To better understand some of the terminology and context used in this post, reading some of the important posts is recommended.
Now this post will cover the majority of cases of calls and issues received by men’s rights activists (MRAs) all over India. Almost 80-90% of callers have been into very short marriages, anywhere from 1 year to 3 years where the time wife was in same home as husband maybe anywhere from few weeks, few months, or maximum maybe 1.5 years or so. So even if the marriage happened 3 years back, the time wife stayed with husband maybe 1.5 years or so only. These are just guidelines. The important thing to understand is wife spent a significant time away from husband in initial few years of marriage and it was not due to practical issues related to job/workplace.
These husbands were unfortunate to get a bride from feminist/matriarchal families, who play by the simple rule that either husband is under their thumbs, or they file legal/criminal cases on him to extort a ‘mutual’ divorce and settlement running starting from demand of 20 lakhs to no upper limit, or/and properties of husband’s family. After that, they may enjoy that settlement money or target their next ‘bakra’. But it has been seen that their intention in life is more about destroying things and it is probably true that they don’t care about their societal image or even giving second marriage any seriousness. For them, the only serious business about marriage is how to enslave husband and get his property and money if he balks at it.
How much Alimony after divorce, or maintenance during divorce proceedings?
Many people keep asking about alimony, so my recent book covers the details on that: Alimony and Maintenance under Hindu Law (Paperback) (Kindle Edition)
Why most men facing 498A, DV, maintenance etc are into private sector jobs?
My theory is it’s by design, not by chance. Most of such men facing these issues are into professional jobs like IT, finance, BPO etc. Very few will be from business or such related work. Also, it is rarer to see men from independent professions like CA, doctors etc. There is a reason behind it too. The conclusion I have reached is that professionals working in companies are targeted because of the following reasons:
- They are from typical middle-class families, with a mindset of playing by the rules, and being good citizens etc. It is easier to manipulate such families.
- They start earning well in early part of carrier, and the feminist families target them for their ability to pay up possibly large sums of money within few years of marriage.
- Being from such middle-class mindset, they are especially worried about image in society and police cases and such things.
- It is rare also to see those in independent professions like CA, doctors facing 498A etc, and my guess is the feminist families don’t target them because they may start to earn well only after putting many years of experience. That kind of long waiting game is not what the feminist wives and their mothers have in mind. So they prefer to target the high-earning men in private esp MNC jobs and prefer them as husbands.
- For those in family business, if one person has a legal case to attend, other family members or workers can carry out the things in his absence. But for a professional working in a 9-6 job, leaving work to attend court becomes a half-day or full-day leave from work.
Why filing divorce can be dangerous for men
Having gone through the problems created by wives and in-laws, many men are fed up, mentally tortured, and plainly looking for a way out of daily uncertainty that has become their life.
So filing for divorce seems like a natural way to proceed. Many of them are also misled by the wily wives (and in-laws) who tell them: “let’s file for mutual divorce”. Our straight/linear thinking professional men don’t give a serious thought to the question that if the wife wants a divorce anywhere after 1 day to few months of marriage, why the hell did she agree to get married in the first place?
No, they don’t dwell on that question much, because for them wife saying “let’s go for mutual divorce” almost seems like a Nirvana compared to the being married experience they have seen thus far.
If you married daughter from a feminist family, then once you file divorce, any or all of the following can happen:
- Wife will file DV (domestic violence case), and ask for both monthly maintenance, and compensation.
- Or she may file CrPC 125 and ask for monthly maintenance. Here the advantage for her is that she may or may not make that serious allegations as in DV, so she keeps one option open to show that she can still come back.
- Your wife may file RCR (Restitution for conjugal rights), which means wife says that she wants to come back. Then you get trapped because in front of the family court, you appear like the dowry-seeking, not-satisfied-with-one-wife kind of husband that the old TV serials used to show. And your wife will appear to be the ablaa-naari who wants to dutifully go back to husband’s home but is so scared right now that she stays at he parents’ home.
- She could simply file HMA 24 to claim interim maintenance while you run in courts for next few years trying to speed up the case. Again, she will be able to show she is the hapless woman left by husband because that story is all too easily believed by the white knights in society.
- Wife/in-laws will file IPC 498A on you. This may happen before, after and any time gap with DV or maintenance cases.
- Along with IPC 498a, other things like IPC 406A (recovery of stridhan), 324 (assault), IPC 506 (criminal intimidation) and such sections are added usually too.
- The latest trend is that wife may file IPC 377 on you (unnatural sex), IPC 376 (rape) or 354 (outraging modesty of a woman) on your father or your brother etc.
So what happens usually is that once people face these cases, they forget about divorce and spend their time fighting above cases. The whole scenario changes to proving you are not a bad husband/person from proving wife was not a good wife!
Most husbands who file divorce are totally unprepared
- They are unprepared for the delays in family courts of India, where the cases start after about 1.5 to 2 years and only after 5 years or so are pursued seriously by the judges. It’s also be design, the family court judges award only mutual consent divorces, everyone else is supposed to do the rounds of courts for 7-10 years at the least for having done the unpardonable crime of having applied a divorce petition to family court! Read this post where a recent example of delay is pointed out by Chennai HC, this kind of a thing is the norm, not the exception!
- Most people who apply do it out of frustration to get out of their situation. They do not collect much evidence, and all they have to tell the court is that their wife has left them and hasn’t come back. At maximum, they will have some messages from wife where she says that she will come back if he takes a different house, doesn’t stay with parents etc. Such messages will not prove anything conclusively whether it was wife who left him deliberately or she was troubled by her parents which will be her routine answer. The woman empowerment theme which is all the rage these days means that her words even if full of contradictions and lies will carry weight compared to his defence of his parents.
- They are unprepared to handle the DV, 498a, maintenance cases filed by wife.
Why your divorce is not MRA’s problem or men’s rights issue?
People going through tortuous marriage come to men’s rights groups, and since their symptoms seem to match, they seem to think that they are eligible to get how-to-divorce-wife as part of the free social service MRAs are providing to deal with 498A/406 criminal cases, or maintenance/DV cases.
That is NOT the case. It has been consistently (99% of the time) observed that men who are too eager for divorce, cannot hold their impatience or frustration for much long — it seems 2 years is their maximum time limit before they will explode out of frustration, or maybe they believe they will become old, life is slipping away; whatever be the reason they almost always are the first to crack and agree to pay up to go for mutual settlement with wife.
Also, they think of it as purely individual problem (but of course MRA should help them in personal problem!) and not a societal or justice issue. So there is zero chance they will do even a bit of work towards men’s rights. In fact, most divorce seeking men will try to hide from activism hoping not to ruin chances of second marriage by appearing to go against women. And it is almost certainty that if they did get good advice which got them divorce with no alimony, they will be the first to ditch all association with MRAs, and congratulate themselves on the ‘smart’ achievement of getting things done without doing anything for others. That in fact is one of the definitions of ‘smartness’ in India.
So the advice is: if you want divorce, take responsibility for it yourselves, and don’t bother MRAs for advice on how to divorce wife without paying maintenance or alimony. That route is different, which takes self-respect, courage, patience (definitely more than 2 years), and dealing with uncertainty.
Update 7th Jul, 2016: Another post on why MRAs don’t/won’t/can’t give help on how to divorce wife
Men file divorce, and then flock to men’s support groups
We had started discussion and community groups for men on WhatsApp and Facebook in Jan 2015. It has been going quite well, and joining these groups has given people courage to take a firm stand instead of giving up even before a ‘fight’. What is being seen is that many men are joining these groups AFTER filing divorce on wife, and then coming to us when they face multiple retaliatory cases by wife which can be any combination of DV (domestic violence) case, CrPC 125 for maintenance, IPC 498A to keep you (and family) busy in criminal courts, and so on. It is clear that their learned lawyers didn’t inform them of the 99% chance that your wife will file such cases after you file divorce case on her. That’s how the lawyers work, their focus (and maybe even duty) is about filing cases, and not getting any defined results for client. But it maybe not too late to learn even now for those husbands who have filed a divorce case.
To tackle this issue of rising divorce filings by men, and subsequent flocking to men’s support groups; I have written a book on the topic of divorce for men: containing topics like wife’s cruelty, desertion, false cases/allegations by wife, adultery by wife, annulment due to fraud in marriage etc. One reason of writing that book was also because many of our members were deeply curious about the topic of divorce, and when people are curious about something but they are unable to satisfy that; they will most likely head to a lawyer’s office in search of a solution, and the only solution lawyer can give is to file a divorce petition. He’s not going to look at merits of case, probability of winning, how many years it might take the client to get divorce even if he has good evidence, and so on. Lawyer will file the case, and then the client will be there for at least 1.5-2 years, by which time the client again starts to lose patience, and this time he comes to men’s rights groups asking about: “my wife is not coming to court in my divorce case, but she is attending all her maintenance hearings”. That is the rule, not the exception. Did you think it’s your wife’s duty to cooperate with you in your divorce case?
To tackle such issues and reduce time and effort of MRAs getting diverted into these issues, I have written a book on topic of divorce for men. It contains more than 70 judgments on topics of divorce due to cruelty, desertion, false cases by wife, wife’s adultery, annulment etc. The best way to approach this book is as a self-study guide. Read the judgments (including my summary, and commentary), and make own conclusions about strength/weakness of your evidence, case (if already filed), what to expect down the line, and how to handle the trial.
The gist of this article is that while filing divorce by husband is not a crime, most do not do it properly, and then end up with a result like giving huge monetary settlement/alimony to wife which goes totally against what we are trying to achieve which is NOT to reward the gold-diggers.
Update: Judgments where Divorce is granted to men for Cruelty, Adultery, Desertion etc can be found on Man 2 Man site.