She came to the Legal Cell stating she wanted a legal separation from her husband.
We in SHB Social Foundation always give primary importance to the agency of the person. However, in this case, we wanted to ascertain that she was confident about her decision and then give legal counsel. By encouraging her to talk about her situation over the course of a few months, our Listening Post volunteers along with our legal counsel realized that a legal separation may not be beneficial to her.
They are a family of four, with one son needing special attention. The family business was in debt and loans in her name. It became clear to the volunteers that a legal separation would make her financially vulnerable. They explained to her that she would have to pay off the debts should her husband abscond and she would have to run the business too. Moreover, a legal separation could allow her husband to get away with paying her a paltry maintenance. Our volunteers guided her to discuss the subject with her husband first and secure her own interests.
She understood that a legal separation was not the answer. She then decided to live separately with her kids, while staying married. Starting a small business with her special child marked the beginning of a new phase in her life.
When she first approached SHB Social Foundation, she had no clarity on the right course of action. Our Listening Post and Legal Cell volunteers provided her the space to understand her own mind and be empowered her to do the right thing.
Today she is a confident businesswoman who is raising her sons to be independent.