Married Persons (Protection) Act

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Under the Married Person (Protection) Act, a married woman can apply for an order that she is not “bound to cohabit with her husband,” for legal custody of children under the age 16, and for maintenance. A married woman’s application for one of these orders must include either a husband’s assault on her of requisite seriousness, desertion, cruelty, willful neglect to provide maintenance, the husband is a “habitual drunkard,” the husband had a venereal disease and insisted on sex, the husband compelled her to prostitution, or adultery. The same orders are available to a husband, but on more limited grounds: the wife is a “habitual drunkard,” cruelty, adultery, or desertion. The Supreme Court may still make an order for the judicial separation of a husband and wife and for the payment of alimony, which is separate from the legal options available under this Act.



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