- The Karta, or family manager, is in charge of the joint family property
- Because daughters are included in the definition of coparcener, all members of the Hindu family, including daughters, have a right to the joint Hindu family property.
- However, despite being joint family members, the mother, wife, and daughter-in-law have no such entitlement
- During her husband's lifetime, a wife has no claim to his ancestral property.
- The wife is not a coparcener, she has no right or title to the ancestral property.
- The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, Section 18, stipulates that the wife would be supported by her husband throughout her life.
- Husband’s self-acquired property would be split evenly between his sons and daughters, as well as his widow.
It is commonly stated that a girl is "parayadhan," meaning that once married, she is solely responsible for her matrimonial house and must do all of her obligations and responsibilities with unflinching dedication and loyalty.
Aside from her responsibilities to her husband and in-laws, women have some rights, such as the right to live in dignity and self-respect, the right to be maintained, the right to be in a committed relationship, and the right to take part in her husband's ancestral property after his death.
All means and property belong to the husband alone, as he is the only one who has the right and capacity to do so. A legal presumption concerning Hindu property is that it is jointly owned by Hindus (joint family property).
The Karta, or family manager, is in charge of the joint family property. Because it has no legal standing in the absence of its members, the joint Hindu family has no legal standing. A coparcenary, on the other hand, is a legal entity made up of three generations of male heirs in a family.
Because daughters are included in the definition of coparcener, all members of the Hindu family, including daughters, have a right to the joint Hindu family property. However, despite being joint family members, the mother, wife, and daughter-in-law have no such entitlement.
Wife’s claim in ancestral property
During her husband's lifetime, a wife has no claim to his ancestral property. Only coparceners of a Hindu joint family (Mitakshra) are entitled to inherit ancestral property. Because the wife is not a coparcener, she has no right or title to the ancestral property. There is a case when the wife has a right to the husband's ancestral property.
When the ancestral property is divided, each coparcener receives his or her own part. The ancestral property then becomes the coparcener's self-acquired property. If a coparcener dies intestate, his property is inherited by his wife, who is a class I heir.
In terms of self-acquired property, the wife has no rights during the husband's lifetime. A wife is entitled to a share of her husband's self-acquired property after his death. If her spouse dies intestate, she will be entitled to a part of the estate (without making a will). If the husband does not leave any property to his wife in his testamentary will, the woman will receive nothing from the deceased husband's self-acquired property.
Hindu Adoption and Maintenace Act, 1956
The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, Section 18, stipulates that the wife would be supported by her husband throughout her life. Section 19 on the other hand, refers to a bereaved daughter in law's claim to maintenance from her father in law. The wife does not have the same entitlement to joint Hindu property as the husband's other relatives.
- To get any sort of maintenance, a wife has just two options: file a suit for partition of her husband's fortune or file for divorce in order to claim support.
- A married woman has no rights or interests in her husband's property or the matrimonial house. She does, however, have numerous rights as a legally married wife. If her spouse has adequate means to support her, she can make a claim for maintenance. Your husband is a qualified doctor who can earn a living and provide for his family. Your husband, on the other hand, hasn't been practising, but he can't avoid paying the bills.
- Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows you to seek support from your husband (crpc). Because your husband is a capable individual, the court will assume that he has significant financial resources. Because he is unemployed, he cannot refuse to pay maintenance. You can also claim support for your sons in this case.
- Residence: A legally married wife has the right to live in the matrimonial house. Despite the fact that you have no title or right to a matrimonial house, you have the right to live there. The Domestic Violence Act, Section 17, grants such a right to live in a shared household.
Hindu Succession Act, 1956
In an attempt to reform Hindu law and make it more gender equitable, the Hindu Succession Act 1956 was enacted in the 1950s, and it was clarified that a man's death would result in a deemed partition of his share in the joint property.
His children and widow would then receive an equal share of the partitioned share. His self-acquired property would be split evenly between his sons and daughters, as well as his widow.
However, the question is whether the wife has the right to partition her husband's ancestral or self-acquired property as a right. In the current legal circumstances, a wife does not have such a privilege.
In 2004, the Hindu Succession Act was changed to provide female members of joint Hindu families a part of the joint Hindu family's property. However, this amendment lacked a clear definition of ancestral property. The purpose of this change was to include a daughter in the coparcenary system.
Sadly, wife is still outside the coparcenary system. As a result, the amendment cannot provide much to Hindu women on its own. Furthermore, the owner of such property might give it away during his lifetime. It can be left to whoever he chooses in his will. In his self-acquired property, a Hindu parent can disinherit his wife or daughter by will.
The Hindu joint family includes all women in the family, including daughters and wives. They have a legal right to be kept separate from the shared family assets. Daughters are entitled to stridhan as well as wedding expenses. Wives and widows have the right to be supported for the rest of their lives from joint family property.
Share in Husband’s property after his death
1. Self acquired property
● A married woman can inherit her husband's property only after his death, if he dies intestate, according to the Hindu Succession Act of 1956. This indicates that:
a. The wife does not automatically have a title to her husband's property when they marry, and the Husband should not have expressly excluded or rejected her participation in his will.
b. According to the statute, the wife has been designated as a class 1 heir, giving her priority over the heirs designated in following classes.
2. Ancestral property
● In the case of the deceased husband's ancestral property, the wife has no right to it unless and until she inherits it from him.
a. In the case of a joint family property partition (between her husband and his sons), however, the wife is entitled to a share equivalent to that of a son.
b. She is free to own such property and enjoy it independently of her husband.
An abandoned first wife's property rights and inheritance
Assume a Hindu man marries another woman without first divorcing his wife. His earlier marriage has not been legally annulled in this situation, and his first wife and their children are legitimate heirs. If the couple divorces, the first wife has no claim to the property and is alone responsible for her belongings. Even if the husband and wife contributed equally to the purchase of a home, it is critical to have recorded documentation of each spouse's monetary contribution in the event of a divorce. This is critical, particularly if you intend to bring a property eviction lawsuit.
The second wife's inheritance
If her husband's first wife died or divorced before the husband remarried, a second wife has complete legal rights to her husband's property. Her children, like the children of the first marriage, have equal rights to their father's portion. If the second marriage is not legal, neither the second wife nor her children are entitled to be legal heirs to the husband's ancestral property.
If the property is owned jointly
Property is frequently purchased in the names of both the husband and wife in today's society. This type of property is owned by two or more people. After a divorce, what happens to such assets? Is it possible for a woman to claim her part of a jointly held property?
Even after divorce, a wife has a portion in a property that she and her husband jointly hold. However, she would have to establish that she also contributed to the property's purchase in order for her claim to be successful. If the wife did not contribute to the property's purchase and her name is only shown on the registration record, she may not be entitled to a portion of the property.
In addition, the wife's part of the joint property is the same as her contribution. Women should retain a document trail confirming their contribution to joint property with their husbands if they are contributing to joint property with their husbands.
Couples can also settle their joint property in a friendly manner. Anyone who wants to keep the joint property can purchase the other's part, or an out-of-court settlement can be struck.
Important case laws
It is now common knowledge and legislation that a woman cannot claim ownership of her father-in-law’s property.
● On October 21, 2016, in Varinder Kaur v. Jitender Kumar and Others, Hon'ble Justice Raj Mohan Singh upheld the lower appellate court's decision, writing, "In view of the foregoing and in light of the aforementioned judicial pronouncements, it can be safely culled out that the appellant has no right to live in the plaintiff/respondent No.1's self-acquired property." The assailed decision and decree against the appellant was properly issued by the lower appellate court.' “During the subsistence of marriage, maintenance of a married wife is a personal obligation on the part of the husband,” the court said, citing supreme court precedents. An obligation like this can be satisfied with the husband's assets from joint assets. Any attachment or enforcement of any claim of maintenance cannot be made against the properties only in the name of the parents.”
The Hon'ble Supreme Court has stated that a Hindu woman's entitlement to maintenance is a right that stems from the spiritual relationship between husband and wife.
● Vaddeboyina Tulasamma vs. Vaddeboyina Shesha Reddi - In this decision, the Supreme Court emphasised the Hindu woman's right to maintenance as a physical right against property that stems from the spiritual bond between husband and wife. Justice P.N. Bhagwati, Justice A.C. Gupta, and Justice S.M. Fazal Ali ruled that Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 should be liberally read in favour of females in order to further the Act's goal. This provision transforms a female Hindu into a full owner of a property rather than a limited owner.
The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill of 2010
On August 26, 2013, the Rajya Sabha enacted the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, which made important modifications to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and the Special Marriages Act, 1954, in order to protect the interests of women after divorce. It establishes irreversible collapse of marriage as a basis for divorce and gives women the right to a share of their husbands' property.
The proposed bill provides that if the court determines that suitable provision for the maintenance of children born out of the marriage has not been made consistent with the parents' financial capacity, the court will not grant divorce on the grounds of irreversible breakdown of marriage.
The bill allows a wife to object to a divorce being granted on the grounds that the breakdown of the marriage will result in severe financial hardship. If the court is not convinced that adequate provision for the support of children born of the marriage has been made, the court may limit the grant of divorce.
The bill further states that the court cannot grant a divorce on the grounds of irreversible breakdown of marriage unless the court is convinced that the parties to the marriage have been living apart for a period of three years prior to the filing of the divorce petition.
As a result, the bill was written with the hardships that women endure in marriage against their husbands in mind, and it includes provisions to safeguard and provide relief from their husbands' harassment, as well as the ability to share in their husband's property.
A woman is a wife in addition to being a daughter and a daughter-in-law. She has rights to her husband's property. A wife's rights to her husband's property are protected under Indian law. These rights are not just available to the first wife, but also to the second. If a wife divorces her husband, whether the divorce was mutual or not, the wife will be entitled to a share of her ex- husband's property. Through marriage, the wife has a claim to the husband's ancestral property.
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