When can a husband claim maintenance from wife?

Maintenance is a monetary sum that a husband is obligated to give to his wife following separation/divorce under specific conditions/for the duration of their marriage. However, the term has a far broader meaning because maintenance can be claimed not just by a married or divorced woman but also by the children and parents of the married man.

People of certain religions are subject to personal laws in terms of maintenance, but anybody can submit a maintenance claim under Section 125 CrPC.

Before I dwell on the said topic, I’d want to elucidate on the maintenance rights which are lawfully endowed by the administrative machinery.Women have the right to maintenance following divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956.According to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act of 1986, the wife must be paid maintenance throughout the iddat period and mehr must be returned.Under section 37 of the Indian Divorce Act,1869 divorced wife can get maintenance for life by applying in a civil or high court.Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act,1936, makes husband liable to pay maintenance to wife for life if she remains unmarried after divorce, and can get a maximum of 1/5th of his net income. 

Now the question that arises is: Can men claim maintenance ? Yes, if men can’t bolster themselves monetarily, they can be guaranteed upkeep from their spouses who are monetarily wealthier than them. And this is even possible under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. There have been several precedents set by the court of law, two of them being : Nivya VM v. Shivaprasad N.K. (Kerala High Court) OP (FC) No. 26 of 2015 and Yashpal

Singh Thakur v. Smt. Anjana Rajput (Madhya Pradesh High Court) AIR 2001 MP 67.

Also, there are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled before deciding on maintenance. First, the status of the parties and their reasonable needs. Second, whether the applicant has any independent source of income.Third, whether she was working during the subsistence of marriage. Fourth, reasonable costs of litigation for a non-working wife. Fifth, whether the applicant is educated and professionally qualified. 

It is uncommon for a husband to seek maintenance from an employed wife, but there are certain cases where men take aid from their wives. There is no provision in personal law intended for Christians or Muslims that allows a husband to seek support. It is discriminatory to keep Muslim and Christian males out of the purview of maintenance, which is available to Hindu males, due to a lack of an enabling clause. There is a  disparity in the law, and that must be corrected to ensure social justice and equality before the law. As a result, Section 125 of the CrPC should be amended so that husbands of other religions can also claim maintenance.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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