Maintenance or Alimony in Hindu Marriages

Last updated on Sep 29, 2022

You can get a specific amount of money based on a Court order from your spouse. This can happen only if you do not have any sufficient means of income to sustain yourself or your children. This amount is called maintenance or alimony.

The Hindu divorce law on maintenance is gender-neutral. This means that an application for temporary or permanent maintenance can be filed either by the husband or wife.

Temporary Maintenance

During the course of the divorce proceedings, if you do not have independent income to support yourself and/or your children or to pay the necessary legal costs of the case, you can apply to the Court to direct your spouse to pay you a sum of money as maintenance. The Court will set a reasonable amount, which has to be paid monthly, as temporary maintenance after considering the income and paying capacity of the other spouse.

Permanent Maintenance or Alimony

Along with your divorce case, you can make an application to the Court for permanent maintenance to be paid by your spouse either monthly, periodically or in lump sum.

The Court can order such amount to be paid as maintenance keeping in mind the lifestyle that you enjoyed in your matrimonial home and considering the income and paying capacity of your spouse.

This amount can even be modified at a later date if either of your circumstances have changed. For instance, an increase in educational expenses for children, an increase in salary or standard of living of the paying spouse, etc. could result in an increase in the maintenance amount.

If you are getting maintenance monthly or periodically, then you will get it only till you remarry. It can even be revoked if you do not remain chaste (in case of a wife) or have sexual relations with another woman (in case of a husband).

It is important to note that permanent alimony cannot be granted to you if the main petition requesting a divorce, judicial separation, etc. under Hindu law has been dismissed or withdrawn.

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