The point which becomes the most hostile bone of contention between a husband and wife, is the aspect of alimony. It will not be wrong to say that paying alimony does cost husbands quite a lot on their deep pockets. In fact, it is very common for husbands to go bankrupt in lieu of payment for alimony.

There have been various instances when wives have used the alimony sum received in lieu of their alimony amount to set up their professional careers. In a way, it is appreciable that the wife is trying to stand on her feet by making to be financially independent. The only thing which is unacceptable/objectionable about this phenomenon is that it is morally wrong on the part of the wife to first extort from her husband his hard-earned money, then separate from him by getting a divorce and then rising up the career ladder.

Also, alimony is a sum which is exclusive of expenditures that may be needed for the children. In almost all cases, regardless of whether the wife is earning or not, Indian courts have an inclination of giving the custody of the children to the mother. If the wife is earning, she might be asked by the court to contribute to the child’s expenses as well. However, if she is not working, the father will have to pay to the wife, expenses for the children, in addition to the alimony.

The basic concept of alimony derives from the idea that the husband cannot escape from his responsibilities even post the divorce. There is also this well-established rule that alimony must sufficient so as to enable the wife to lead a life full of dignity and not bare sustenance.

Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure are two of the major provisions for maintenance under Indian laws. Whereas Section 5 is applicable only after the divorce proceedings have been initiated once, the scope of Section 125 is so wide as to be applicable from the time since their marriage was solemnized and can be claimed even when the marriage is in a perfectly sound condition.

Also maintenance can either be in the form of monthly payments or a one-time lump-sum amount. The only difference being that while the former is considered revenue receipts and is hence taxable on the receiver, the latter is capital and therefore not taxable.

Needless to say, there are innumerable cases in which wives take wrongful advantage of these female-centric laws to benefit themselves mala fide. This is not to undermine or trivialize in way the genuine cases in which the wife is truly in need of support from her husband. Therefore if you are living in city like Coimbatore then you can contact some of the best Divorce Lawyer in Coimbatore

The courts of India have evolved various standards for calculating how much amount the husband must be directed to pay to the wife. Though an exhaustive list of such rules cannot be prepared, some of them are briefly explained below[1]:

  1. Monthly maintenance cannot be more than 25% of the gross salary of the husband.
  2. Permanent alimony (a one-time lump sum payment) cannot be more than 1/5th of the total net worth of the husband.
  3. If the wife is well qualified to do a job, she cannot be allowed to sit idle or be a burden on the husband. She is therefore expected to earn for herself and is denied the entitlement of alimony.
  4. If the wife has been guilty of adultery and is in a relationship with another person, she is not entitled to claim alimony or maintenance.
  5. If the wife was working during the marriage, but has left the job post the divorce, she is not allowed to claim maintenance.

However, under certain special circumstances, the court can discharge the husband from this liability, especially when he is physically disabled and is unable to work. Also, if he successfully proves a plea for bankruptcy, he can the not be asked to pay his wife.

But, the courts also take various other factors into account, like, the number of people the husband is accountable to (people who are dependent on him), income of the husband, job status of the wife, age and health of husband and wife etc. while granting the wife maintenance.

Although it is true that a lot of women in India leave their professional pursuits after marriage, and it might be difficult to start all over and therefore, a much feasible option is to direct the husband to ensure a continued standard of life for her, but, while deliberating on these, the court must also be sure that it is not too much of a burden on the husband and he shouldn’t be at the receiving end of the injustice.

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