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The Gate Way
-- Geetha Gopakumar

Recent Legal Advice

Q: Right of second wife over husband's wealth
hi amma how is second wife's rights?, 2.husbund's pension etc, 3.husband's ancestral properties, &her what about her female/ male issues?
-- sowmiya maheswari, India 10/04/09


This may differ according to religions as civil laws differ to religions.

In a Hindu Family if the Hindu man dies intestate (i.e. without leaving any testamentary document such as 'Will') then all his widows get one share of the property,each one of them get equal share of the one part, the only condition here is that both marriages in question of the Hindu should be properly solemnized although his second marriage during the first wife living shall be considered Void however the right of the second wife/widow to share the property of her deceased husband with the first wife can not be denied by virtue of section 10 rule 1 of the Hindu Succession Act,1956 which reads as:- Distribution of property among heirs in class 1 of the Schedule. - The property of an intestate shall be divided among the heirs in class I of the Schedule in accordance with the following rules:-

Rule1.- The intestate’s widow, or if there are more widow than one, all the widows together, shall take one share.

Rule 2.- The surviving sons and daughter and the mother of the intestate shall each take one share.

Rule 3.- The heirs in the branch of each pre-deceased son or each pre-deceased daughter of the intestate shall take between them one share.

Rule 4.- The distribution of the share referred to in Rule 3-

(i) among the heirs in the branch of the pre-deceased son shall be son made that his widow (or widows together) and the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions, and the branch of his pre-deceased sons gets the same portion.

(ii) among the heirs in the branch of the pre-deceased daughter shall be so made that the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions.

Likewise all the children of the deceased Hindu borne by the first wife or the second wife shall have equal right in his property by virtue of this section as well section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act which gives legitimacy to the children born from marriage declared null and void or annulled by a decree of nullity ,read this provision too:- Legitimacy of children of void and voidable, marriages.- Where a decree of nullity is granted in respect of any marriage under section 11 or section 12, any child begotten or conceived before the decree is made who would have been the legitimate child of the parties to the marriage if it had been dissolved instead of having been declared null and void or annulled by a decree of nullity shall be deemed to be their legitimate child notwithstanding the decree of nullity :

Provided that nothing contained in this section shall be construed as conferring upon any child of a marriage which is declared null and void or annulled by a decree of nullity any rights in or to the property of any person other than the parents in any case where, but for the passing of this Act, such child would have been incapable of possessing or acquiring any such rights by reason of his not being the legitimate child of his parents.

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