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Child Support and Alimony in India: How the System Operates?

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  • Post published:September 3, 2023
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Child Support and Alimony

You are more likely to provide spousal support, sometimes known as “alimony,” to your spouse when a married couple decides to divorce for whatever reason. It is a remote probability that you will not be required to pay spousal support. Several requirements must be met for this. 

If the mother of the children is granted custody, you can also be required to pay child support if you both have children. You must also be aware of Indian alimony and child support laws. Although laws and regulations may change depending on the circumstances, the fundamental principles never alter.

What is Alimony?

After a divorce, a spouse will get alimony, also known as maintenance, support, or sustenance. It is typically offered if a spouse does not have the resources to meet their necessities. Even though any spouse may get alimony under the law, it must often be given by the husband to his wife.

Types of alimony in India

In India, there are two types of alimony:

  1. Amount of interim maintenance awarded during court proceedings
  2. The sum paid at the end of the formal separation

Who is eligible to get alimony?

According to Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the wife or husband may receive perpetual alimony from the court for their support and maintenance. If the wife works, but her net earnings and her husband’s net earnings are significantly different, she will still be granted alimony to enable her to maintain the same quality of life as her husband.

If the wife isn’t working, the court will weigh her age, educational background, and earning potential when determining how much alimony to award. The court awards alimony to the husband if he is disabled and unable to work while the wife is employed.

How is alimony calculated?

The amount of alimony the husband must pay his wife is not determined by any set formula or rigid guideline. Alimony may be paid periodically, such as monthly or paid all at once as a lump sum.

According to the Supreme Court of India, the benchmark amount that should be given to the woman if the alimony is paid every month is 25% of the husband’s net monthly wage. There is no defined standard for one-time settlement amounts, although often, they fall between one-fifth and one-third of the husband’s net wealth.

Nevertheless, the court will consider many things when determining the amount of alimony. These variables can range from and include the following:

Factors influencing the calculation of spousal support

  • The husband and wife’s combined incomes and other assets like real estate, stocks, etc.
  • In addition to the wife’s behaviour, the court also considers the husband’s.
  • To determine the spouse’s net income, the spouse’s income must include mandatory deductions such as equated monthly instalments (EMIs), loan repayments, income tax, etc.
  • In the process, liabilities to spouses and dependent parents are considered.
  • Social standing and way of life are also taken into account.
  • The age and health status of each spouse
  • The length of the couple’s marriage also has an impact on alimony.
  • If they have kids, the cost of the kids is added to the alimony.

The amount of alimony or support to be awarded is, therefore, determined by the court based on many variables, each of which depends on each case’s unique circumstances and facts.

Quantum of alimony based on the divorce alimony rules

  • One-time lump-sum alimony amount: The divorce alimony laws prohibit one-time lump-sum settlements. But it might be between a fifth and a third of the husband’s wealth.
  • Alimony paid periodically: According to the Supreme Court of India, the husband must give his estranged wife 25% of his net income. However, there is no set formula for calculating the precise amount because it relies on the court’s decision.
  • Alimony paid to a working wife: When determining the alimony amount, it is considered if the wife is earning a sizable salary.

Taxability of alimony

Periodical payout for alimony

Monthly or quarterly alimony is a revenue receipt subject to recipient taxation. It increases her total income, and the appropriate tax rate is applied. There are no deductions available to the payer.

Lump-sum alimony

The tax benefits of lump-sum alimony come from its classification as a capital receipt.

What proof is required for a wife to establish that the necessary elements are present in her case, and how does she do so?

  1. You must first demonstrate that you cannot support yourself financially without assistance to be eligible for alimony. You can demonstrate this by providing details about your monthly costs, sources of income, property, etc.
  2. Additionally, you must present photocopies of your husband’s income tax records and pay stubs as evidence of his earnings.
  3. You must provide the husband’s balance sheet and P&L statement if he runs a business.
  4. You can provide medical records and reports as evidence if you have dependents to care for, such as parents or kids who need medical attention.
  5. The cost of the child’s upkeep must be factored into the alimony payment if they are going to live with you.

How is the amount of alimony to be paid or received determined?

Add 20% and 25% to the earning spouse’s wage if it is a monthly payment. The earning partner is required to pay the calculated amount.

How long does the order of maintenance take?

While permanent maintenance might take anywhere from 5 months to a year, interim maintenance typically lasts between 15 days and 2 months.

What are the chances that the application will be turned down?

  • The application will be denied if the spouse can demonstrate that he cannot support himself.
  • The application can be turned down if the wife gives imprecise information regarding the husband’s income.
  • The application may be denied if there is insufficient evidence of either the wife’s or the husband’s income.

What does Indian law say about child support?

Indian family and public policy regulations require that parents pay child support for their children’s maintenance. The non-custodial parent is required to provide child support for the child’s welfare and financial support. This occurs when a couple splits up—whether they were married or not—. 

The legal guardian of the kid is required to pay child support every year. And this feed must be used for the child’s upkeep and care by the guardian. Instead of a guardian, the obligator may alternatively be a relative.

There are certain basic benchmarks, though, if they are childless. By the Supreme Court of India’s rulings, the wife must receive at least 25% of the husband’s net income as a benchmark. However, it is not fixed. In most situations, alimony is between one-third and five percent of the husband’s annual wage. 

Child support calculation

The financial support that both parents must provide for their children is known as child support if the child’s parents are already legally married but not married.

Then, the mother is automatically granted primary custody of the child. Additionally, the father is entitled to see the child. Here, the child’s support must come from both parents. A person’s contribution ratio can be reevaluated if they don’t make enough money.

However, if the parents are married, custody is awarded to one of them after a divorce. Typically, the mother gets custody. However, in some circumstances, the father may receive the assignment. Based on Indian divorce laws and the costs associated with raising the child, the court determines child support. 

To calculate child support, factors such as the parents’ lifestyle, the child’s education, their health insurance, their EMIs, and other responsibilities and assets are taken into consideration.

Conclusion

The divorce maintenance and alimony standards are the same for both spouses, and the wealthy spouse is expected to support the financially weaker spouse. According to the divorce alimony calculator in India, this is primarily done to guarantee that a couple has a higher quality of life.

Section 125 of the CrPC in India recognizes child maintenance. The child may now make a support claim against the father in India. Hindu law also allows child support under Section 26 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

According to the provisions of the Act, a minor child is entitled to maintenance from the father if the mother was granted custody of the child during the divorce process or in another way.

Sumitha

I'm a professional content creator passionate about writing. My articles span law, business, finance, investments, and government schemes, always simplifying complex topics. Exploring and embracing novelty are my off-duty joys.