Alimony - Know It And Things Related To It

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Divorce is one of life's most dreadful events for any couple. Furthermore, if the divorce is disputed in India, it can be a lengthy and costly process. When two people marry, they have a responsibility to support each other.

Alimony, often known as spouse support, is required by law in practically every country. Both partners, regardless of gender, are expected to support each other financially throughout and after marriage. Alimony does not always end with divorce.

You may also read Divorce Law in India

During or after the court processes, a person who is unable to support himself has the right to obtain alimony. It is a type of financial assistance that can be given to the spouse, children, or parents.

Both the woman and the husband have the right to claim maintenance from their spouse under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The wife can also make a claim for maintenance under Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956.

The right to maintenance is extended to any individual economically dependent on the marriage under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. It establishes a provision for a husband to support his wife, parents, and children if they lack sufficient financial resources or suffer from any type of mental or physical disability.

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Spouse support might be limited, such as when an ex-spouse needs time and money to improve on skills, finish a degree, or obtain a certification in order to re-enter the workforce. It could also be permanent if an ex-spouse is unable to become financially self-sufficient due to age or incapacity.

The decision in Kalyan Dey Chowdhury vs. Rita Dey Chowdhury, Civil Appeal No. 5369 of 2017 set a precedent that courts around the country have continued to follow. The court held that alimony is supposed to balance the circumstances of both parties, with the higher-earning spouse paying the lower-earning spouse. The court established the rule that couples with low or no income should get alimony of no more than 25% of their income. They were able to protect both couples' interests in this way.

Factors that influence the duration and amount of alimony

The essential factors that influence the duration and amount of alimony are as follows:

  • The amount and duration of alimony are usually determined by the length of the marriage
  • Age of the husband and the wife are also material in deciding the quantum of alimony. If the age of the wife is such that she can soon become financially independent, this would be factored in.
  • Alimony is also popular in order to balance the financial situation of both spouses. The higher-earning spouse is entitled to pay a substantial alimony payment.
  • The spouse who is projected to have a successful career would be liable to pay a substantial alimony amount.
  • If one of the spouses is in poor health, the other must pay a significant alimony payment to ensure the other spouse's proper medication and well-being.
  • While the child is a minor, the spouse who retains custody of the child will either pay less or more alimony.

You may also read Child Custody Law in India

Alimony payment methods

Alimony can be paid in two ways: as a lump sum or on a regular monthly basis. In most cases, the first option is preferred. This is due to the fact that a lump sum payment provides assurance to the receiving partner, as monthly payments may cease if the providing spouse loses his or her source of income or dies.

How to settle property matters in Divorce

It doesn't matter if you or your spouse own the house. You have the right to the property if you are married, regardless of whether a divorce case has been filed. The case becomes considerably stronger if you are also responsible for children. Until the divorce is done and it is not settled that the property may be handed to one spouse or the other both spouses have the right to remain on the property.

If the property is a joint property, the wife will be able to claim it during the divorce process. Regardless of her role in the property's purchase, the court will award her a fair share of the property. If the house is registered in the wife's name, she has full ownership unless the husband can show that he contributed to its acquisition.

If a couple bought a joint property and both took out loans in their names, a detailed analysis of contribution is performed, and the asset is divided based on their part of the purchase price. In this case, both spouses would be responsible for repaying the loan.

Wife's rights in Husband's property in Divorce

A wife has the right to an equal share of her husband's estate. She does not have a right to her husband's property if he has excluded her from his property through a will. A wife also has a claim to her husband's ancestors' property. She is entitled to live in her marital home and to be supported by her husband.

You may also like to read Annulment of Marriage

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

The cost of filing a divorce is primarily made up of the costs you pay to your lawyer. For appearing in court and undertaking all the filing work, lawyers usually charge a fee. It might cost anywhere between tens of thousands to lakhs of rupees, based on how actively the lawyer is involved in the case. 

Documents required

  • Address proof of husband
  • Address proof of wife
  • Marriage certificate
  • Four passport size photographs depicting the marriage ceremony.
  • Evidence that shows separate habitation of spouses for an year.
  • Proof showing that the couple attempted to reconcile but failed.
  • Previous years’ income tax statements (2-3 years’ statements would suffice)
  • Details of present occupation and income.
  • Details pertaining to family background.
  • Information regarding property(ies) owned by the petitioner and any other assets that the petitioner may own.

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