Whenever no express contract was made, the Law of Community Property is deemed to be applicable under the Portuguese Civil Code. And therefore, 98% of marriages are governed by the Community Property Law.

As per the Community Property Law, each spouse automatically acquires joint ownership of all assets already in their possession as well as those due to them by inheritance. In other words, the total no. of assets (and liabilities) that a person brings into a marriage come under the purview of Community property.

And these assets may not be disposed of or encumbered in any way by one spouse without the express consent of the other. In this way, women are protected under the law by husbands who might otherwise do as they please with the assets. And this is a benefit, which a majority of the Indian women don’t have as the Portuguese Civil Code is applicable only in the state of Goa and the union territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Dui.

Even though India has different civil laws for different religious communities, the Portuguese Civil Code applies to everyone residing in the area in which this is applicable regardless of the religion of the person.

These places were ruled by the Portuguese for more than 400 years and it was only in 1961 that these places were liberated from Portugal’s rule by the Indian Army. After 1961, all Portugal Laws lapsed and Indian Parliament extended its laws to these states as well. However, some laws like the Portuguese Civil Law were not repelled and still continue to be in existence.