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Divorce and alimony rights in India

Submitted by asandil on Tue, 09/01/2020 - 00:29

Alimony (maintenance, support or sustenance) is the financial support that is provided to a spouse after divorce.  Under Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, permanent alimony is provided by the court to the wife or even to the husband for her or his support and maintenance. In case the wife is a working woman, but there is a considerable difference between her and her husband’s net earnings, she will still be awarded alimony to help her maintain the same standard of living as her husband.

If the wife is not earning, the court will consider her age, educational qualification and ability to earn to decide the amount of alimony. If the husband is disabled and is unable to earn and the wife is earning, then the court grants alimony to the husband. There is no one fixed formula to decide the amount. There are a number of factors that are taken into account. “There are various factors like income of both spouses, their standard of living, financial status, net worth, as well as each individual’s financial need, that are taken into account.  Generally, it’s 1/3rd to 1/5th gross earnings of the spouse who has to pay when it’s a lump sum alimony and not more than 25% of husband’s salary as monthly maintenance. 

Thousands and thousands of criminal revision petitions claims are being filed before various courts, judicial magistrate courts are due,  wifes claiming maintenance from their husbands  under Section 25, Clause two of the Marriage Act, or  under DVC, Section 18, 20, 22 or even 125 of the crpc. Claim that husband is earning a monthly salary and out of such salary she's demanding twenty five percent.  The Supreme Court of India recently had held that in 2013, KD chakravarti vs Rita Dev  Choudhry has held that the gross salary earned by the husband is a criteria for payment of maintenance to his  wife. Therefore, 25 percent has been finally fixed by Supreme Court.

If the woman is earning and there is a substantial difference between her net worth and her husband’s net worth, she still may be granted alimony for the same living standards as her husband’s.  Alimony does not constitute child support, Maintenance of children has to be provided separately. The husband is not required to pay in case the wife remarries, though he still is supposed to pay a maintenance amount to support children.

In case the spouse stops or delays payments there’s a recourse.“You can approach the court in such a case and petition the court to attach the husband’s salary. All kind of jewellery, property and other valuables, including cash, appliances, gadgets, given to the woman at marriage, before marriage or during the course of marriage is part of streedhan. This includes items given from family, relatives, friends, husband, in-laws and acquaintances. This also includes the woman’s earning before or after marriage as well as savings and investments made from her earnings.