Making marriage laws more women-friendly, the Union Cabinet on Friday approved a Bill seeking to give a woman a share in her husband's property after divorce.

The quantum of share, however, will be decided by the courts on a case-by-case basis.

While a wife can oppose a husband's plea for divorce under the new “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” clause, the husband will have no such rights to oppose if the wife moves the court on the same grounds, it says.

Apart from giving women the right to their husband's property, the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010, also aims at giving rights to adopted children on a par with biological off-springs in case the parents go for a divorce.

The Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha two years ago and then referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel.

Waiting period

Supporting the Bill, which sought to make “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” a new ground for grant of divorce, the Standing Committee in March last year opposed doing away with the prevailing waiting period before moving a joint motion for annulling marriage.

Partially accepting the recommendation, the government has now left the cooling off period to be decided by courts.

According to the re-drafted Bill passed by the Cabinet, adopted children will have rights on a par with biological offspring of a couple in case the parents go in for a divorce.

The government has also accepted the recommendation of the parliamentary committee that women have a share in the property of her husband in case of a divorce, but the quantum of share will be decided by courts on a case-by-case basis.

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