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  • Alimony or Separate maintenance - Legal advice & Suggestions

    Facing marital issues and want legal advice regarding alimony? Looking out for advice regarding the alimony amount, when can it be claimed, criteria for providing alimony etc? Here, scroll through the responses from our ISC experts.

    As many know that alimony or upkeep or maintenance is a a financial support given to spouse after legal separation or divorce. Now there are many questions that come to our mind when we think of this which I would request our expert to answer or provide more legal clarity to this issue.

    Some of the questions that come to my mind are jotted down in points for your considerations.
    a) How can ask for alimony, or both(man or woman) are entitled for this?
    b) What are the type of alimony?
    c) How long does one have to pay alimony?
    d) How is alimony calculated or can be seeked?
    e) If husband / wife is educated, then too is he/she eligible for alimony?
    f) If you have 2 kids, One daughter & other son or both daughter / both son, then how will the alimony be decided?
    g) What are the grounds, when alimony be declined?
    h) What if alimony is not asked during divorce, can it be claimed after divorce or separation?
    i) What are the reason or criteria that is required for alimony?
    j) If both parties agree on alimony during divorce, that can they raise to increase the alimony in future?
    k) What is the average amount of alimony?
    l) If the child is under one's custody(Husband / wife) & they refuse to allow you to speak to your child on phone due to any reason, can this be taken into account for alimony, instead of just being an ATM or cash dispensing machine?
    A kind request to provide answer in question & answer format for easy understanding.
  • Answers

    2 Answers found.
  • 1. Alimony is financial support that is given to the Spouse when they are getting divorced. If the Spouse is not able to meet the expenses she has to undergo, then the court will decide on this matter. It will not be awarded in all cases. Only in cases where there is a requirement and it differs from case to case.
    2. Alimony will be in the form of financial support. The lawyer will decide on this amount. The quantum will be dependent on many aspects and will vary from case to case.
    3. The duration will also be decided by the court based on the conditions and vary from case to case. This is not forever.
    4. There is no specific formula for the amount. The court and the judge may decide this amount.
    5. The eligibility is based on various factors like the financial position of the spouse and the number of children and other commitments. Education alone is not the criteria.
    6. If the marriage lasted longer than ten years, alimony is nearly automatic. But spouses' earning capacities are the same they may not award any compensation.
    7. Alimony is different and child support is different.
    8. Once the alimony is decided it can't be reduced without notice to the court. More amount giving may not be objectionable but not legally binding.
    9. Children talking to the other parent after divorce can't be stopped unless otherwise, the child has any objection.
    10. The amount depends on various factors and there is no formula for calculation.
    11. Once the divorce is legally awarded without alimony, there is no chance further to ask for it. If both agree that there is no problem. Otherwise, we have to go to the court again through your lawyer explaining the reasons for asking the alimony after some time of divorce.

    always confident

  • Divorce alimony rules are based on the philosophy of recognising financially weaker partner. There are other considerations also. Let us try to understand these things in order of the points raised in this query.
    a) Depending on the situation, both are entitled for it. For example if woman is unemployed, she will get it. If she is employed but her earnings are significantly lessor than his husband, she will still get it. On the other hand if woman is working and the husband is handicapped, he is entitled for it.
    b) Alimony is generally of 2 types. One is monthly and other is lump sum payment. The monthly alimony is treated as the income of the recipient and is taxable as per the tax bracket of the person. The lump sum payment is in the nature of capital and as such not taxable but later any income derived from it will be taxable.
    c) Alimony payment duration generally depends on the length of the married life. If it is less than 10 years courts will generally allow alimony for a smaller period but for more than 10 years married life, alimony is awarded as life long commitment.
    d) One can seek any amount but it should be reasonable. Supreme court has put a cap on alimony as 25% of the gross earning of the person giving alimony.
    e) Alimony is related to financial conditions and not to education. So it will be always applicable.
    f) Court will find out the formula depending upon their age and gender. In such cases alimony amount will get increased accordingly.
    g) On submission of false information and hiding of the financial status, court can take a view to not allow alimony.
    h) It can be but court may also treat it as time barred and not allow depending upon the time gap.
    i) Difference in the financial conditions of the partners is the sole criteria for alimony. If children are there then it becomes an added factor for asking for alimony and fixing its amount also.
    j) If both the parties agree for an alimony amount, then it remains like that until both of them agree for a newer amount. One partner can not decide or change it.
    k) On an average the amount will be around 25% of the gross income from whom alimony will be given to other partner. If the receiving partner is having serious health problems, the alimony amount will be raised by the court.
    l) These are two different issues and are not to be mixed up. Alimony is a financial support but not allowing to speak to child is against the divorce conditions as in general once in a week one is supposed to talk or visit the child. It can always be complained in the court of law.

    In addition to above there is one thing called Streedhan which is the jewellery and other items received by the woman from her parents and friends as gift to her on her marriage and it is actually her property and she should get it separately and that is not linked to alimony.

    Knowledge is power.

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