Alimony is a payment that a person in a couple gets when that couple separates from each other as ordered by a family court. Alimony is also referred as settlement, spousal support and maintenance. It can be best understood as the monetary support, property, asset etc extended by ex-spouse of the receiver.
The spouse has the legal right to claim alimony after getting divorce. Though not an absolute right, but depending on the financial condition and the circumstances of the spouses, alimony can be granted by the court.
The following are the conditions depending on which alimony is granted by the court.
- In contested divorce, sometime spouses can’t make any decision regarding alimony. In such situations, the court itself makes a decision on the amount of alimony to be paid.
- Only under certain compelling situations, the court steps out to change the already framed alimony. Sometimes the court might even hand over the burden of paying for the maintenance to a public body.
- If the spouse is already receiving support during the time of divorce, alimony is generally not granted. Although the rewarding of alimony can be revised in such events based on the arguments for claiming the support.
In India the alimony is decided by the government on the basis of income and background of the spouse. Government has imposed no fixed parameter in deciding the alimony amount. It is mostly based on situations, cases and the facts of the case. In few cases, alimony paid to the wife is based on the standard of living enjoyed by the couple while married.
Following are the factors that influence the duration and amount to be paid as alimony.
- The duration and amount of alimony generally depends upon the duration of marriage existed. A lifelong alimony can also be granted for the marriage that lasted more than 10 years.
- Age of the spouse is also a major factor while awarding alimony. Normally a young spouse who will soon be able to have a prospective career in near future gets alimony for a short period of time.]
- Alimony is to balance the economic condition of both the spouses. The spouse who is earning high is entitled to pay a higher amount.
- The higher earning spouse is entitled to make payment of higher alimony if the other spouse is suffering from poor health to ensure proper medication and well being of the other spouse.
The amount of alimony varies from case to case and not fixed by Indian law.
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