Second wife’s and her children’s property rights

The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, and the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, should be acknowledged whenever discussing the wife’s post-marriage rights on the husband’s property. The code of these Acts grants the woman total powers over her husband’s property in the event of his death, which are unaffected by her remarriage or adoption. If the spouse remarries, though, there are various complications.

What are the second wife’s property rights in her husband’s property?

To assess the second wife’s entitlements, we must first investigate the legitimacy of the second marriage. Polygamy is prohibited by the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 states that neither party should have a live spouse at the time of marriage. As a result, if this criterion is not satisfied, the second wife has no title to a portion of the husband’s property. Similarly:

If the second marriage is legitimate, i.e., the husband marries after the death of the first wife or after divorce from the first wife, therefore the second wife has the same rights as the first wife over the husband’s property as the first wife. This applies to both the husband’s self-acquired and hereditary property.

Laws governing the property rights of first and second spouses and their children are exceedingly intricate, requiring the court to reference various Government Acts to render a reasonable ruling. Here are a few examples of how the decision may be complicated:

  • Example I

When a husband remarries without formally divorcing his previous wife, who is still living, the first wife and her children from the marriage may claim property rights. After the patriarch died, the property was split equally among the first wife, her children, the children of the second wife, and, in certain situations, the second wife. However, there is some confusion in this circumstance about the rights of the second wife.

  • Example 2

When the husband decides to marry after the death of the first wife, the children from the first marriage, those from the second marriage, and the second wife all receive equal parts of the patriarch’s property after his death.

What are the children of the second wife’s second husband’s property rights?

In the lack of a will, i.e., the owner’s intestate demise, the Hindu Succession Law designates the following members as Class I legal heirs to the deceased person’s estates:

The son, daughter, widow, mother, son of a predeceased son, daughter of a predeceased son, widow of a predeceased son, son of a predeceased daughter, daughter of a predeceased son, son of a predeceased son, daughter of a predeceased son, and widow of a predeceased son.

As a result, the offspring of the first and second marriages would have equal rights to the dead patriarch’s immovable properties, both self-acquired and inherited.

The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 makes remarriage without a divorce from the previous marriage unlawful. As a result, in such cases, the second wife cannot obtain any portion of the deceased husband’s property if the husband dies without leaving a will (intestate).

The kid of the marriage, though, would’ve been regarded genuine under Section 16 of The Hindu Marriage Act, 1956, and would have the right to the father’s property as a class I legal successor if the father died interstate, according to the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

Unless the second marriage is pronounced null and void owing to a breach of the rules of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the children born from this union are legally recognised. According to Section 16 of this Act, these children have the same property rights as the offspring of the first marriage.

Even in the situation of an unlawful marriage, the second wife and her children have the right to support under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act of 1956. 

The children of the second wife’s past marriages, on the other hand, have no claim to the deceased husband’s property. As a result, the second wife’s property rights are determined by the legal standing of her marriage. The Hindu Succession Act explicitly defines the rights of the second wife’s children within the classification of Class I heirs.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are for informational purposes only based on industry reports and related news stories. PropertyPistol does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.

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