BENGALURU: Prenuptial agreements seem to be the latest trend in Bengaluru with more and more couples, especially those working in the IT/BT sectors opting for it before taking the marital vows.
A prenup, which is quite popular in the West, is basically a contract entered into by a couple prior to marriage and typically lists all the properties each person owns and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after marriage.
In many western countries, a prenuptial agreement is applicable for any kind of matrimonial disputes, separation or divorce arising during matrimonial period. Such an agreement helps in peaceful settlement of property, assets, maintenance, income, retirement benefits, savings and also the right to seek alimony.
But prenuptial agreements are not valid in India and are not legally approved. However, despite a prenuptial agreement having no legal sanctity in India, couples are opting for it. Generally, it could be on how much alimony should be paid if there is no harmony in the family or between the couple, on living separately from husband’s family, going in for a second marriage if he/she is not able to beget children from the first marriage, etc.
Advocate Pramila Nesargi says, “Any agreement, which is enforcible in law is a valid agreement. Marriages are conducted according to customs and prenuptial agreements are not valid in India as they do not come under the Hindu marriage Act, 1956. Such a practice is prevalent in other countries, but here, innocent girls, especially from rural areas, are becoming victims of such unlawful agreements. Some of such agreements I have seen are on dowry, property, gold gifts and alimony”.
“In Hindu customs, marriage is sacred whereas in Islam, a marriage is a contract. In prenuptial agreements, couples can write anything, but those which are against the law are invalid. Most youngsters get married after entering into such invalid contracts, and later they will feel sorry about it”.
“As of today, there is no model marriage agreement in court, but it is must done in the coming days. There is no wrong in it. Marriages should be registered at the sub-registrar’s office and a certificate obtained. Nowadays marriages break within a short period and in some cases, people get cheated by their partners over money, power and other factors”, advocate Pramila added.