When a marriage comes to an end due to irreconcilable differences and one partner is unable to maintain the standard of living after the divorce, alimony is usually awarded. Alimony can be defined as monetary assistance given by one spouse to another after the divorce.
The primary objective behind Alimony is to help the spouse who has lesser financial stability post-divorce. If you are also planning on getting divorced and want to know if you are eligible for alimony or not and what factors will decide the amount of alimony that you will get in India, read ahead.
There are two types of alimony: Maintenance and Alimentation. Let’s take a look at what these terms mean in detail:
The term maintenance refers to the financial support given to a spouse during the divorce proceedings while they are waiting to receive alimony.
The amount of maintenance is decided by the family court and is given to the spouse who has lesser financial stability post-divorce.
The spouse who has been granted maintenance is supposed to return the amount after receiving alimony.
There are three types of maintenance –
- Permanent maintenance – This is awarded when one spouse is unable to maintain a living standard post-divorce due to some medical reasons like old age or disability. Permanent maintenance is awarded for the rest of the spouse’s life.
- Interim maintenance – This is awarded when the marriage is in the process of being dissolved. It is given to the spouse until the divorce proceedings are complete and both of you have received the final alimony amount.
- Periodic maintenance – This is awarded when the spouse asking for maintenance is expecting a child from the other partner. This is given until the child is of 18 years of age.
Alimony in India is the amount of money that is awarded to the spouse who is financially unstable after a divorce. It is the amount that one spouse pays to the other as a divorce settlement. It is also referred to as spousal support. When one partner is expected to pay alimony to the other partner, it is known as spousal support. The court decides the amount of alimony to be awarded based on various factors such as the duration of the marriage, the financial status of both partners, age, health and career of the spouse asking for alimony, the standard of living during the marriage, etc.
Factors deciding Divorce Alimony in India
The factors that the court considers for deciding the alimony amount are –
a) The duration of the marriage – The court will take into consideration the duration of the marriage and award higher alimony to the spouse who was married for a long time compared to the one who got married for a short period of time.
b) The financial status of both partners – The court will consider the financial situation of both partners and award alimony accordingly. The partner who earns more will be expected to pay a higher amount of alimony.
c) Age and health of both partners – The court will take into consideration the age and health of both partners and award higher alimony to the spouse who is unable to take care of themselves due to old age or a medical condition.
d) Standard of living during the marriage – The court will look at how both partners used to live during the marriage and award higher alimony to the spouse who is unable to maintain the same standard of living.
e) Career of both partners – The court will take into account the career of both partners and award higher alimony to the spouse who is unable to pursue the same career due to old age or a medical condition.
Women only maintenance
Alimony in India is usually awarded to the spouse who is financially unstable after a divorce. Women usually ask for alimony because of their inability to maintain the same standard of living after divorce. Women only maintenance is a term used to describe alimony awarded to the wife.
The court will look at the factors mentioned above before deciding the alimony amount. It is important to note that the factors mentioned apply to both men and women. The only difference is that when the court is awarding alimony to the woman, they will take into account the woman’s health and career.
Permanent alimony is a certain amount of money that the court will award to the spouse who is financially unstable forever. The spouse who is awarded permanent alimony will not be able to return the amount after receiving alimony because the court has awarded it keeping in mind his/her inability to ever earn the same amount of money.
The factors mentioned above will decide the amount of permanent alimony that one spouse will receive from the other. The court will look at the financial situation of both partners and award higher alimony to the spouse who is financially unstable.
Divorce is a very difficult decision to make in a marriage and it is always best to try and work things out if possible. However, there are times when no amount of mediation or counseling is able to save a relationship.
In these cases, divorce is the only option left and it is important to know what alimony is and how much you can expect to receive. The factors mentioned above will decide the amount of alimony that one partner will receive from the other.