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Alimony (meaning And Law)

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Alimony (Meaning and Law)
Alimony or maintenance is awarded to a spouse in the form of financial support by the other spouse under Sec. 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act or Sec. 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Legally stating, either husband can claim alimony from wife or vice-versa. But in practise, it is the wife who claims the alimony from her husband. It may be provided either as a lump-sum payment (one-time), periodical payments or monthly payments till the life of the spouse or less than that.

The formula for calculation of Alimony
There is no strait-jacket formula to calculate alimony but a number of factors come into play, merits of which are pondered upon by the family court. It solely depends upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.

Factors upon which it is calculated (when husband pays to wife)
• Income and all properties of the husband;
• Income and all properties of the wife;
• Conduct of the parties;
• Mandatory Deductions such as Income tax, loan and debt repayments, etc from the husband’s salary so as to arrive at his net income;
• Other liabilities also matter such as old-age parents, children, etc;
• Wife’s educational qualification and experience;
• Lifestyle and social status of the husband and wife;
• Expenses of the wife on food, clothing & shelter;
• The economic, financial and social status of the wife prior to separation;
• Expenses for the children for their upbringing including their education, medical,etc;
• Age and health of the spouses;
• Time duration of their marriage.
Online Legal Advice
Statutory Law References
Sec. 24, 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
Sec. 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

Landmark Judgments
U. Sree v. U. Srinivas, (2013) 2 SCC 114
Shabana Bano v. Imran Khan (2010) 1 SCC 666
Danial Latifi & Anr v. Union of India (2001) 7 SCC 740

Important Things to Remember
• Alimony or maintenance can be claimed under Sec. 25 of HMA or Sec. 125 of CrPC;
• Alimony awarded to the wife mostly varies between 1/4th - 1/3rd of the income of the husband;
• Award of alimony can be modified or varied if there is any change of circumstances in the husband’s or wife’s life such as remarriage of the husband;
• The court will try to restore the lifestyle and social status of the wife prior to her separation from her husband;
• Custody of baby remains with her mother till she reaches the age of 5;
• Find a divorce lawyer before claiming alimony;
• Execute the agreement for alimony.

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