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My husband solemnised marriage with me by hiding his first marriage : Can I claim maintenance?

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

18/06/2022

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Question: My marriage was solemnised in 2009 with my husband XXX. A male child was born in 2011. We have been living in Delhi since the birth of our child. My husband is working in a multinational company. In February 2022 he was transferred to the Bangalore office. Recently I received a legal notice from my husband to vacate his flat within seven days from receiving the notice. 

He said in the notice that I am not his wife because he had solemnised a marriage in 2004 with another woman. Since, I am not a legally wedded wife hence, he is trying to drive me out from his house. Actually he was in a love affair with that woman but concealed that fact at the time of our marriage. 

I have evidence to prove that our marriage was solemnised as per the Hindu rites and rituals. Members of both families were present at my marriage. He also sent a marriage certificate dated 12-02-2019 in which date of marriage has not been mentioned. I think that it is a forged certificate because that marriage, as he claimed, is solemnised in the USA under the special marriage act. 

Since, he has the opportunity to live with her in Bangalore therefore, he is doing so at the behest of that woman.  In this circumstance what action can I take against him? Can I claim maintenance?

Asked from: Delhi

That marriage was solemnised in any other form but your husband is declaring that it has been solemnised under the Special Marriage Act. The formalities as required by the Special Marriage Act have not been performed. Your husband has no evidence to prove that marriage actually took place in the USA.

The marriage certificate under Section 16 of the Special Marriage Act by itself does not prove that the marriage was solemnised in the form as declared by the parties. It only proves the existence of marriage. But in devoid of date and ceremony of marriage it (marriage certificate) has no legal force. 

Your husband has been cheating his second wife because she is not legally married. That marriage has no legal sanctity. He has solemnised marriage as per the Hindu rites and rituals as well he did not perform the essential formalities for a valid marriage under the Special Marriage Act. 

In this scenario you should not vacate his house because you are still his legally wedded wife. You can claim maintenance because he is bound to maintain his wife and child. Thus, you can file an application under Section 125 crpc for the alimony. 

shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

Practising lawyer in the High Court Lucknow. You can consult on Criminal, Civil, Matrimonial, Writ, Service matters, Property, Revenue and RERA related issues.

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