In India, marriage is considered an auspicious occasion. It signifies the start of a new life, relationships that could potentially last forever. However, none of these holds true when they decide to call it quits and want to file a divorce.
While both parties feel the emotional stress, you cannot overlook the harsh reality of the financial loss that follows a divorce. You may feel the heat more if you are a non-earning partner. Divorce would mean you will have no financial support for yourself. This is where the divorce settlement plays an important role.
Whether you initiated the divorce or not, you are within your legal rights to claim what you are due to receive during a divorce settlement. Here are a few things you must know about the divorce settlement.
Know your rights
In India, no single law governs marriage; there are many community laws and other laws under which the marriage is registered. However, all other laws get suppressed if you have registered under the Special Marriages Act.
Under the Hindu Marriage Act, a woman is eligible to get three kinds of payments from her husband. It can be a lump sum payment called alimony, a monthly maintenance amount and in some cases, both. The law also allows reverse settlement if the husband is a non-earning member and is financially dependent on his wife.
Generally, the court decides the settlement amount based on the income and assets owned. For example, one of the spouses can claim a right on the income received from the retirement plans. This insurance plan can be divided between both parties, or one of the parties can receive the full payment as part of the overall settlement process. However, both parties should agree to it, and the court should grant the request.
Know you share
It would help if you had a clear idea about your share in a specific asset before claiming a stake. For example, if you have been contributing to the premium payment for the retirement plan, you are obliged to get the maturity benefits.
It is better to acquire the assets as co-owner and contribute equally. This will help you get a fair share in the event of a divorce. Also, it is vital that you have access to all financial details, such as assets owned, debts, investments, savings, etc., to claim your share at the end of the marriage.
Keep all the documents handy
Like any settlement, you must have sufficient documented proof to claim the asset during the asset distribution and settlement process. So, make sure that you have all the papers related to assets owned, bank account statements, outstanding debts, receipts of big purchases, marriage certificates, etc., handy so that you can get what you must rightfully get and settle the process amicably without any legal hassles.
Going through a divorce is never a pleasant experience. In such a situation, the last thing you want to deal with is legal issues relating to finances that could potentially affect your future life. Hence it is better to consult an expert lawyer to settle the money matters.