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Around two decades back, India had a negligible divorce rate. Even today, compared to urban countries like USA and Sweden, India has a significantly low divorce rate. But now the number of divorce petitions being filed is rapidly increasing, especially in urban India.

A new bill-Marriage Act (Amendment) Bill 2010 is pending in the Parliament. This bill will introduce three significant changes in divorce laws in India.

First, it will introduce irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce.

Second, it will give wives a 50% share in immoveable property of their hubbies.

Third, adopted children will be treated at par with biological children in inheritance of property.

This bill is highly controversial and has raised various issues, the most important being that it is gender biased. Many advocates believe that the 50% share of divorced women in husband’s residential property will increase the number of pre nuptial agreements. A pre nuptial agreement is a contract entered into prior to marriage and includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or break up of marriage. Contradicting the common myth that pre nups are for the wealthy or the celebrities, more and more Indian couples are signing pre nups. Though it sounds highly unromantic, it saves the couple from the disastrous aftermath that usually follows a divorce.

As they say break ups are never easy. However, with the finance part well tackled by this wonder drug, some burden is definitely shredded off the shoulder.

Nowadays, marriage has become secondary to career and for most urbanites the wedding bell rings after the career is set. So the spouses bring property of their own and they would never want their lives to fall apart because of a wrong choice. The smart thing to do in such a situation is to sign a pre nupt. With so many issues resolved, this little piece of paper in the wedding corsage could be magical.

In India, prenuptial agreements are not governed by the Indian marriage laws, but by the existing contract laws. Under Section 10 of the Indian Contracts Act, prenuptial agreements have same sanctity as any other contract, oral or written. Thus, lack of a proper law often makes judges to sideline pre nups.

But necessity is the mother of invention. In this era of quick marriages and quicker divorces, pre nuptial agreement is the need of the hour.

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