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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Wife may get share in husband's ancestral property

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 17, 2013
First Published: 23:08 IST(17/7/2013) | Last Updated: 02:22 IST(18/7/2013)

In its latest attempt to make the cumbersome process of divorce easier for women, the cabinet on Wednesday approved the recommendations by a Group of Ministers (GoM) on providing mandatory compensation for wives from the share of their husbands’ properties and setting a three year deadline for ending marriages on the new ground of irretrievable breakdown.

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The GoM was set-up by the Prime Minister on May 1 following differences within the cabinet on issues related to making the divorce laws friendly for women. The government has been struggling for a consensus on the marriage laws (amendment) bill after it was first introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2010.

The cabinet has now decided to make a provision for ensuring compensation for the wife and children from the immovable property of the husband in case of a divorce and the amount will be decided by the court.

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It has also been proposed to empower the courts to decide the compensation amount from the husband’s inherited and inheritable property for the wife and children once the marriage is legally over.

The GoM had decided against the earlier proposal of equal share for wives in their husbands property in divorce cases, since it was felt that division of inherited property may lead to further litigation. 

The cabinet also decided to bring clarity in the proposed new ground of divorce defined as the   irretrievable breakdown of marriage, which will allow the husband and wife to file for divorce either jointly or separately in cases where the marriage has broken down for all practical purposes.

In such cases, the married couple would be given a 18-month cooling-off period to reconsider their decision, but if any of the parties evades the court for more than three years, then the latest amendment in the law will allow the court to proceed with divorce proceedings assuming that the application has been jointly moved.

Domestic violence act covers live-ins: HC
Kochi: The Kerala High Court has held that a woman is entitled protection under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act even if she was in a live-in relationship.

"The couple must have lived together akin to spouses. The Act seeks to give protection to the women who were living with the husband in the nature of a marriage without a legal marriage," justice K Harilal said in his order on Tuesday while dismissing a petition. PTI


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