A husband’s (or wife’s) provision for a spouse after separation or divorce; maintenance.
The definition of alimony clearly shows that husbands and wives are eligible to pay alimonies. But in India, thanks to laws that have never been questioned, it is quietly assumed that it is only the husband’s job to pay alimony to the wife.
In a head-turning incident, a District Court judge in Delhi, Rekha Rani, advised a woman seeking alimony of Rs. 12,000 to find a job instead.
The husband in question challenged the trial court orders to pay the alimony on very legitimate reasons.
His reason was that his wife is more qualified than he is – a gold medallist in a Master of Sciences program – and could very well earn more than him.
He alleged that the only reason why his wife hadn’t applied for any jobs was that she wanted to sit idle and not work while he worked and while she could sustain on his income.
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After Rekha Rani’s advice to her to find a job, the wife stated that she had never travelled alone and wanted her husband to give her company while she was finding a job; something that the court found “neither palatable nor digestible.”
The wife also justified that she would have trouble finding a job as she had no previous work experience whatsoever.
The judge, however, was smart enough and pointed out that if she was capable of coming to litigation court on her own, she would very well be capable of finding a job as well.
There are many factors that considered while giving out verdict about alimony and this includes:
- The husband’s status financially including income, assets and lifestyle choices
- The demands that the wife makes as part of alimony, including requirements for expenditure for a child’s (if present) future
- The income and assets of the wife