In-laws making conditions for getting sister-in-law back home. Remedy?
My brother’s wife was taken to her parent's home by her brother. Now he is not letting her come back to our house.
We’ve tried to get her home several times but they are just not ready to send her again. They are not even letting us talk to her. They are asking us to sign some unreasonable and weird conditions post which they will send her back home. What can we do?
We have to examine the terms and condition of the documents, then only we can advise you whether the same can be used against you or not. However, we suggest you not to sign any such document without consulting a lawyer.
Further, you will have to figure out as to what is that you want out of your marriage at this stage. In case you wish to stay with your wife and give your marriage another chance then the option available with you is to file a petition for restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955(assuming you are a Hindu). This is a legal way wherein court will direct your wife to stay with you.
Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 has been explained below for your understanding:
Section 9. Restitution of conjugal rights - When either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the district court, for restitution of conjugal rights and the court, on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such petition and that there is no legal ground why the application should not be granted, may decree restitution of conjugal rights accordingly.
It may also be noted here that if the decree of restitution of conjugal right is not honored for a period of more than one year, subsequent to the date of the decree, it becomes a ground for divorce.
If you have also decided to part ways and are looking for a Divorce, then Section 13(1) provides various grounds for seeking divorce.
Section 13(1) states that a petition may be presented by either the husband or the wife, for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce on the ground that the other party-
i. has, after the solemnization of the marriage, had voluntary, sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse; or
a. has, after the solemnization of the marriage, treated the petitioner with cruelty; or
b. has deserted the petitioner for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition; or
ii. has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion; or
iii. has been incurably of unsound mind, or has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder of such a kind and to such an extent that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.
Explanation.- In this clause,-
a. the expression" mental disorder" means mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder or any other disorder or disability of mind and includes schizophrenia;
b. the expression" psychopathic disorder" means a persistent disorder or disability of mind (whether or not including sub- normality of intelligence) which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the other party, and whether or not it require or is susceptible to medical treatment; or
iv. has been suffering from a virulent and incurable from of leprosy; or
v. has been suffering from venereal disease in a communicable from; or
vi. has renounced the world by entering any religious order; or
vii. has not been heard of as being alive for a period of seven years or more by those persons who would naturally have heard of it, had that party been alive.
In view of your circumstances, you can file for divorce on the ground of the desertion i.e Section 13(1)(ib) only if a period of 2 years has elapses from the date of desertion.
Further, you can file a divorce on the ground of cruelty under Section 13(1)(ia) under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, as desertion by your spouse can also amount to cruelty, both mental and emotional.
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