is here that it is the Husabnd who is usually affected the most, as all the law is generally sympathetic to her. Unlike in the West, where a Husabnd can cool $30 million from estranged Wife, the Indian woman usually take maintenance from her ex-husband irrespective she is divorced or not , as they do not work the way Wester women work hard to earn thier live hood.

His perspective :-

The legal machinery in the country provides for specific relief to women belonging to different communities. Under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, for instance, the court may consider both, the moveable and immoveable assets of the husband while providing for post-separation sustenance to a Hindu woman. Under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which applies to all women, she can get maintenance even without a divorce, only thing she have to say my husabnd troture me for dowry , thats all , no other evidence is required. A Muslim woman, on the other hand, can get maintenance even if she is financially well off, under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act. There’s relief for Christian women and those married under the Special Marriages Act (inter-caste marriages) as well, under the Indian Divorce Act.

All this means that the legal machinery is fully loaded to tear off the Husabnds Underwear irrespective he is innocent or culprit. As a Result, Indian Husband always get a raw deal!!!

It is largely because he usually knows next to nothing about his finances and blindly love to wives and hand over all his 50% assets right in her name the moment he got married and can’t prove his wives financial worth in court.

Husabnd cannot reclaim even the gifts or a house he purchased on her name after marriage and after marriage despite the fact that he can prosecute his in-laws under the Cheating and froud , blackmailling and extrotion of money cases.

The reason: Husband isn’t able to prove the gifts belong to his as there is usually no record to prove the title. And in many cases, he can’t claim the investments made or goods bought from his own earnings simply because he didn’t bother to maintain proper records when the marriage was alive.

The remedy

While a good way to protect your interests whether or not your marriage is on the rocks is to have your investments and bank accounts jointly, this may not be possible if her actions are suspect. In which case, you might have to take certain other precautions, which you must, even if you are partners in personal finances . Let’s get a fix on what you must and must not do to get a fair deal.

Joint assets.

If you are already managing your finances jointly( chances are very rare), separation, if it does happen at a later date, will not be such a bitter experience as far as the financial settlement is concerned. The ownership will be clearly defined so she cannot get away with Claimming a huge money in the name of settlement, once you’ve split.

For starters, the money lying in your joint account at the bank will be split equally, irrespective of whether it is an either or survivor or one that requires both signatures for operation. But there’s a caveat here.
Mr. Mahesh Tiwari , a Young Supreme court laywer says “If the man can prove the account was held jointly only for convenience and that all the money therein was deposited from his money, the woman could lose out.”

As far as the other moveable assets are concerned, any will that Husabnd has made won’t hold water in a court of law. Which means Wives can easily challenge a probate any of his relatives or friends make after he is no more( like death, result more than 23000 husabnd go for unnatural death last year).

Likewise, you are worst protected in case she decides to kill you by her boyfriends.

As far as the house is concerned, your share will be limited to 50 per cent or the percentage set out in the agreement for sale and/or loan agreement. Husabnd is well within his rights to will his part to anybody he feels like. In which case, one of you will have to buy out the other and continue to repay the home loan that you took jointly when the marriage was still alive.

If She wants the house, insist on two things: one, that she pays you within an agreed time frame and two, that she undertakes to indemnify you against any liability arising on account of the house. Says SIF Volenter Bharti : “If the loan on the house has been taken jointly, the bank is well within its rights to demand payment from both parties. So if a woman is relinquishing her share in the property, she must ensure she does not share the liabilities either.”

Personal effects.

Any gifts that you receive as a married Man even if they are from your parents legally belong to your wife and you can't prosecute her and her family under the Dowry Act. As the same termed as Streedhan and it is her full right to demand or accept the Dowry article from your parents in the form of Money or property or high cost dimond ring.

The problem Husabnds usually encounter here is the absence of a gift deed to prove ownership. Try and work your way around this by asking for one from your parents, who will execute it willingly. His parents, to protect their interests, might not.

Household goods.

The furniture, car, air-conditioner, refrigerator all belong to her unless you paid for them and can prove it to the court. Which is possible if any of them were taken on a consumer loan or under a hire-purchase scheme and you can produce bank entries or receipts as evidence.


What if she drags his feet on the decree? Her action would not amount to contempt of court and invite any prosecution. Says Vineet: “The woman can use the decree to attach husabnds assets and ensure he pays up.” A word of good thing, though: it’s possible Husabnd might suggest giving some of the assets to your kids on the grounds that you hold custody. You might lose out as the law recognises the father as the natural guardian, and vests the power of operating and administering such assets with him.

This is for stupid Indian Husabnds who belive in 16th century mind set and does not understand the 21st century reality and cry when the real fire of 498A/DV Act /Maintence/Allomoney comes.

Safety first !!!!


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