The wife's share in other assets owned by her husband - movable and immoveable property - has been left to the discretion of the judge.
Another amendment cleared by the Cabinet allows for the six-month cooling period, required for divorce filed under mutual consent, to be waived off by the judge only if both husband and wife agree. In the original bill, the period could be waived off if even one of the parties sought it: another feature that was opposed by BJP and Left, besides women's groups.
The amendments are part of the Marriage (Amendment) Bill that seeks to amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
The bill seeks to introduce irretrievable breakdown of marriage as a condition for divorce through mutual consent.
This is the first time that a woman's share in marital property has been made part of the marriage legislation. So far, the wife's right to property was recognized but alimony and compensation were decided by the courts.
"The amendment will give a woman right to 50% of the residential property owned by her husband even if it is acquired before the marriage. This will ensure that the woman is not left without a roof over her head in case divorce is given through mutual consent. However, division of other property, money, assets will be decided by the courts,'' sources said.