How Courts Calculate and award maintenance to wife and children under different situations…With LIVE CASE STUDY…
The award of maintenance depends on various circumstances and under different scenarios. You need to understand how maintenance cases are decided in order to understand what your financial obligations which courts will decide.
The old tactics like showing yourself unemployed or just hiding your income are over and in order to address the situation the new judgment of Rajnesh Vs Neha now demands the last 3 years’ bank statement ITR as well as a long affidavit. However, how to address hiding income is not in the scope of this article but you can read this.
Now coming back to the topic of how courts calculate and award maintenance. Generally after excluding deductions that are statutory in nature like TAX/PF/EPF etc, the court assesses your income. This a detailed article on this aspect also. Once your income is assesed after statutory deduction and dependants. The court straightaway grants an amount of 33% of the income as maintainance.
Example of award of maintenance @ 1/3 of salary
Like what happened in this case. In a recent case in which I was fighting in Rohini court, the court assessed the income of the husband as Rs. 1.5 lakhs after deduction and awarded Rs. 50000/- as interim maintenance to the child and the wife assessing wife income as Rs . 25000/- but since the wife is earning less than the husband she will also get maintenance as well as child so rounded off to 1/3rd of husband salary after deductions. Rs. 50000/- were the husband’s contributions to various statutory deductions.
Wife concealing income…
Now there may be situations in which the wife might have concealed her income and there is a child then maintenance will be substantially reduced. But you need to bring in the facts in such cases for Rs . 50000/- income Rs. 7000/- was granted to a child in case the wife conceals her income. If it comes into the knowledge of the court that wife was working and she did not disclose it the maintenance can be denied to the wife and if there is no child then the maintenance can be reduced to 0 effectively
Read my article on strategy for 0 maintainance for this to get case studies.
Wife working which is equal or More than husband
Now there is another case study in which the wife may be equally earning as the husband and in such cases, maintenance is not awarded to the wife, and if there is no child wife is not entitled to any maintenance if income and the wife is working. Provided she has also disclosed the income as per the income affidavit.
The wife has less income and there is child also if the Husband showing he is unemployed
As per the above-mentioned example the maintenance to the wife is given @ 1/3 of amount. Often husband says in court that he is unemployed and will not be able to pay for maintenance for the wife and the child.
The court rejects such arguments as what has happened in this case.
The case was in Gurugram and the husband said to the court that he was unemployed and would be unable to pay for the maintenance of the wife and the child.
In this case, the wife was working and was earning around Rs 45000/- there was a 6-year-old child. The husband told the court that he has lost his job and is currently jobless He was earning around 1.2 Lakhs when he claimed he was jobless. The court rejected the arguments of the husband. As the husband is capable and is earning he has an obligation to maintain the wife and the child and his income was assed at 1.2 lakhs and total was Rs 25000/- maintainance was granted although the wife was working.
Also court can resort to guess work if you are in business and show to the court that your business is at loss based on lifestyle and status or if you under value your income.
Whatever be your situation the maintainance to child and wife cannot be denied simply because you are unemployed or business is at losses. If wife is earning equal to you then in that case maintainance is denied. If wife do not disclose her income you by using 91 CrPC need to bring those documents on record. Once you bring these documents on record then court will not grant maintainance to wife. Normally court grants 1/3rd of salary after deduction as maintainance to wife. It can also go upto 50% if wife and child are there and wife not working.
Only statutory expenses and dependants can reduce the maintainance.
Adv. Nitish Banka