husband liability: alimony

In a maintenance suit, can a husband be dissolved of his liability to pay alimony if his wife's income is sufficient for her survival?

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3 Answer(s)


it also depends on the facts and circumstances of each case.

there are many case laws on the same issue.

Answered on September 11, 2013.
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A husband is bound to provide for the maintenance of his wife, if his wife is not earning. Under , Sectio 125 of  Crpc , 1973 and Order 21 , rule 32 are the provisions for maintanence . Plus there is a provision for maintanence under the Hindu Marraige Act,1955. The provisions clearly bear out the fact that , husband should provide for the maintanence if his wife is not earning, even in the cases of alimony it is decided alike. But again, there are no fixed parameters, the court judges the merit of the facts and circumstances on case to case basis. On prima facie, a husband is not under obligation to pay if the wife is earning fair enough to provide for herself.

Hope this will suffice.


Swarnendu Chatterjee

Answered on September 12, 2013.
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It depends upon her income. According to a Supreme Court ruling, a woman is entitled to maintenance if her independent income is insufficient to maintain the standard of living she was accustomed to while living with her husband.[1] A wife may be earning a meager income. . In short, a wife should be earning sufficient income to maintain herself properly. Just because a wife is working is no reason to deny maintenance.

In Shri Bhagwan Dutt v. Smt Kamla Devi and Anr.,[2] the Supreme Court held that the object of these provisions being to prevent vagrancy and destitution, the Magistrate has to find out as to what is required by the wife to maintain a standard of living which is neither luxurious nor penurious, but is modestly consistent with the status of the family. The needs and requirements of the wife for such moderate living can be fairly determined, only if her separate income, also, is taken into account together with the earnings of the husband and his commitments.

But an educated woman who is capable of maintaining herself and not doing any job or quits her job voluntarily, is not entitled to alimony from her husband. Section 24 has been enacted for the purpose of providing a monetary assistance to such spouse who is incapable of supporting himself or herself in spite of sincere efforts made by him or herself. The law does not expect the increasing number of such idle persons who by remaining in the arena of legal battles, try to squeeze out the adversary by implementing the provisions of law suitable to their purpose.[3]


[1] Chaturbhuj v. Sita Bai, (2008) 2 SCC 316

[2] (1975) 2 SCC 386

[3]  Smt. Mamta Jaiswal vs Rajesh Jaiswal, 2000 (4) MPHT 457

Answered on September 12, 2013.
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