Legal Rights for Married Women in India


Legal Rights for Married Women- Marriage comes with a set of rules and responsibilities that each gender must adhere to. For women, this entails taking charge of the household and catering to the family’s needs. Because they’ve been socialized to believe in these beliefs and the fantasy of happily ever after, most Indian women enter weddings unaware that it may also be an unhappy or stressful relationship. There are various legal rights of a wife over the husband.

Every woman, whether married or not, young or old, should be aware of her legal rights as a wife. The government raises a woman’s legal marital age from 18 to 21, there are certain legal privileges that every married Indian woman is entitled to.

Legal Rights for Married Women

Here are some key legal rights for married women are entitled to under Indian law:

Right to Property

In India, a married daughter has the same right as an unmarried daughter in her father’s self-earned property.

This includes the right to inherit her father’s property, including movable and immovable assets, through a will or intestate succession.

The property is divided equally among all the legal heirs, including daughters and sons, as per the Hindu Succession Act 1956.

Under the Hindu Succession Act 1956, a married daughter has an equal share as a son in her father’s property, whether it is self-earned or ancestral. The 2005 amendment to the Act ensures that daughters, including married daughters, have equal rights and are coparceners in the ancestral property of their fathers.

Right to Streedhan

As per Hindu Law, Streedhan is whatever a woman receives during her marriage. Streedhan includes all movable, immovable property gifts, etc received by women before marriage, at the time of marriage, during childbirth,
and her widowhood.

Women have an absolute right over their Streedhan, including money and property. She gets gifts from her relatives and family before and after marriage.


Right over her body

In India, abortion is legal under specific circumstances as per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971. This act allows registered medical practitioners to perform abortions in cases where continuing the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman’s physical or mental health or if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest. Recently, in 2021, the MTP Act was amended to extend the limit for seeking an abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks under certain conditions. However, despite the legal provisions, various challenges and obstacles still exist in accessing safe and legal abortion services in India.

Right to Divorce

The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 grants women the legal right of a wife over the husband to divorce without their husband’s approval. Adultery, cruelty, desertion, eviction from the marital home, mental illness, and other reasons can be used to get a divorce. The act also allows for divorce by mutual consent. There are various additional grounds for the wife.

Legal Rights for Married Women

Maintenance after separation/Divorce

A married daughter unable to maintain herself financially, she has the right to claim maintenance from her husband under various personal laws and provisions of the Indian legal system. Maintenance can include financial support for necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical expenses. The amount of maintenance awarded depends on factors such as the financial status of the husband, the needs of the wife, and the standard of living to which she was accustomed during the marriage.

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