MAINTENANACE IN HINDU LAW BY KANIKA BHATIA

What is Maintenance?

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.
    MAINTENANCE UNDER HINDU LAW
  • The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act lays down the provisions relating to maintenance rights of a woman under Hindu laws.
  • Under the Act, the wife, daughter-in-law,children,elderly parents and other dependents have a right to claim maintenance.
  • In case of divorce, the wife has a right to claim maintenance from her husband when she is unable to maintain herself financially.
  • The fact whether the wife is working and earns some income or not, does not affect her right to claim maintenance from her husband.

IN HINDU  ADOPTION AND  MAINTENANCE ACT ,1956

  • a wife has the right to live separately from her husband
  • without affecting her right to claim maintenance.
  • Under this law, a wife can live separately from her husband in the following cases:
  • The husband has deserted the wife without any reasonable cause.
  • The husband has subjected the wife to cruelty.
  • The husband is suffering from leprosy of virulent form.
  • The husband has extra-marital affairs.
  • The husband has converted to another religion.

CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE WIFE IS NOT ENTITLED OF MAINTENANCES

  • She has ceased to be a Hindu by converting to another religion.
  • She is guilty of adultery i.e. she is unchaste and indulged in physical relations with another man.
  • She has remarried after the divorce.

HOW TO CLAIM THE MAINTENANCES

  • 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.

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