Legal Rights of Married Daughters
Manosi is a 30 years old Kolkata who lived the woman who works as a laborer in a construction company to earn a livelihood for herself and her two children. Her husband died last year, and she was ditched by her husband’s family and her brothers. The Constitution of India ensures rights for her, but she is fully deprived of that because she does not know she has legal rights on the property of her husband and her father. This is a common story happening to countless women in India because according to recent stats, the female literacy rate in India is very low. Only 48% of Indian women study up to 5th grade which is why they are unaware of their legal rights. In this article, we are going to discuss some major legal rights that a married daughter has.
1. Legal Rights on father’s property
According to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, the property right of daughters and sons were not the same. It ensured the daughter’s rights on the father’s property until she gets married. The act was amended in 2005, and after the amendment, every married daughter has equal rights, liabilities, and duties as their brothers.
2. Legal Right to be coparceners
A coparcenary is formed with the four generations of a family. Under the Hindu Succession Act (Amended in 2005), now a married woman has the rights to be a coparcener. This enables her legal rights on coparcenary property. An ancestral property has to be shared equally among all coparcenary members.
3. Legal Rights to maintenance by the husband
This right ensures a woman’s security of life maintenance after her marriage. This right is about, the legal rights to be maintained by her husband. A married woman can claim basic living standards from her considering the income and property of her husband. Even after a separation, according to Indian law, she can get up to 25% of her husband’s net income as alimony.
4. Right to child maintenance
The constitution provides legal rights to child maintenance. A husband has to provide financial support if his wife is not capable of giving financial support. In addition, a married woman can seek financial support from the property of her matrimonial for her child, because her child has legal rights on its grandparents and ancestral property. This right ensures a mother’s natural right to maintain her child.
5. Right to Streedhan and Right to residence
According to the constitution, a married woman has ownership rights to all her money and properties that she gets as gifts from her father’s family before and after her marriage. These properties are called Streedhan.
Another legal right is the right to reside with her husband. A married woman can reside with her husband irrespective of whether it is a joint family, self-acquired, ancestral or rental house. She also has the rights to live in her matrimonial residence even if her husband’s not there or dead. Many cases in poor families, young women suffer to achieve this right after her husband’s death.
6. Right to a Committed Relationship
A married daughter has rights to a committed relationship. Her husband cannot be in a relationship with another woman unless a legal divorce is done. In addition, she can charge of adultery to her husband if he is in relation to another woman. This is an important right that most women unaware of.
7. Right to live with dignity & self-respect
It is the right that makes a married woman independent in her husband’s family. A married woman has the legal right to live a life of the same standards of them and live with proper dignity and self-respect in her laws. Also, she can raise her voice against any physical or mental torture.
The Indian constitution ensures women's equality and equal protection of the laws under article 14. But it is an irony that most women are unaware of their legal rights. We must find a way to aware them of their legal rights, otherwise, these laws won’t suffice to ensure women’s rights after their marriage.