Shared household in Domestic Violence Act

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article | Domestic Violence

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A shared household, as defined in Section 2(s) of the Domestic Violence Act, is a residence where the aggrieved person (the person who is experiencing domestic violence) has a right to reside, regardless of whether they own or rent the property. This means that a shared household can be any residence where the aggrieved person has a right to live, whether it is owned or rented, and whether they are living alone or with others.

Shared household

Section 2(s): “shared household” means a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a house hold whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household.

This definition clearly states that a shared household is one where the person aggrieved, in this case the woman, has lived or currently lives in a shared household with the respondent, in this case her husband. It also includes any household that is jointly owned or tenanted by both parties or is owned or tenanted by either party with any right, title, interest or equity.

In the scenario provided, if the woman is living in a house with her husband, and the house is owned or tenanted jointly by both parties or is owned or tenanted by either party with any right, title, interest or equity, then it would qualify as a shared household under the Domestic Violence Act. The fact that the husband denies the claim of shared household does not change the legal definition and status of the residence.

How to prove shared household

In the case of a woman living in a shared household with her husband, the residence would be considered a shared household as long as the woman has a right to reside there. This could be established through a marriage certificate, rental agreement, or other legal document that shows the woman has a right to live in the residence. Even if the woman does not own the property, if she has a right to live there and is experiencing domestic violence, the residence would be considered a shared household under the Domestic Violence Act.

Scope and extent of shared household

It is important to note that the definition of a shared household under the Domestic Violence Act is broader than the traditional definition of a shared household, which typically refers to a residence where multiple individuals live together and share expenses. The Domestic Violence Act recognizes that domestic violence can occur in any residence where the aggrieved person has a right to reside, regardless of who else is living there or whether expenses are shared.

It is also worth mentioning that, in some cases, the husband may be trying to deny the claim of shared household to avoid the legal consequences of domestic violence. It is important for the woman to seek legal assistance and provide evidence of her right to reside in the residence in order to ensure that her rights are protected under the Domestic Violence Act.

In conclusion, a shared household as defined in Section 2(s) of the Domestic Violence Act refers to any residence where the aggrieved person (the person experiencing domestic violence) has a right to reside, regardless of whether they own or rent the property or who else is living there. It is important for individuals experiencing domestic violence to seek legal assistance and provide evidence of their right to reside in the residence in order to ensure that their rights are protected under the Domestic Violence Act.