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Can Husband claim maintenance from the wife?

Updated: 4 days ago

Maintenance, as defined within the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, encompasses crucial provisions ensuring financial support and sustenance for spouses during and after marital dissolution. It represents a fundamental aspect of matrimonial law, addressing the ongoing financial obligations between estranged partners. Under the Act, maintenance serves as a mechanism to safeguard the economic welfare of individuals, particularly those who may lack sufficient resources to sustain themselves independently. The Hindu Marriage Act extends its purview not only to individuals adhering to the Hindu faith but also includes those identifying as Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh.. Within this legal framework, both husbands and wives possess the right to claim maintenance, as delineated in Sections 24 and 25 of the Act. Section 24 pertains to interim maintenance during legal proceedings, while Section 25 addresses permanent alimony and maintenance.

Interim Maintenance under Section 24

Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act addresses the provision for maintenance pendente lite, a term denoting support awaiting litigation. This section allows either the husband or the wife, lacking independent income adequate for their support and legal expenses, to petition the court for financial assistance. The court, considering both parties' incomes, can order the respondent to pay the petitioner's litigation expenses and a reasonable monthly sum during the proceedings. It is stipulated that such applications should ideally be resolved within sixty days of service of notice to the respondent.

It's noteworthy that the claim for maintenance by a husband is exclusive to the Hindu Marriage Act and cannot be sought under the Special Marriage Act of 1954.

Permanent Alimony and Maintenance under Section 25

Section 25 empowers any court operating under the Hindu Marriage Act to order the payment of maintenance and support to either party. This can occur during the decree's passing or subsequently, upon application by the wife or husband. The court may mandate the respondent to provide a lump sum or periodic payments for a duration not surpassing the applicant's lifetime. The determination of the sum considers both parties' financial standing, including income and property. The court can enforce these payments by placing a charge on the respondent's immovable property if necessary.

Modification of Maintenance Orders

The court reserves the right to modify maintenance orders under certain circumstances. These include instances where either party remarries or where the wife fails to maintain chastity or the husband engages in extramarital relations.

In conclusion, the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 ensures equitable provisions for maintenance to both spouses, acknowledging the financial circumstances and needs of each party during and after legal proceedings.


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