Divorce/Dowry

Alimony Explained: How To Calculate Alimony/Maintenance In India

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One of the dark realities of the scared institution of marriage, especially the troubled ones is Divorce. The darker side of divorce is that the process is extremely stressful, time taking and costly.

 

When two individuals tie a knot and embark on their marital journey, they need to complement each other in all life situations in order to lead a happy married life. However, this is much easier said than actually done in real life. As a result, it has been observed recently that several married couples are not able to cope up with life pressures and go ahead to end their marital lives, whether in contested mode or with mutual consent. Most common reasons as found by one of the recent studies for such a terrible situation include ego clashes, lack of financial support, lack of compatibility, unwillingness to complement one another, extra marital affairs, and so on.

Also Read:Mutual Consent Divorce Explained: Procedures and How to File for Mutual Divorce

 

As we have mentioned several times in our previous posts, divorce is a costly process, especially for a man who want to separate from his wife. In this post, we will share the details of an important financial cost – the alimony amount – that a man is likely to bear once he files for a divorce and the decree is granted.

 

What is alimony?

It is the maintenance amount usually paid by a man to his spouse once the divorce decree is granted by the family court. The amount is mostly used by the woman as financial support for sustaining life in future. This is also called as the support amount paid by the husband to wife after divorce for meeting the day-to-day expenses. As per the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 alimony amount can be paid by husband to wife and vice versa. However, in reality, it is mostly the husband that ends up paying the alimony amount to the wife after divorce.

 

What are the parameters considered by family court for deciding the alimony?

There can be a few parameters that the family court considers while deciding who will get the alimony award at the time of granting the divorce decree. They are:

  • When there is considerable difference between earning of husband and wife. If husband earns significantly higher salary compared to his wife, she gets the alimony amount.
  • If wife is not earning, her educational qualification and age is considered for deciding the alimony amount that she will get.
  • In case wife is earning and the husband is disabled and not earning anything, the court consider giving alimony to the husband.

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Also Read: Fastest Divorce Process: How to Get a Quick Divorce

 

What are the factors considered by family court for deciding the alimony amount?

 

Once the family court decides who gets the alimony, the next step in the process that the court takes is to ascertain the ability to pay the specific amount. Some of the important factors that a family court judge considers include:

  • Property purchased by husband or wife during their marriage tenure
  • Savings and investments made by the couple during their marriage tenure
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Potential of making future investments or purchasing assets by the couple
  • Monthly expenses that the couple are bearing like home loan EMIs, income tax, etc.
  • Age and health condition of the couple
  • Dependants of husband or wife (this includes mostly their respective parents)
  • Number of children, if any

 

 

What is the formula used by family courts for calculating the alimony amount?

While we have shared several parameters and factors that family courts consider while deciding who get the alimony and what amount he or she gets, in reality there is no formula used by family courts to arrive at a particular alimony figure. However, courts ascertain the frequency at which the alimony will be paid by the husband to his wife either at the time of divorce or post the divorce is granted – one-time lump sum payment or regular monthly payment.

As per the directives of the honourable Supreme Court of India, in one-time lumpsum payment mode, the husband is required to pay either one-third or one-fifth of his total net worth to the ex-wife. The amount paid is one time settlement and once divorce is granted and amount is paid, ex-wife cannot claim any additional amount from her ex-husband.

 

However, if the family court decides that the ex-husband must pay the alimony on monthly basis to the ex-wife, then as per directives of the honourable Supreme Court of India, one-fourth of the net monthly salary of the husband is considered for calculating the alimony amount.

Note: The formula for calculating the alimony may vary from one state family court to the another. However, the common directives as issued by the honourable Supreme Court of India are kept into consideration by local family courts. It is advisable that couples planning to file for divorce may consult a qualified divorce lawyer on matters related alimony.

 

What is the need of the divorce lawyer?

As we have been stating, divorce process, irrespective of the fact whether it is with mutual consent or contested, is an extremely sensitive, stressful and complicated matter. Neither parties should feel that they have not been served proper justice. Women especially, should get proper alimony amount that will prove to be very essential for their future sustenance and living a dignified life. Hence, it becomes utmost necessary that the divorcing couples consult and employ qualified and competent divorce lawyers who will assist them in each step of the marriage dissolution proceedings.

 

Also Read: Divorce Simplified: Types of divorce and divorce procedures in India

 

 

Recently Hon'ble Supreme Court of India outlined the Guidelines on payment of Maintenance In Matrimonial Matters.

Download and read the important judgement

Maintainance Judgement

Download Judgement

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