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Is the husband bound to maintain his wife when he is himself dependent upon his son?

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

Online advising since Oct. 2014

Maintenance

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Question: Is the husband bound to maintain his wife when he is himself dependent upon his son? The husband, who is old, ill, and unemployed, is dependent on his children. My uncle got married to a woman in 1989. After 2/3 years, she ran away, stating in a letter that she is not willing to live with her husband. Later, the same was recorded in a nearby Police Station. His uncle, without divorcing, married another woman in 1994. Later, they had 2 children. After 28 years, the first wife, who had refused to stay with her husband files a case against the husband accusing that she was not aware about the second marriage, and now she demands maintenance. 

Asked from: Bihar

Husband is responsible to maintain his wife irrespective of the fact that he is jobless or not employed. This is the general principle applicable in respect of maintenance. 

But section 125 of the code of criminal procedure and other maintenance law such as section 18 Hindu Maintenance and Adoption Act, DV Act, Hindu Marriage Act etc. make the husband liable for maintenance if he has sufficient means to maintain his wife. 

The court has to satisfy itself whether the husband has sufficient means. If the husband is himself dependent upon his son, how can he maintain his wife. In this situation the court either refuse to direct the husband to pay alimony or directs to pay a nominal amount as maintenance. 

shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

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