Divorce & Maintenance in India








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Spousal Maintenance: Alimony, Interim & Permanent Maintenance

Updated on December 17, 2021 08:11:58 AM

Divorce procedures always include a discussion of maintenance, child custody, alimony, and other related matters. Maintenance & Alimony are the terms that come in between the divorce proceedings. Child Custody also comes but it is simple to understand. So we are starting with alimony and maintenance here.

Maintenance is the financial assistance provided by one spouse to the other if he or she is unable to maintain themselves. There is, however, much more to it, but for the time being, we should at least be clear with the differences between these two terms.

It is the sum paid to one spouse regularly or during a court action. Alimony, on the other hand, is a one-time payment made to a spouse after a divorce. On the one hand, alimony payments can be made in both property and cash, whereas maintenance payments must be made in cash alone.

Stay with us till the very end, we will resolve every doubt of yours about the maintenance in divorce.

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What does Maintenance mean?

Maintenance is the amount set by the court (in case of contested divorce) to the spouse for the fulfillment of basic needs like housing, shelter, food, and clothing. The main motive behind such maintenance is to secure the right of the divorced partner who doesn't have financial support to live a better life. The reason for mentioning contested divorce here is pretty simple. In the proceedings of mutual divorces , all these matters are resolved before court proceedings. Whereas all the legal decisions are sorted in the courtroom in a contested divorce.

There could be a lump sum amount, annual amount, or a monthly amount for that. Depending upon that, it is divided into three types:

  1. Alimony
  2. Interim Maintenance
  3. Permanent Maintenance

Before proceeding with the type of maintenance and their details, we should have a look at the laws regarding maintenance for spouses in India.

Types of Maintenance: Alimony, Interim & Permanent Maintenance

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Alimony

Alimony, Interim Maintenance, and Permanent Maintenance all are the same financial support that the court orders one partner to pay the other.

But one thing that differentiates them from each other is the time period of providing such support. Like when one spouse gets financial support during the court proceedings of divorce, it is interim maintenance. Similarly when court orders for periodic maintenance to one partner after divorce, it is permanent maintenance.
And Alimony also is the financial support but once alimony is paid to the partner, he/she is not eligible for permanent maintenance by the partner. Additionally, alimony is paid before the final dissolution of marriage in court. In short after divorce, no alimony is given to the partner.

Alimony is financial support and a one-time payment at the time of divorce. Unlike interim & permanent maintenance, alimony can be paid by both physical cash or property method.

Interim Maintenance

Interim Maintenance is the amount given to one partner for fulfilling the needs and necessities of another partner during the whole proceedings of the divorce. This amount is set by the court. The motive of any such allowance is that one party should not be on the weaker side to contest their case. The interim maintenance is only allotted after filing the petition for it in court. Generally, the wife files for the interim maintenance but there is no such rule that the husband can’t file for it. In case the husband is not able to support himself or the child, he may seek interim maintenance as well.

Permanent Maintenance

On one side where interim maintenance is allotted at the time of proceedings, permanent maintenance is ordered to be provided after divorce at the regular interval of time set by the court. The permanent maintenance should only be provided in form of cash, no property can be availed for this purpose. Various aspects need to be checked for deciding the permanent maintenance amount.

Now till time, we have understood the types of maintenance. It’s time to know about the laws related to maintenance in India.

Laws related to Maintenance in India

There are different laws for divorce and other related decisions. Just like the provision for marriage is differently mentioned for different religions, maintenance is also the same case.

  • As per Section 125 of CrPC, 1973 the court can order maintenance in cases when the person neglects or refuses it to his wife. It also states that if the husband is married to another woman, then he can refuse to provide maintenance to the first divorced wife.
  • Section 25 of the Hindu Marriage Act gives the right to file a petition for interim as well as permanent maintenance in the court for the person following Hindu religion only. Both the partner, husband, or wife can file for maintenance under the Act.
  • Section 18 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 that the wife is entitled to get maintenance by her husband throughout her life.

The process for claiming maintenance in divorce is quite simple with Litem.All you have to do is just follow our simple 3 step process:

  1. Fill our short form and receive a call back from our team of experienced professionals.
  2. Provide us with all necessary details and documents related to your case.
  3. Our team of legal experts will handle that for you.

Our legal advisors and advocates have the deepest understanding and expertise in this area especially related to specific laws applied in divorce & maintenance cases. So, when you are in need of any kind of legal representation and have already decided to choose one, you can avail the services of Litem, one of the best law firms in the country with dedicated representatives precisely to deal with divorce and related cases.

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Frequently Asked Questions


  Who is entitled to spousal maintenance?

  What is the difference between interim maintenance and final maintenance?

  Can a working wife get alimony in India?

  How do you fight interim maintenance?

  How is permanent spousal maintenance decided in India?

  Can a husband get alimony in India?