What is Divorce Alimony in India?

The term “the standard of living of the marriage” pretty much defines alimony. It is one of the key factors that determine if you are entitled to paying alimony and the amount of alimony. The fundamental idea behind divorce alimony is that both the spouse should be able to live the same standard of life as they were before getting a divorce. If you were the sole earner in the family or you earned most of the money, you would have to pay alimony in order to maintain the standard of life of your spouse.

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The standard of living of the marriage’ is basically how you lived while you were married and how much it cost to live that way. It will vary for each family. If you don’t earn at all, or if you earn much lesser than your spouse, you have to figure out how much money would you require per month to support the lifestyle you had while you were married. Whatever the amount is, you may be entitled to that much in divorce alimony.

Divorce alimony in India

There are four types of divorce alimony:

Permanent divorce alimony:

Like the name suggests, permanent alimony is supposed to continue for an indefinite period of time or at least until there’s some major change of situation.

Term divorce alimony:

Term alimony is supposed to be paid for a particular period of time. It usually applies to short duration marriages and where there is reasonable likelihood that the spouse getting the alimony will be financially self-sufficient to the point of being capable of maintaining the same standard of living while they were married.

Reimbursement divorce alimony:

This kind of alimony reimburses one spouse for the time and the money provided to the other spouse who acquired an important certification or degree, with the expectation of sharing the benefits of that degree once it is completed.

Rehabilitative divorce alimony:

Similar to the term alimony, rehabilitative alimony is paid for a certain period of time. The alimony amount and the duration depend on a particular plan for the spouse getting alimony to become financially independent.

When deciding whether divorce alimony is appropriate or the type of alimony, Judges consider the following factors:

  • The genuineness of the need and ability of the parties to pay alimony.
  • Duration of the marriage.
  • The standard of living of the marriage and the possibility of both the spouse maintaining their previous lifestyle.
  • The age and the health of the parties.
  • The absence period from the job market of the party asking for alimony.
  • The responsibilities and education for the children.
  • The education, professional skills, employability and earning capacities of the parties.
  • The record of each party’s non-financial and financial contribution to the marriage. It also includes the care, education of the kids and how it disrupted their personal career.
  • The time and expenditure required to obtain adequate education or vocational training to facilitate the party seeking alimony to get a suitable job.
  • The reasonable, unbiased and fair distribution of property.
  • The earnings obtained through investments or assets by either party.
  • The taxes and consequences of the alimony to both parties. It may include the designation of the entire alimony or a part of the alimony as a non-taxable payment.
  • Any other aspect that the court deems appropriate.

If your spouse refuses to pay after court’s alimony order, you can consult your divorce lawyer and take an immediate legal action to implement the court’s order. Orders to pay monthly alimony is same as any other court order and it will ensure that you are getting regular payments. If required, a court may even jail a hesitant alimony payer to make him realize that it means business.

So, if you were the sole/main bread earner for your children and spouse and your spouse is unable to support himself/herself, you perhaps will have to pay some form of alimony/spousal support.