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Newsletter January

Close on the heels of the Demonetisation wave in India is the talk about ‘Benami Property’ and the severe crackdown that the government is expected to make on it. Benami Property is the property that is not in your name. As per an earlier benami Property Act of 1988, all property that did not match the following criteria was called benami property –

  • Property held in the name of your spouse or child and paid through known and declared sources of income
  • Joint property with a sibling or any other relative and paid with known and reported sources of income
  • Property that someone holds only in a fiduciary capacity – that is, holding an asset in the name of somebody else but not for his benefit. The holding would have been made so more by trust or guardianship.

However, according to the new Amendment introduced in November 2016, the government has now not only revised the definition of benami property but has also increased the punishment for such an offense. Additionally, there have been penalties stipulated for the benami transactions and legal authorities set up for the resolution of such cases. The newly revised definition of the Benami Property includes all immovable assets like land, an apartment or house; movable assets like gold, stocks, mutual fund holdings, bank deposits, etc. and in case the benami property has been sold it would include the money so earned from the sale too. (For more on ‘benami property,’ check our website www.nrilegalservices.com)

All these steps are being taken to bring in greater professionalism and transparency in the Real Estate Sector. The government is also trying to reduce ownership title risks and the benami transactions in the agricultural sector.

Effectively, the country is headed towards cleaner governance, and there is a wave of transparency in the country. In the given scenario, it is imperative that all assets be clearly held and be compliant to the norms set up in the country for ownership. In India, property ownership titles remain ambiguous for many. People inherit property and fail to get the due transfers done in their names. Disputes related to properties are common, and court cases related to ownership rights over property can go on for decades. Such conflicts are more frequent in cases of inheritance. It is in the interest of the owner that the property documents be updated.

Post inheritance, you may or may not have to conduct financial transactions till you decide to give your share further to someone – against a payment. In any further action to be carried, it is necessary to go through legal formalities to obtain complete ownership of the property. Legal formalities may differ depending upon the nature of the property, your rights over it, number of legal heirs and other aspects. The following are the documents needed for transfer of property:

  • Registered Will – A legal binding Will is essential.
  • Succession Certificate – In the absence of a Will, the Succession Certificate is crucial. It is vital that the natural successors to a particular property obtain this from the court. To get the Succession Certificate, documents like the death certificate of the deceased, birth certificates of the possible inheritors and other important identity proofs are required.
  • Purchase deed and other registration papers related to the property-if the property is dated and relevant required documents cannot be obtained; then it is important to obtain verified copies of the title deed from the registrar’s office in the deceased’s jurisdiction.
  • Encumbrance Certificate – stating that the property is free from any monetary and legal liabilities/disputes.
  • ‘Khata’ – that is, the proof of the entry of the person’s property in the records of the Municipal Corporation. This would include many details like the name of the owner, type of property, a record of property taxes and their payments and more. For any transfer to be conducted efficiently, it is vital that the Khata is also transferred and the revenue records are updated with the details of the new property owner.

All the documents mentioned above are submitted to the concerned authorities for the transfer process to be carried out smoothly. In the case of an NRI, he or she can appoint a Power of Attorney (POA) also – a Special one, to be safe. Such steps should not, however, be taken without consulting any lawyer. Some people continue to enjoy the property without taking the necessary measure of transferring the property. It is always better to exercise caution and get it done as soon as possible. The procedures can be cumbersome but the sooner you tackle the paperwork, the better it is for you regarding the rules of the land.

Settled in the US for the past thirty years, Kulwinder Singh was the recent recipient of a substantial amount of wealth in the form of land, warehouses, and houses after his parents’ sudden death in a road accident. A few concerned friends advised him that it was in his interest, that he be practical and take stock of the property he had inherited as the only child of his parents.

Once he started pursuing the matter through the relatives around his village near Phagwara in Punjab, he was totally beleaguered by the sheer volume of paperwork to be handled or the administrative/ legal details to be looked into. By the time he finished the post-death ceremonies and went back to the US to rejoin office, he was completely lost in details of his wealth. Hence his plight when he called the company office was understandable.

Legal experts in the office were quick to explain to him that inheriting property does not revolve around just declaring on a simple paper or by word of mouth that the property would henceforth be in somebody’s name. There were proper procedures for property transfer, and it was important to adhere to all these norms and rules.

There could be problems illegal transfers, illegal possession or even illegal sale by third parties if he didn’t act on time. Like any other overseas citizen, Kulwinder was also not aware that there are formalities like Transfer Title or Title Deeds.

The transfer would not be an automatic process; in fact, it would be a process under the law where proper documentation would be needed to submit to the land revenue or registry departments. No usage of the said property was possible before that.

Like all our other clients, Kulwinder too was guided mainly through e-mails or telephonic conversations. Our resourceful online updating system helped him keep track of his particular case and much to his astonishment the entire paperwork was carried out without him having to go through the hassles of frequent visits to India.

 

 

They say that when you sit at the ‘ghats’ of Rishikesh, listening to the evening ‘Aarti’; you experience unfathomed, unexplored depths within your soul.  Glistening earthen lamps floating in the river Ganges, reflections of the lit up temples in the ever changing flow of water and the resonating sounds of the temple bells – all of this blends together to form that one musical note which overwhelms your soul with wonder, devotion and self discovery. A city famous for its Yoga ashrams and classes, and now also famous for its white-water river rafting and trekking, has been long called the ‘gateway to the Garhwal hills’. Part of its reputation as a home for spiritual seekers comes from being associated with the Beatles tryst with the divine here. Rishikesh is the starting point for the ‘chaar dhaam yatra’ namely, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath.

The city is a vegetarian city and also an alcohol-free one. Shopkeepers and vendors have also worked towards the ban of plastic bags, thus making Rishikesh one of the pure, clean cities. Amongst the places of interest in this city are the Laxman Jhoola and the Ram Jhoola, suspension bridges which were created as pedestrian bridges and still retain their magnificence as the splendid view-points for the ghats below. Other places of interest in the city are the Triveni Ghat, the Bharat Mandir, Gita Bhavan, the Neelkanth mahadev Temple, the Trayambakeshwar Temple and the Parmarth Niketan which is one of the very Ashrams in India where children can be educated about the Vedas.

Also famous is the ‘Swarg Ashram’ or the ‘Heavenly Abode’ which is an agglomeration of many ashrams and temples. This area is known for its purity and sanctity. One finds this mentioned even in the ancient Indian scriptures. Scattered across this area are various ashrams and temples – this area is famous for its healthy living environment.

In Rishikesh, when you are not taking a dip in the Ganges or checking into an Ashram to study yoga, meditation and Hindu philosophy, you could put yourself into adventure activities that this holy city is now getting fame for. White Water rafting is one of the better known activities – you could take on an overnight camp on the banks of the Ganges, a trek among the hills and even enrol for a course in rafting. Camping is another activity that has no age limit. The thrill of Rappelling attracts many and the cliff drop that is involved sees a lot of enthusiasts feeding their adrenalin. Rock Climbing, Cliff Jumping, Kayaking, Trekking, Bungee Jumping and nearby excursions.

In recent times, Rishikesh has grown to be a unique combination of Spirituality and Adventure. Both the spheres are closely related to Nature and have a feeling of abandonment, freedom and self realisation attached to them. Much as they seem to be at different ends of the experience graph, the truth is that both bring man close to his roots – nature and his natural instincts. Rishikesh offers the amazing blend of both these along with Yoga, and has shot up to be one of the major attractions to anybody visiting India.

By | January 26th, 2017|Newsletter|0 Comments

BUDGET 2017 – What NRIs expect and hope for!

The waves that the demonetisation policies created across the NRI community across the globe in November, 2016 have laid grounds for anxiety over the next major step that the Indian government will present – the Budget, 2017. Given that the budget is to be presented in just a few days there is a lot of speculation about what the NRI community will face in terms of the rules on taxation and other aspects.

On the whole, it is generally perceive that the ongoing approach of policies like the demonetisation, the GST and other major steps in the past one year or so, could help create higher tax compliance and hopefully, a wider tax base too. One of the major expectations of people from this year’s budget is lower tax rates.

People expect that the Income Declaration Scheme of the Modi government, announced in 2016, will add to the revenue collection of the government. If one were to assume that there is close to Rs 75,000 crores declared as black money that means at tax rates of about 45%, almost Rs 35000 would get collected as taxes! The government also hopes to gain significant amounts from the Pradhan mantra Garib Kalyan Yojana 2016 (PMGKY).

Overseas citizens perhaps wait with a tentative wish-list in mind. Amongst the major steps that the NRIs expect to be taken in the current budget, the following stand out prominently.

  • A Rational Tax Refund procedure:
    • Tax filing has been electronic for some time now.
    • However it is not so easy to get the refunds tracked or even get these done easily.
    • If anybody were to be in a position to have a refund of more than Rs 50,000 he would have to collect it in paper format, meaning that somebody has to collect these cheques on his behalf and also get them credited within the designated time.
    • Sometimes, NRIs might not have accounts in India and in such cases it would be very tough for them to get access to the money.
    • It is impossible to get a direct remittance done to foreign bank accounts of NRIs.
    • It is important to address the above complication. There should be ease of transfer of the money through wire transfer or other electronic method.
  • TRC or Tax Residency Certificate –
    • This is a major complexity created in the system.
    • TRC is a certificate required from the Tax Authorities of the country where the NRI resides so that he can qualify for the benefits under the ambit of the country’s tax treaties with India.
    • To add to the complications, Indian Tax authorities usually demand the TRC while acting on the tax relief.
    • If NRIs could be given relief on this front and have the concession of only producing the passports or the resident country’s tax return to claim their tax relief.
  • Taxation at par –
    • NRIs fairly expect to be treated at the same level with residents.
    • While resident Indians pay the TDS (tax deducted at source) only on incomes earned beyond a certain level, this is not so with Non-Residents.
    • Overseas citizens have been hoping that the system is modified to impose same rates for all, irrespective of their status in terms of residency.
    • In addition, NRIs hope that the rules for them to pay taxes on Capital gains are also revised and modified to suit their comfort levels.
  • Property Tax Laws –
    • Tax laws are not clear regarding the sale of property in India.
    • Any payment that an NRI receives from any buyer gets scrutinised for TDS rates that could be as high as 20-31%.
    • Further, there are some aspects that NRIs would do well to remember while buying Property in India-
      • If a person owns more than one property in India, as per Indian laws, only one property can be considered self-occupied for the purpose of taxation
      • All other property will be considered to be on rent and an NRI will be liable to pay tax on such properties
      • The same rule applies for inherited property too.

While NRIs are waiting and hoping for major considerations in the forthcoming budget, it remains to be seen how much is actually implemented.

By | January 25th, 2017|Blog, budget 2017|1 Comment

The Value of a Succession Certificate

Black Money, Benami Property, and Corruption are issues which are plague India, and the present Government is doing everything in its power to improve the country’s position. The steps taken by the government are eminent and effective. These steps might appear uncomfortable to those who have been used to defying the rules of the land, but they seek to build a more transparent, regulated and clean atmosphere in the country. In such an environment it is best to be prepared for all kinds of future situations especially about the matters related to property or various assets of a person.

When it comes to individual’s property or asset, he/she should try to be prepared for future – which is true in the case of NRIs. He/she can prepare a will in advance or appoint a nominee in all financial accounts like fixed deposits, stocks, saving accounts or mutual funds, etc., or can even file nominee for the property ownership.

But what happens when the person dies without preparing a Will? What steps can an heir take to obtain what is rightfully his? These situations raise a need for a solution which can help in claiming everything that belongs to the heir of the deceased.

In such a case where an individual dies without leaving a will (intestate), the legal heirs of the deceased person can apply in the court for the issuance of ‘Succession Certificate.’

Succession Certificate is a certificate granted to the legal heirs of the deceased person by the court so that they can claim the movable or immovable property along with the debts left behind by the deceased.

The issuance of such certificate is governed by The Indian Succession Act 1925. This certificate authorizes the heirs to get assets or securities transferred in their names. Along with the assets, the successor has to take responsibility and liability for clearing any debts or security attached to the property.

To obtain the certificate, the successor has to file a petition in the court. The petition should be filed with the competent jurisdiction where the property of the deceased person is located, or the dead person resided. In the petition the particular petitioner has to specify:-

  • His/ her name
  • The time, date and place of death
  • Relationship with the deceased person
  • Names of all heirs of the deceased person and attach the death certificate of the same.

After filing the petition with the court, a notice is issued in the newspaper. The notice specifies the period in which if any person has any objection he/she can do so if there is none the court issues the Succession Certificate to the petitioner.

It commonly takes 6 – 8 months from the date of filing the petition to obtain the Succession Certificate. The High Court and the District Court both have jurisdiction in the case of issuance of the certificate.

To claim what is rightfully yours is not wrong but sometimes it’s difficult to do so. Many times an NRI citizen who knows all the details of the property that in a way belongs to him/her finds himself/herself in a position where due to the lack of Will, claiming the same property becomes difficult.

In such a case if the NRI takes proper advice and consults with the appropriate property expert lawyers before taking a major step, claiming what is rightfully his/hers becomes easy. Prevention is better than cure!

By | January 20th, 2017|Succession Certificate|0 Comments

BENAMI PROPERTY – Understanding the concept and the need to eliminate it

Transparency in systems and Eradication of Corruption is a key focus of the present government. As the first leg of this drive, Prime Minister Modi announced the demonetisation process in the country in November 2016. The second phase of this anti-corruption, anti-black money is going to be an attack on ‘benami property.’ Although the law to tackle this has existed for the past many years, not much was done about it.

In its recent strike against the illegalities in the real estate sector, the government announced the Benami Transactions Prohibitions Amendment Act on November 1, 2016. An amendment to the earlier Act of 1988, this new enactment is known as the ‘Prohibition of Benami Transactions Act, 1988 or specifically, the PBPT Act. The following is what you need to understand this entire process and the terms involve therein:

“Benami.”

The word “benami” implies ‘not in the own name,’ taken from the Hindi word ‘benaam’ meaning ‘without any name.’ In the context of property, it just means ‘property that is not bought in your name.’ The property so bought is called ‘benami property’; the person in whose name the property has been purchased is called the ‘benamdar.’ Real ownership of the asset remains in the name of the individual who has paid the money for the deal. Naturally, the only person who stands to benefit in the process is the one who has paid for the property. He is the one who keeps both the papers of the document as well as a power of attorney (POA) to sell the particular property as and when he deems fit. His decision to sell would depend on the property prices.

Components of ‘Benami Property.’

As per the old Act of 1988, all property that does NOT stick to the criteria mentioned below would be called benami property –

  • Property that is held in the name of your spouse or child and is paid through known and declared sources of income
  • Joint property with a sibling or any other relative and paid with known and reported sources of income
  • Property that someone holds only in a fiduciary capacity – that is, holding an asset in the name of somebody else but not for his benefit. The holding would have been made so more by trust or guardianship.

Under the old Act, therefore, even property that you would buy in the name of your parents could be termed ‘benami.’

The New Amendment Act, 2016

The Amendment introduced in November 2016, adopts a more strict approach to the definition of benami property. It also addresses the aspect of fines and punishment. As per the provisions introduced, the Act has

  1. Revised the definition of benami transactions and added to the already existing one to also include transactions where:
  • the purchase is made in a fictitious name
  • the owner is either not aware of or denies any knowledge of the ownership of the property
  • the person providing the finance for the property can’t be traced

Property transactions that are conducted between family members would not be called benami transaction. ‘Family members’ here mean only those by lineage – father, mother, grandparents and great grandparents or children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

  1. Stipulated penalty for indulging in benami transactions
  • The penalty that was about one to three years in the earlier Act would now be up to 7. There would also be a strict fine imposed which could go as high as 25% of the market value of the property.
  • Anybody giving false information would end up with imprisonment for up to five years and would also have to pay a fine of 10 percent of the market value of the property.
  1. Set up legal authorities and Appellate Tribunal to deal with these cases.
  • Four authorities will be responsible for investigations and inquiries namely, the Initiating Officer, Approving Authority, Administrator, and Adjudicating Authority.
  • Names of benami property owners would be dug out by the district registrars and the land record departments.
  • The Initiating Officer will issue a notice to the offender. He can hold the property for about 90 days from the notice date after taking permission from the designated Approving authority; at the end of the period, he could just pass an order to extend the holding of the property.
  • In such a scenario, he would then refer the case to the Adjudicating Authority, who would examine all the documents and evidence regarding the matter. It would be up to him to decide whether the property would still be held as benami or not.
  • There would be an Appellate Tribunal formed that would hear any appeal against the orders of the Adjudicating Authority.
  • If any appeal has to be mad against the orders of the Appellate Tribunal, it would be made to the High Court.
  • There will be particular Special Courts also designated to try any offenses related to the new Bill
  1. Redefined the concept of benami property and now included the following –
  • All immovable assets like land, an apartment or house
  • Movable assets like gold, stocks, mutual fund holdings, bank deposits, etc.
  • In case the benami property has been sold it would include the money so earned from the sale too.

This Amendment Act comes as part of a series of moves being made to attain greater professionalism as well as transparency in the Real Estate Sector. It is hoped that ownership title risks would also reduce and benami transactions in the agricultural sector would get reduced. Somewhere in the minds of the government is also the fact that this move would make a lot of lands available for better purposes. The coming months will show how far these attempts of the government will be successful.

The next step Indian government is going to take will be identification of benami properties

By | January 12th, 2017|Benami Property, Blog, Corruption, Narendra Modi|1 Comment

ILLEGAL POSSESSION – When family turns foe, homes become battlegrounds!

‘Till Death do us apart’ is a status that all marriages would work well on. However, real life doesn’t reflect that-separations, acrimonious divorces, partitions of property, fights over assets seem to form as much a part of the reality of marriages as honeymoons and holidays do! Deception and allegations are frequent in the course of separation; plus, property matters especially illegal possession of property forms a sizeable chunk of the problems that could occur during such situations. These issues become tougher for NRIs to handle since they cannot even be frequently in India. The legal team at NRI Legal Services is often faced with cases of this kind.

Take the case of Nimisha Porecha, owner of a reasonable size of property in the state of Maharashtra. This included five shops and a huge house at the outskirts of the city of Pune. She had moved to New Jersey, the USA about twenty years ago after her son got married in India. Unfortunately, differences started cropping up between her son and his wife pretty early in their marriage, and five years after he got married, Nimisha’s son Jaiyesh also moved to New Jersey. Back in India, Jaiyesh’s wife Niyati occupied the entire house. The fact that she had some fake documents with her to use to her advantage made the matter worse.  Worse, she gave away three of the shops on rent. When Nimisha tried to resolve the issue by visiting India, she was disappointed to see that in spite of the efficiency that the judiciary boasts of she was not able to find any respite in her case. The complexities of the legal procedures were more upsetting than reassuring. Her difficulty to travel frequently to India added to her inability to handle the issues efficiently. Nimisha had lost her husband just a year before her son’s marriage. Left alone now, she was keen to divide her property between her children-three sons and a daughter- while she was still hale and hearty. Naturally, she wanted to make sure now that Niyati would not occupy the entire property and her other children are rightfully given what belonged to them.

It was a clear case of illegal possession of property that Nimisha was faced with. She contacted the New York office of NRI Legal Services after her son saw an advertisement of the company legal expert on Television. For them to hear that the matter could be resolved without traveling back and forth to India, was a blessing enough. She handed over the relevant documents to the local office and then onwards it was sheer coordination between the NRI Legal offices in New York and Chandigarh, with adequate support of the legal team in Maharashtra that sailed mother and son through the entire process of law. They were reassured that they could be in touch with the legal experts as frequently as they wanted the video chatting system. Resolving issues of fraudulent documentation, forgery, and possession occupation, the company lawyers were finally able to address the matter in a smooth and efficient manner for the mother-son duo.

During any such case, NRI Legal Services can assist in dealing with the illegal possession of property. For NRIs, getting their property vacated or getting illegal possession evicted is not an easy task – especially since they can’t always be there to take care of their property matters. Sometimes, they are not even aware of their rights and the procedures they can adopt to save themselves from fraud. Appropriate legal consultation is necessary for resolving these matters in a fair manner. The company has a real estate division offers services to clients for handling all such issues. A comprehensive report is prepared as per the requirements of the client.

By | January 9th, 2017|Blog, possession of property|1 Comment

Demonetisation- Sixty days of extended relief for NRIs

As the country waited for the Prime minister’s speech on 31st December 2016 with anxiety and anticipation, the RBI prepared some more guidelines to make demonetisation a relatively process for the NRIs. Midnight, the central banking authority of India declared that it was extending the date by which the NRIs can exchange their banned notes.

  • Instead of March 31, the NRIs can now exchange the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes till June 30, 2017.
  • The facility will be available through Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Nagpur.
  • However, Indian citizens resident in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot avail this facility.
  • The customs officials have prepared a one-page form that will have to be filled up by the NRIs when they come to India, to declare the details of the money they are bringing in.
  • Then the demonetised currency along with the form has to be submitted to the specified RBI branches.
  • The money being brought into the country by NRIs, as earlier, remains subject to the Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015.
  • NRIs will also have to submit a copy of their passports with immigration stamps to prove that they were not in the country between November 9 and December 30, 2016.
  • In case any person is aggrieved by any refusal on the part of the RBI to credit the value of the demonetised notes, he or she can complain within fourteen days to the Central Board of the RBI, Mumbai.

Almost two months after the government came up with the massive demonetisation process, here are some of the trivia on the step taken:

  • Prime Minister Modi brought on this shock treatment for the Indian economy with two purposes in mind-

–  Eradicate black money from the economy

– Remove the circulation of fake money supply that the government claims has come from Pakistan

  • As of November 9, a day after the demonetization process, there were approximately Rs 15.44 lakh crores afloat with the public in the form of the high demonetisation notes.
  • Between then and now, there has been a huge amount that has come into the banks as deposits-however; best to wait until March 31 and wait for the central bank gives one figure for the entire period of November 8 to then.
  • The figure for mid-December was approximately Rs 12.44 lakh crores – about 80% of the amount in circulation pre demonetisation.
  • Over time, the restrictions on cash withdrawals have been modified for customer convenience – the limits for ATM withdrawals have been increased from Rs 2500 to Rs 4500. The weekly limit, however, remains Rs 24000.
  • It is said that there could be some possible benefits of this process: 90% of economic transactions in India are done with cash. Lack of cash could give a push to other alternatives – the country might just be on its way to becoming a cashless economy.
  • The other side to all of this is that a highly cash based economy suddenly went into a lurch and people are still trying to find a path forward.
  • It would work well for the country to give this process a few months before any substantial effect is seen.
  • With black money being out of circulation, people expect real estate prices to fall too (more on that in blog in the next few days-keep watching this space on our website).
  • Construction, Textiles, and Infrastructure sectors are also industries that could take a hit due to the demonetization process. Labour intensive areas of work are expected to be affected.
  • The big picture effects on jobs in the economy would depend on how fast the Indian economy rises back from this process, how soon the money supply gets restored and when the limits on cash withdrawals are removed.
  • The government expects that the multiplier effect of having hoarded money being reintroduced into the economy would give the economy a boost.

Announcements and predictions are consistently being made regarding the demonetization process. While we make an effort to keep you updated, sometimes the frequency of the notifications cannot be matched. We advise you to keep checking the RBI website for the latest on this process and more.

By | January 5th, 2017|Blog, Demonetisation|4 Comments

Divorce Might be More Expensive Than Marriage!

With the pain of separation and divorce, comes the harsh reality of sitting across the table and settling asset distribution too. Divorce cases could be resolved with the mutual consent or contested in court – in both the cases; there is a need for clarity about the ownership of assets. It is only with this clarity that division of all assets can be done in a fair manner.

Some specialized legal experts handle the intricacies of divorce. We step in when it comes to evaluation of property and assessment for the purpose of settlement in such cases. Take the story of Ritika Saluja, who approached us after she viewed the history and service details of the company on the internet. She had been living in Sydney, Australia for the past twenty years after her marriage to Sachin Saluja. In addition to struggling with her divorce and other issues of separation, she also found herself in a fix over the property that her husband had in India. As expected, he was not very forthcoming in providing details of the same. She had no clue whatsoever about the value of these properties – neither Indian nor Foreign. Once she contacted our office, an extensive online interaction was done with her to obtain the exact details of her case. Subsequently, follow-up through emails and talks helped her stay in tune with all the efforts being done to pursue her particular case. To save her from the financial crunch that she feared and to help her get her rightful share, the company legal experts diligently resolved the issues without her having to travel to India even once for any query or filing.

For NRIs, it is a humungous task getting an asset evaluated in India – and preparing a report for legal purposes is a greater challenge. They cannot even travel frequently to India to take care of their property matters. While the divorce issues could be taken care of lawyers who specialize in separation cases, expert advice is needed for the asset division settlements. However, frequently during a divorce, the two parties might not be aware of the property of the other. This leads to a loss of direction. In India, the notion of marital property rights has not received as much attention as in some other countries. In the largely patriarchal society that India has, it is accepted that a woman ‘belongs’ to her husband’s family after her marriage. Her right to property has not been recognized in society. In fact, the Indian community still reflects a relatively insecure financial status for women. Usually, they do not have clarity about the level and nature of investments done by their husbands. Hence, over the years, divorce laws have been framed to favour women so that they are protected financially. We could define Property in various ways – share in business, dowry that the woman brought with her, gifts that she received whether in her marriage or later on from friends and relatives and various other assets collected by the couple.

In a divorce case either the man or woman will approach the court to settle matters of division and settlement of property. This division is required either for themselves or, for their children. The only property considered here is of course just the ‘marital property.’ Also, it is vital to reflect income disparity during the division of assets. We could very well ask ourselves – who would want to talk about assets and their details when love & marriage are the only things in mind? But in reality, it does help being aware of each other’s assets during the marriage. It is also important to be alert and aware of the joint/individual assets bought during the marriage. Let not divorce become a mentally and financially more expensive option – stay alert, stay secure!

By | January 2nd, 2017|Blog, Divorce settlement, property settlement|0 Comments
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