Helplessly educated and single

January 13th, 2011

A friend of mine felt helplessly educated when her husband, while still married to her, secretly ‘acquired’ another woman 16 to 18 years younger. My friend was aware of her rights in such a situation, but was still groping for answers.

“What are the choices before me?” she asked me. My educated head said she should go legal and either end it or contest it.

The husband’s act was illegal, without a trace of doubt, although my friend’s ‘b(i)etter half’ kept proclaiming innocence, brushing this piece of information off as a rumour.

I don’t know what amazed me. Was it the age difference between her husband and the other woman? His casual approach to an act that invites criminal prosecution under Indian laws? The support he was getting from his family?  Or just the timid response of my friend who was a mere spectator to all that was happening in her life?

“Contest,” I egged her on. “The case is in your favour and you’ll win.”

“It’s murky,” said a common friend. “Just let it go.”

“Do it on mutual basis,” said someone else.

Understandably, her family was troubled with the fact that she would soon be ‘single’. As feminist write Erica Jong puts it, ‘Singularity shows something wrong in the mind.’

I discussed the situation with my mom for some elderly perspective. Her view was this -“In India, being single is losing the choice to be spontaneous and secure.” Being single is like unprotected sex, where you are vulnerable to many questions, glances and hush talks.

My friend will soon figure out what to do next. But, according to Deepak Miglani, Advocate, President Legal Point Foundation, here are a few choices a woman in her situation has:

  1. Seek legal advice
  2. Register an online complaint with the National Commission for Women at  Here investigations by police are expedited and monitored.
  3. If there is still a chance to rework the reunion, seek the help of family, friends or a marriage counselor.

If her husband seeks divorce, she can claim maintenance under:

  1. Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code,
  2. Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act,
  3. The Domestic Violence Act,
  4. The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act

A few points to note:

  • Maintenance is granted keeping in view the financial capacity of husband and his source of income. The Income Tax return is not final authority for deciding the quantum of maintenance, though it is taken into consideration.
  • Where maintenance is admissible the woman usually has to merely state that she is wife. Strict proof is not essential in every case.
  • Maintenance can be granted u/s 125 CrPC as well as u/s 24 simultaneously. Generally, however a wife cannot claim more than 50% of his income.
  • In case of settlement of assets jointly owned, she can claim half the amount, where she has not contributed, and the full amount that she spent, if her contribution was more. educated and single digg:Helplessly educated and single newsvine:Helplessly educated and single reddit:Helplessly educated and single Y!:Helplessly educated and single