Financial Status Of Woman After Re-marriage

Re-marriage is now accepted widely by society, as divorce rate has increased tremendously. Moreover, the old tradition of treating widows as inauspicious no more exists. Widows too tend to re-marry these days. This reflects a dramatic change in the mindsets of people and the society at large.

Every change, however, has positive and negative aspects. Sometimes, remarriages occur due to a motive. The motive could be good or bad. It has been observed that men tend to marry widows or divorcees in lure of her inherited money or property. Many such women are hoodwinked and find themselves in a pit.

Pension

If the deceased husband was a government servant, the widow becomes eligible for pension. This becomes a great source of comfort if the widow does not have any other source of income and was totally dependent on the husband for financial assistance. When such a pensioner widow remarries, the government no longer issues pension.

If such a woman faces misfortune in her new life, she is again financially disturbed. Thus, the government has agreed to grant pension even after re-marriage. But still this is a proposal and not law.

It is imperative to train women to be financially smart, alert and to invest her money wisely. The government has started different schemes for destitute woman like ‘niradhar yogana’. Illiterate and destitute women in rural areas are entitled to a stipulated sum, once they register themselves with the authorities.

The Indian Armed Forces also issues pension to the widows of personnel. So is the case with the police department, railways, postal services etc. The rules are the same though. The pension is discontinued if the woman remarries. This does not mean that the government is against re-marriage but wants the new husband to undertake her financial responsibility, as an ideal husband should.

Remarriage or no marriage, the woman tends to lose her financial independence and so it is advised that she should think from all possible angles before deciding to re-marry. Children, if minor or physically-challenged, are also eligible for pension but once they attain maturity, they can no longer claim pension. For physically-challenged siblings, it is a life-long benefit.

Pre-nuptial Agreement

The couple should arrive at a mutual financial agreement before re-marrying. There must be a clear understanding of how they will share expenses. This is a potential trouble spot so it is best advised to identify it early in a relationship.

A definite financial plan must be established. There should be a clear understanding about who will spend what. Unless such a decision is reached, there is considerable potential for disagreement and stress.

A pre-nuptial agreement is a must if either the groom or the bride has children from previous marriage. Also, the couple needs to decide who will the beneficiary of the money be. Setting up a joint bank account is recommended, so that both parties will contribute agreed-on amounts each month. For your mutual protection, property bought jointly after marriage should be stated on the title as “joint tenants with right of survivorship”.

Depending on the divorce settlement, alimony may also end if the woman remarries. Each mate should have a clear understanding of his or her legal rights post-remarriage.

Originally from Nagpur in eastern Maharashtra, advocate Mrs Deepali Jayadeep Jayawant shifted to Navi Mumbai in 2002. She is well-versed with family matters, consumer matters, civil and criminal cases and High Court proceedings. She has recently presented a research paper in an international conference in Mumbai. She enjoys reading, sports and traveling. She pens a fortnightly column ‘Legal Diary’.
Readers can write to her at j.jayawant@yahoo.com

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