India is a gender-neutral country where both men and women have equal rights. It is important that both men and women respect the rights of each other. Divorce can be traumatising both emotionally as well as economically. It can happen because of any reason from compatibility to demands of dowry or cruelty. Mostly, woman face a lot of difficulty in recovering from a divorce due to the stereotypical mind sets of the people and lack of finances and support system. To ensure that the rights of women are not infringed after a divorce, they can higher a lawyer. For Example, if a woman is seeking divorce s in Delhi, she can consult the divorce lawyers in delhi there to ensure that her rights are not infringed. She can also inquire about the grounds on which she can seek a divorce.
Types of Divorce
Divorce with a mutual consent
Where both the husband and the wife mutually agree to take a divorce, they can petition for a mutual consent divorce. However, they must be living separately for at least a year and must be able to prove that there is no chance of getting back together.
The husband or the wife can file a divorce on the following reasons- Cruelty, physical or mental, adultery, desertion, conversion, renunciation of world, bigamy, mental disorder, impotency, etc.
Article 21 of the Constitution ensures the right to life and dignity. It is the right of every individual including women to live with dignity. For this reason, it is very important that the women must know about their rights that exist after a divorce.
Rights of a Woman on Divorce
The rights of a woman that exist on or after a divorce include-
A woman is entitled to various rights after a divorce. Some of these include-
Right to Streedhan
Streedhan is nothing but all the gifts which the wife gets in the form of money, ornaments, property, etc at the time of the marriage. A wife has an ownership rights to her streedhan i.e. the gifts and money received by her from her in-laws and family even though they are in the custody of her husband. It is different from dowry which is forceful in nature while streedhan is voluntary in nature. It does not matter who has the custody to the Streedhan but as per the Indian laws, wife is the owner of the Streedhan.
Right to Maintenance/ alimony
Maintenance is the amount which the husband has to pay to the wife after the divorce. It is either paid in lump sum or on an annual or monthly basis. It varies from cases to cases depending upon the income of the husband, income of the wife, living standards, etc.
Right against Bigamy
Till the divorce proceedings are not completed, the wife has the right to be the only wedded wife i.e. the husband cannot contract another marriage. The wife has the right to a monogamous relationship.
A wife can demand interim maintenance at any time during the pendency of the suit. This maintenance is granted to her to fulfil her basic needs. She can also ask for the litigation fees i.e. the fees of the attorney if the husband is in a better off financial position.
Right to Residence
A wife has a right to reside in her matrimonial home in which she was brought after marriage. the house can either be of the in laws or joint family property or ancestral property or a rented property. The wife has a right to reside in this house.
Right to have respect and live with dignity
Every woman either divorced or in a marriage has a right to live with respect and dignity. Article 21 ensures ships right to every individual. Every individual deserves more than a mere animal existence and hence this right is protected. The women can file for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty if she is not respected in the marriage. She can also file an application for domestic violence if she is forced to pay dowry or is ill treated. She can also file a complaint under Section 498-A IPC, if she is ill treated physically as well as mentally.
Right to ask for child maintenance
The custody of the child is decided on the basis of his welfare. Even the mother gets the custody of the child, then she has all the right to ask for the maintenance of the child from her husband.
Right to file a case against domestic violence and dowry demands
If the wife is facing domestic violence and continuous dowry demands, she can file an application under the Domestic Violence Act and the Divorce Act. She can file a divorce on the grounds of cruelty. If she is mentally as well as physically tortured by her husband and her in laws, she can file a complain under Section 498- A IPC.
So, it is very important that a woman must be aware of her rights. She can take the help of a divorce lawyer who can guide her through this difficult situation. He can not only update her with the ground of divorce and the applicable law but also what rights she has against her husband and his family. It is important for the women to get empowered and break free from the clutches of a bad marriage.