When two people are married, they have an obligation to support each other. This does not necessarily end with divorce. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the right of maintenance extends to any person economically dependent on the marriage. This will include, therefore, either spouse, dependent children and even indigent parents.
The claim of either spouse (though, in the vast majority of cases, it is the wife), however, depends on the husband having sufficient means. When deciding the payment on the alimony, the court will take into account the earning potential of the husband, his ability to regenerate his fortune and his liabilities.
In case either spouse is unable to pay for the divorce, then the spouse who earns will have to pay these expenses. Get to know more on the alimony laws in a mutual divorce.
Factors that influence the duration and amount of alimony:
In a contested divorce, the alimony, its amount and tenure, depend upon the length of marriage. A divorce after a decade of marriage entitles the spouse to a life-long alimony. The other essential factors are:
- Age of the spouse (or the person who is ought to receive the alimony)
- Economic condition or the earnings of the person who is to provide the alimony
- The health of both spouse (the failing health or a medical condition of one of the spouses who is going to receive the alimony may act in favour of him or her. They can claim a larger alimony on the basis of their failing health).
- The spouse that retains custody of the child would either pay lesser alimony or pay a greater amount while the child is a minor.