Maintenance and Alimony: Indian Law

Mutual Consent Divorce Lawyers
What is the difference between maintenance and alimony? and how it is determined?

Maintenance and alimony in Indian law refer to the financial support provided by one spouse to the other spouse after separation or divorce or to the dependents children or parents to maintain themselves. The purpose of maintenance is to ensure that the dependent spouse, who may be the wife, children, or parents, can maintain themselves financially. The amount of maintenance is determined based on various factors such as the income and financial status of both parties, the standard of living during the marriage, and the needs of the dependent spouse. 

Alimony, on the other hand, is a one-time settlement amount that is paid as a lump sum to the dependent spouse, after which the paying spouse is not liable to pay any other expenses to the dependent spouse during her lifetime. It can be paid in the form of the property after the divorce is finalized while maintenance is monthly installments and cannot be paid to the wife in the form of property.


Types of Alimony and Maintenance
  • Interim Alimony and Maintenance.-  is a provision wherein a husband is obligated to meet the maintenance costs of the wife in the course of the court proceedings. In addition to it, the husband is also required to compensate for the cost of court proceedings incurred by the wife.
  • Permanent Alimony and Maintenance –  is a provision that takes effect upon the dissolution of marriage or judicial separation, whereby the husband would be required to remit any amount fixed by the court. The time frame of payment can either be made periodically or on a lump-sum basis. These payments would cease upon the death of either of the spouses or on a date determined by the judge.
Law of Maintenance in India:
  • Sections 24 and 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Chapter III of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956 
  • Section 37 of the Special Marriage Act 1954 
  • Sections 3 and 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986
  • Section 37, 41 and 42 of the Divorce Act 1869 
  • Sections 125 to 128 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973 
  • Sections 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, and 23 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005
  • Chapter 2 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
What are factors does the Court considers while awarding alimony/maintenance to the wife? 
  • Status of the husband and wife.
  • Salary/Income of the husband/wife.
  • Salary/Income of the wife/husband.
  • Liabilities of wife/husband, if any.
  • People Dependents on him or her.
  • Reasonable requirement of claimant wife/husband.
  • Financial Background of wife/husband.
  • Movable & Immovable properties of the wife/husband.
What are the conditions when a wife in not entitled to get Maintenance?

If proved, that

  • The wife is guilty of Cruelty
  • The wife has deserted the husband without any reasonable cause
  • The wife has committed adulteration and is leading an immoral life
  • If after divorce, the wife has remarried 
Maintenance of aged parents:

Parents who are unable to maintain themselves out of their own earnings are bound to be maintained by their children. If the children refused to maintain their parents then such parents can approach the court for maintenance from their children.

Cases Laws:

maintenance and alimony, maintenance and alimony, maintenance and alimony, maintenance and alimony, maintenance and alimony,