Divorce is mentally and emotionally exhausting, but it can have serious financial repercussions as well. As per Indian laws, the financially weaker spouse receives alimony.
Alimony is the financial support or assistance provided to a spouse after divorce. It is a legal obligation and cannot be avoided. There are five major communities in India, namely Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis, and Jews, and each community has its own set of rules around divorce according to their scriptures, traditions, and cultures. Under section 25 of the Hindu marriage act, permanent alimony is provided to the wife or the husband for his or her support and maintenance of lifestyle.
Highest paid divorce in Bollywood to date has been of Hrithik Roshan and Sussane Khan. Sussane reportedly received 400 crores as alimony.
Conditions depending on which the court awards alimony
Under Hindu Adoption and maintenance act, a Hindu wife is entitled to be maintained by her husband during her lifetime.
She can receive alimony when:
- Husband is guilty of abandoning her without a proper cause or is willfully neglecting her
- Husband has behaved cruelly, and living with him puts the wife at risk
- Is keeping a mistress
- Has another wife
- Is no longer a Hindu
- Creates any such situation which justifies their living separately.
A wife is no longer entitled to maintenance if she has been unchaste or by conversion, no longer remains a Hindu.
Alimony in mutual divorce is decided upon by the couples themselves. Alimony can be paid to either wife or the husband as per the mutual understanding of the couple getting separated. The court then gives directives that legally bind the couple to follow them.
The most famous among recent celebrity divorces in India 2021 is that of Amir Khan and Kiran Rao, who mutually decided to separate
Factors that influence the duration and amount to be paid as alimony
Divorce alimony calculator India states alimony can be of two types:
- Interim maintenance amount that is paid during court proceedings.
- Final settlement after legal separation.
Alimony can be paid either
- In a lump sum one-time payment
- In a fixed installment over a period of time
When the amount is paid periodically, 25% of the husband’s salary is considered a just amount; however, there is no hard and fast rule around it.
When paid in a lump sum, the amount usually ranges from 1/3rd to 1/5th of the husband’s net worth.
Factors such as the wife’s education qualification and earning capacity are also taken into account. If the wife earns more than the husband, then he is entitled to alimony.
The alimony application can get rejected if:
- If the husband proves that he does not earn much to maintain himself
- If the wife gives vague statements about the husband’s income
- If there is no clear proof about the earnings of either of the spouse.
The alimony law is equal for both spouses to ensure better livelihood for the couple after separation.