Though alimony is a very important matter to deal with during the litigation of a divorce case, the very perception of right to claim the financial support for post divorce maintenance was not quite a familiar concept among the Indian divorce seekers, especially women even few years back. But as the rate of divorce is increasing in India at a rapid speed, people are becoming aware of the various details related to divorce laws. The era of feminist campaigns, and spread of education among women have contributed to the growing applicability of alimony in divorce cases.
The alimony or the spousal support is an obligation by laws in almost all the countries of the world. It is expected that both the spouses irrespective of the sex must bear the maintenance support during and after marriage.
The concept of alimony came in vogue due to the indissolubility nature of marriage. According to marriage conventions marriage is a sacred union. Once the knot is tied, the duties and obligations of marriage are to be carried out for the rest of the life even if there is mental disparity or physical separation between the husband and the wife. The husband is bound to take up the responsibilities for the maintenance of his wife in spite of sharing an estranged relationship. As time changed, the laws and education empowered woman, divorce came as a spontaneous solution for an unsuccessful marriage.
The present society treats men and women equal, as a result the burden of alimony can now fall upon either side of the party depending upon the financial circumstances of the spouses. Though in the present age of equality both men and women are now equal in the eyes of law, in practice men are more liable to provide interim support to their ex spouse during the litigation procedure.
After divorce either of the spouse has the right to claim alimony. Though not an absolute right, but can be granted by the court depending upon the circumstances and financial conditions of both the spouses.
The following are the conditions depending on which alimony is awarded by the court.
The following are the factors that influence the duration and amount to be paid as alimony.
The terms and conditions of payment of alimony in India vary from one personal law to another. None of the Indian personal laws are spared from criticism due to existence of flaws in framing definite rules for granting alimony. The Shah Bano case is one such instance that exposes how the sustenance of a divorced woman is affected due to inclusion of inappropriate laws regarding post divorce maintenance and financial support.