Which Law Deals With Marriage, Divorce, Adoption, And Inheritance

India is currently going through a dramatic increase in divorce cases, multiple marriages, live-in relationships, stepchildren, children from a previous marriage, adopted children and children born out of wedlock. In this article, we explain the inheritance rights of both the partner and child based on succession laws and court judgments for Hindus living in India.

The rights of children when their parent’s divorce

As defined under the Hindu Succession Act 1956, your legal heirs would be your biological children if you have any. They will not only inherit your property unless you prepare a succession plan and declare otherwise, even if you do not have custody of your child or have no connection with them. Even if you have settled the issue of alimony and maintenance with your divorced spouse, your children from a prior marriage will be entitled to an equal share in the property, in addition to all legal heirs. Even though you may have resolved the matter of alimony and maintenance with your former spouse, your biological children will be entitled to inherit from your possessions. You’ll need to prepare a succession plan based on whether or not you want to distribute your assets differently due to remarriage, divorce, or any other related changes.

The rights of children who have step-parents

The Hindu Succession Act 1956 does not bestow the same legal rights to Legal children, and stepchildren (children of your spouse from their prior relationship) are considered natural. Heirs unless you adopt them. You must include them in your succession plan to bequeath a portion of your property. Because the Hindu Succession Act 1956 defines a stepson or stepdaughter as someone who is not covered by the term “son” or “daughter,” they do not have any legal right to your property unless you provide for them in your Will.

Adopted children’s rights

The legality of the relationship between adoptive parents and their children can be traced back to Hindu Adoption, and the Maintenance Act of 1956 applies to this situation. Section 12 of this act clearly states that an adopted child will be regarded as the offspring of their adoptive parent or parents in all ways from the date of adoption onwards. From that date onwards, all ties the child had with their birth family will be broken and replaced by those they form with their new family. This part emphasizes that a natural or adoptive son or daughter is included in the phrase “son/daughter” throughout Hindu Succession Act 1956. As a result, if a kid is legally adopted, they will be given a place in Class 1 under Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and entitled to a portion of their adoptive parent’s property. However, the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956 states that a kid who is adopted loses their right to claim the property in their biological parents’ hands unless the biological parents include the child as a beneficiary under their succession plan.

Children born to unmarried parents

The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 states in section 16 (3) that illegitimate children are only entitled to inherit their parents’ property and not any other relative’s. So, an illegitimate child can only claim his father’s self-acquired property—not property passed down through the family. However, in a very recent judgment by Supreme Court, Revanasiddappa v. Mallikarjun, it was held that a ‘Child born in illegitimate relationship/void marriage is innocent and is entitled to all rights which are given to other children born in a valid marriage. Therefore, such children will have a right to whatever becomes the property of their parents, whether self-acquired or ancestral.’ Despite this ruling, there has been confusion regarding the right of illegitimate children to ancestral property.

live-in partner’s rights

The Hindu marriage and succession laws do not recognize live-in relationships, so they have no legal standing under Hindu law. As a result, if you want to leave your property to your live-in companion without being challenged in court or having difficulties with the law, you’ll need to include it in your succession plan. However, as a legal heir under the Class I heirs of the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, a child born to a married couple who reside together would inherit from their parents. Where a question had previously been raised in the courts to determine whether the couple was merely cohabiting or lawfully married, the courts have relied on this statement: “Where a man and woman are established to have lived together as husband and wife, unless the contrary is clearly shown, the law will presume they were living together as a result of a valid marriage rather than concubinage. On 15 January 2008, the Supreme Court in Tulsa and Ors vs. Durghatiya & Ors affirmed. It is not a fundamental human right to marry someone of the same sex. another race.” On 1 August 1978, Badri Prasad sued Dy. Director of Consolidation over the age-old question of whether Indians could marry Caucasians.

The rights of the other partner

If you and your spouse live in different places, having obtained a divorce, you will be regarded as the spouse for all legal purposes, including inheritance. In the case of Thankam vs. Rajan (2016), the Kerala High Court has stated that “The wife remains the wife till a decree is granted under Hindu Marriage Act procedures.” Divorce must be obtained according to Hindu Marriage Act procedure.

A Hindu divorce certificate functions in the same manner as a legal marriage license. This implies that your separated spouse is your partner legally and is entitled to their fair share of your estate, whether you have remarried or not unless you otherwise state in your written Will. If the court grants a decree of judicial separation under Section 10 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, it will pass an order stipulating the extinguishment of succession rights. Your inheritance rights will be decided by the court’s ruling. Judicial separation is a temporary break in a marriage where there is still hope of getting back together.

The rights of a second wife.

Whether or not a second wife has property rights depends on if the marriage is legitimate. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 prohibits polygamy, and Section 5 declares that “at the time of marriage, none of the parties should have a living spouse.”

As a result, unless the husband designates her as a beneficiary in his Will/succession plan, the second wife does not have the right to claim any portion of his property unless she is included as a beneficiary under the Will/succession plans of both spouses. If the husband remarries after his first wife’s death or divorce, it would be considered a legal wedding, and the second wife will acquire rights over the property. Children from the second marriage (though void) would nevertheless be entitled to inherit their parents’ assets.

Similar Posts