How To Claim Maintenance From Husband After Divorce?

I want to get a divorce from my husband and want to file a maintenance petition as I have very low income and cannot take care of my 3-year-old daughter on my own. What can I do as per Hindu laws?

Answer (1)

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Maintenance is the financial support that a husband needs to pay to his wife when she is unable to sustain financially on her own during the divorce proceedings as well as post-divorce. Maintenance is paid by the husband either on a monthly basis or in a lump sum so that the wife can avail the basic amenities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. 

The concept of maintenance aims at putting the wife back to the same position of comfort and lifestyle as she was at the time when her marriage existed. There is no fixed amount of maintenance that the husband is liable to pay to his wife, and it is upon the discretion of a family court to fix the amount of maintenance that the husband needs to pay either on a monthly basis or in form of a lump sum.

divorce lawyer in India must be hired to file or defend a maintenance petition in India, in addition to a divorce petition and other legal formalities. The maintenance rights of a woman are governed by the personal laws applicable to her, and the maintenance rules differ under Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Parsi laws.

The amount of maintenance to paid depends upon different factors. The courts rely on the provision of Section 23 of the Act while asserting the total maintenance that the husband needs to pay to his wife. The provision lays down the following factors that must be considered to fix a maintenance amount:

  • The position and status of the husband and wife,
  • Whether the wife has an actual claim for maintenance.
  • If the wife is living separately, whether the reason to do so is justified.
  • The wife’s total property and income.
  • The husband’s total property, income generated from this property, and his other income.
  • The total number dependents and their expenses borne by the husband.
  • The personal expenses of the husband.

A wife is required to file a maintenance petition in a family court which has appropriate jurisdiction to deal with the matter. The maintenance petition must be filed with the assistance of a good divorce advocate in India and must contain all the requisite facts and remedy sought from the court. The maintenance petition is filed with some necessary documents like an affidavit, documents relating to the income of both the husband and wife, etc. 

Answered on 12 Feb 2019

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