What is a Remarriage in India?
When a couple who has previously been married gets remarried, it is called a remarriage. A remarriage usually happens after a divorce, but it can also happen if one spouse dies. If the couple has children from their previous marriage, those children are usually involved in remarriage. The new spouse may also have children from a previous relationship.
A remarriage is generally considered to be a fresh start for the couple. They may have a new last name, live in a new house, and start to build a new life together. Oftentimes, couples who get remarried feel like they are getting a second chance at happiness.
While a remarriage can be a wonderful thing, it can also come with its own set of challenges.
Various enactments in India support remarriages that includes the Hindu Widow’s Remarriage and Property Act, 1989, Special Marriage Act, 1954 and Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Why do people remarry?
There are many reasons why people might remarry in India. Some of them are –
- Some people may want to find a new partner after their first spouse has died.
- Others may want to get married again after getting divorced.
- And some people may simply want to have more than one wife or husband.
- Some people remarry because they are lonely and want companionship.
- Other people remarry because they want to have someone to share their life with.
- Also, others remarry because they want to start a family.
Whatever the reason, people who remarry usually do so because they want to be happy.
Remarriages in India under Several Laws
In Hindu Law
Widow Remarriages were considered a sin in Hindu society. Manu has mentioned in the Manusmriti that widow remarriages are contrary to traditional values and hence unacceptable. The reasoning behind not including the system of remarriages was that Hindu marriages are termed as a bond of seven consecutive births.
The practices of Johar and sati pratha were very prevalent in India. Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar took the initiative to bring the vogue to an end. These efforts lead to the enactment of the Hindu Widow’s Remarriage and Property Act, 1989.
Section 4 of the act states, “No marriage contracted between Hindus shall be invalid, and the issue of no such marriage shall be illegitimate, by reason of the woman having been previously married or betrathed to another person who was dead at the time of such marriage, any custom and any interpretation of Hindu Law to the contrary notwithstanding.”
Section 10 of the act states, “In the case of a widow who is not under 16 years of age, or whose marriage has been consummated, her own consent shall be sufficient to constitute her re-marriage lawful and valid.”
Remarriage after Divorce:
The practice of divorce was also termed as sinful and still it is a taboo in society. Nonetheless, the Indian Legal System escorts both remarriages and rights arising out of it. Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 contains provisions to permit remarriage after divorce.
Section 15 states the law for a divorced persons when may marry again – “When a marriage has been dissolved by a decree of divorce and either there is no right of appeal against the decree or, if there is such a right of appeal, the time for appealing has expired without an appeal having been presented, or an appeal has been presented but has been dismissed, it shall be lawful for either party to the marriage to marry again.”
In Muslim Law
For men: Remarriages in Muslim personal law are not termed as a sin or a prohibited phenomenon. The concept of subsequent marriages is also allowed in Islam. Polygamy of up to 4 wives is practised by Muslim men.
Additionally, marriage after divorce has no hurdle to circumvent for a Muslim man. The remarriage must also undergo the essentials of a valid marriage under Muslim law. In the procedure of stating the dissolution of marriage through Talaq – e – Biddat, a husband is allowed to remarry only after his wife performs nikah halala.
For women: The remarriage of a Muslim woman is essential for Talaq – ul – Biddat in which The concept of nikah halal stands for the wife remarrying another man and then pronouncing divorce.
This type of divorce was declared unconstitutional in the year 2019 in matter of Shayra Bano vs. Union of India & Ors. But, the process of polyandry is not permitted in Islam. Polyandry is termed as a woman solemnizing marriage with more than one person.
Special Marriage Act, 1954
Section 30 of the act entrusts the right to a person falling under the ambit of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 to remarry. The provisions state that “Where a marriage has been dissolved by a decree of divorce; and either there is no right of appeal against the decree or if there is such a right of appeal, the time for appealing has expired without an appeal having been presented, or an appeal has been presented but has been dismissed, either party to the marriage may marry again.”
How does remarriage affect children in India?
Remarriage can sometimes be difficult for children to accept, particularly if they are attached to their mother or father. In some cases, it can lead to jealousy and resentment towards the new spouse. There may also be feelings of guilt or disloyalty towards the first spouse. It is important to talk to your children about remarriage and help them to understand that it is not a rejection of them.
In India, remarriage is often seen as a fresh start for couples and their children. It can provide a stable home life for children who may have previously experienced parental conflict or divorce. Remarriage can also help to improve the financial situation of the family. However, there are some potential drawbacks to remarriage that should be considered.
In India, remarriage can have both positive and negative effects on children. On the one hand, it can provide them with a more stable home life and two parents who are committed to each other. On the other hand, it can create tension and conflict within the family if the new relationship is not harmonious. In some cases, remarriage can also lead to financial hardship for the family if the new husband does not support his stepchildren. Overall, though, children in India generally adapt well to their parents’ remarriages and might benefit from having two loving parents in their lives.
Effects of Remarriage on One’s Life
- A woman is not entitled to receive the benefit of maintenance after remarriage under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- The person losses to inherit the property of a partner in both Hindu and Muslim law.
- A woman is still entitled to secure and utilize her stridhan under Hindu law after remarrying.
- The child born out of prior marriage is entitled to inherit the property of the father.
- Parents are under obligation to maintain the child financially until in physical custody.
- Although the court may order relief from a parent from supporting financially if the remarried parent is capable of maintaining the child.
- It leaves several mental impacts on the child born out of prior marriage.
by Khushi Shukla
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Adjuva Legal and Adjuva Legal does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.