Have you been deserted by your spouse, on unreasonable grounds, and are unable to support yourself financially? Or do you have to bear all the responsibilities of your child, and your spouse isn’t supporting either of you? Are you trying to search for information as to what legal action you can take, under maintenance laws?

   There is a  legal remedy available to support yourself, and lead a good life, with the help of the maintenance law! It is an integral part of all matrimonial proceedings in India and can be applied for by spouses who don’t have the means or opportunity to support themselves.

Interim and Permanent Maintenance – Getting The Gist

   It can be divided into two types, namely interim and permanent maintenance. The former type is for those who are involved in an ongoing matrimonial proceeding in a court. It is provided so that the applicant can meet the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, and children’s’ education. This way, neither you nor your spouse will be at a disadvantage to lose the case because of a lack of resources, and both parties will stand on an equal footing.

   On the other hand, permanent maintenance is awarded once the final verdict on the case has been given and is periodical in nature depending on certain circumstances. The amount of maintenance will depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to, the status of the parties prior to filing the case, the income of both the spouses, lifestyle, household, and education expenditure, ages of dependent children, investments, movable and immovable assets.

Transparency and Financial Disclosure Are A Must

   Depending on the case and situation the maintenance procedure can be initiated under one or more of four laws, namely Cr. P.C Maintenance, Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, and Provisions under the Domestic Violence Act. These laws also dictate where the claim for maintenance can be filed. This can be where the applicant or respondent resides in the case of C.R.P.C. Maintenance, where either party resides, works, carries out business, or the place where the cause of action had taken place, in the case of the Domestic Violence Act. Under the Hindu Marriage Act, maintenance can only be filed where the proceedings are taking place. Both the parties will have to provide complete financial disclosure of all their assets and liabilities, to decide the amount of maintenance, and if it should be granted. It is mandatory for them to file their respective affidavits of income that details out income sources, expenditure, and liabilities amongst other things. The following documents need to be provided by all parties involved – salary slips of the last six months, income tax returns of the last three years, Cost to Company or CTC, and bank account statements from all open accounts from the last three years. If you wish to file a claim for maintenance, we recommend that you consult an advocate who is an expert in family law. A lawyer will have a thorough understanding of all the nuances pertaining to different maintenance cases and will be able to guide you through any issue that may arise. If you still wish to consult us, feel free to avail of our services and drop us a line!

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