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JollyGud (Employee)     02 September 2014

Legal precuations to take - marriage for mentally challenged

Hello Law experts.

Q) What Legal Precautions should be taken prior to getting a mentally challenged brother Married.?

I am from coastal district Andhra Pradesh. I have an elder brother who is currently 31 years old (as of Aug 2014). He got depression (bi polar disorder / people loosely use this term - mental) at the age of 18 yrs.  Since then he is under vigilance of psychriatist and was advised to use medicines throught his rest of his  life. At 18 yrs, he took 1 yr break from studies as he was treated with shocks etc..But there after he recovered, came back to normal routine life and went on to complete his BSc. Computers and MBA (master's in business admin) with our family support. Only once or twice he behaved weirdly during these past 12 years but overall he is pretty normal like regular people.He is currently not working as he feels stressful going for a 9 to 5 job and meeting company's targets/expectations . Understanding his health condition, even we family did not push too hard for him to work.

Now we want to get him married and currently looking for a simple lower middle class(poor family should be fine) bride. We are fine even if the girl is physically handicapped as long she can take care of herself, my brother and the prospective kids. So no big asks from girls side. Just a simple girl. We want to put some 25 lakhs property on my brother's name and provide monthly maintenace(around Rs. 10,000)  for him, so that the couple can run the family, raise kids etc..

While we clearly will reveal  in advance everything openly about his health conditions to the prospective bride family, what other precautions should we take from a legal perspective (apart from just verbally communications to them) before we get him married, so that our other family members(settled brother & sister, mother and father) won't  face all the legal troubles in case such a situation arises.


Sorry to ask the above hear but  heard/seen in some other person's life experiences that family members of mentally challenged groom have been dragged to police stations and courts by the girl's side relatives. So just trying to be cautious before proceeding.


Please advise










 7 Replies

Hardeep (Business)     03 September 2014

I think what you are hinting towards is what is known as " pre nuptial agreements " in US and some European countries.

Such agreements are not valid in India, yet.

You could perhaps get the prospective girl as well as her immediate relatives to make an affidavit confirming their clear understanding of your brother's condition and that they have not given any dowry neither been enticed in any fashion with witnesses from both sides in front of a notary /DM. While this may give some comfort it will still not help if the girl decides to seek separation some years later for any reason, including mental status.

At this stage not advisable to transfer any property to your brother. You could give a per month amount and wait for 7-10 years after marriage to take a further call.

just my thoughts. Seniors may comment with sections / case laws if possible.

1 Like


Dear Querist...

I feel happy to see you people as a family and your concern about your brother.

Its a noble idea to get your brother married.  But in the present context it is advisable to drop this entire issue.  This is not to scare you, but comes from years of experience!

As there appears a subdued problem about the mental health condition, its always going to be a hurdle leading a happy marital life.  Getting married to a poor girl is of no use.  When it comes to marriage, its all business, you might be thinking poor girl will adjust and show love and respect if gotten married to your brother, but thats a rarity.  Women, rich or poor want all the comforts in life these days, and want minimum work, it has come a point wherein looking after own children appears to be a entirely futile exercise.  Here the woman to be, will be in a much tougher position to adjust with your brother given his mental health condition.  Women are very much demanding and wont budge at all unlike the women of the 70s.  It should not be like you jump from pan to the fire!

People change and how, you will be surprised.  There are no pre-nuptial agreements enforceable according to Indian law yet.  And no amount of discussoins involving elders of home and the community can make a girl abide with rules laid down by them.  They will agree to everything like a lamb and then will change after marriage and make you all roam  to court, even get you behind bars and make you all weep in one eye !!.  This has been seen in lots n lots of marriages.

My simple advice would be to drop the idea of getting your brother married.

Regarding providing income to your brother, keep a fixed deposit and such interest derived out of deposit be deposited to a savings account which is in his name and that he only be able to use it in future.  The deposit should not be in his name but one of the other family member's.

It would rather be more convinient for you to appoint a nurse/caretaker on contractual basis to look after your brother.

Marriages dont last even a single day these days, livin relationships are in and marriages are infact outdated.  With the present laws favoring only women, men have no choice left than to go in for a livin relationship or turn gay or be single.

Marriage in your brother's case as I see it will be a catastrophical act to do.  And there are no precautions that one can take legally before getting married.  If it were like that, lots of men would have been living life peacefully, not entering law courts.

But for the optimist that I am, I suggest you take the leap of getting your brother married, but dont keep any money or property in his name, let the property or fixed deposit be in one of your names, let him just get a monthly income through it which only he can operate via a nationalized bank.  I wish you n your brother good for this endeavour.  Hope everything goes well with you all.  Inspite of all such mishappenings which may occur, keep all hopes positive and move forward, as hope is the only thing which keeps you floating !

1 Like

Biswanath Roy (Advocate)     04 September 2014

i disagree with the proposal of your brother's marriage which may call unnecessary litigation in ear future.  Besides , marriage with a mentally deranged person is a void marriage.

1 Like

Hardeep (Business)     04 September 2014

Indeed S. 5 of HMA says parties must be mentally sound so as to give " valid consent " or be " fit for marriage "

But how/ who determines this ?

Any case law on marriage being declared void on grounds that one party was mentally unsound at the time of marriage ?

Also if the marriage is declared void on this ground later, what rights do the wife / children have ?

appreciate inputs from seniors for my knowledge.

1 Like

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     07 September 2014

From your contention it is noted that he has recovered from his mental illness and he lives a life of a normal person, therefore section 5 of HMA  will not attract to this, however in order to avoid unpleasant situations in the future incase of any purported litigation with some other intention by the bride side, it will be better to explain his medical past and present history and status in writing to the bride side before solemnizing the marriage and obtain their consent in writing towards the proposed marriage and the recitals should be properly drafted in such a way that it may not go against your side for any legal proceedings that may arise in the future for any other reason too. Consult a local lawyer and proceed further as per his advise.

1 Like

Biswanath Roy (Advocate)     07 September 2014

I disagree with the views of Learned Mr. Kalaiselvan.  Unless a PSYCHRIATIST DOCTOR categorically certifies that he is suffering from curable mental diseases and fit for marital consumation at present no such proposed undertaking will be effective and valid.

1 Like

K.P.Satish Kumar (Advocate)     22 October 2014

The marriage of a mentally challenged person is not valid before law. And performing such marriage is illegal.

K.P.Satish Kumar M.L.


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