Marriage & Divorce | Part 2 | Family Law

The blog presents the basic theory of marriage and divorce that forms the introduction of Family Law in India. This can be useful for students preparing for Law and other competitive exams.

Q1. What is a sapinda relationship ?

Ans. The relationship that is within the five degrees from the father’s side and three degrees from the mother’s side is called a sapinda relationship.
In Hindus, a marriage within the sapinda relationship is considered as a void marriage.

Q2. What is prohibited relationship ?

Ans. A relationship that has arisen by marriage is called prohibited relationship. For example, there cannot be marriage between uncle and niece or aunt and nephew. The concept of prohibited relationship is wider than sapinda relationship as it covers relationship by blood as well as by marriage.
In Hindus,, a marriage within the prohibited relationship is considered as a void marriage.

Q3. What are the grounds for void marriage , as per the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 ?

Ans. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 provides the following three grounds for void marriage:

  1. Marriage with any person falling within the sapinda relationship is void.
  2. Marriage falling within the ambit of prohibited relationship is void.
  3. If any Hindu re-marries during the lifetime of his or her spouse, then the second marriage is considered as void.

Q4. What are the grounds for voidable marriage , as per the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 ?

Ans. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 provides the following four grounds for voidable marriage:

  1. If a marriage cannot be consummated due to impotency (failure to have sexual intercourse) of one spouse, then the other spouse can get it annulled.
  2. If the consent for marriage was obtained by force or fraud, the aggrieved party can get it annulled.
  3. If the wife has a pre-marriage pregnancy (pregnant by someone other than husband), with the condition that the husband was ignorant of this fact at the time of marriage.
  4. If the spouse has an unsoundness of mind.

Q5. What is a irregular or Fasid marriage, under Muslim Laws ?

Ans. Under Muslim laws there is no concept of viodable marriage, rather they recognize the concept of irregular or fasid marriage. An irregular marriage is one, that can become a valid marriage if the defect causing its irregularity is cured.
For example: a marriage with a fifth wife is irregular and can be regularized if any of the earlier four wives either dies or obtains divorce from the husband.

Q6. What do you mean by polyandry ?

Ans. Polyandry means that a married woman cannot contract a second marriage during the subsistence of the first marriage.

Q7. What do you mean by consanguinity under Muslim Laws?

Ans. Consanguinity means prohibition of marrying certain blood relations. For example: a Muslim cannot marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, paternal and maternal uncles and aunts etc.

Q8. What do you mean by affinity under Muslim Laws ?

Ans. Affinity means prohibition of marrying certain persons with whom relationship has arisen by marriage. For example a Muslim cannot marry wife’s mother or grandmother, wife’s daughter (from another husband) or granddaughter if his wife is consummated.

Q9. What do you mean by fosterage under Muslim Laws ?

Ans. Fosterage means when a woman, other than the mother of the child, has suckled a child under the age of two years, the woman becomes the foster mother of the child. A man cannot marry his foster-mother or her daughter, or his foster sister.

Q10. What are the grounds of void marriage under Muslim Laws ?

Ans. Under Muslim Laws, a marriage is void marriage on the following grounds:

  1. polyandry
  2. consanguinity
  3. affinity
  4. fosterage

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