Supreme Court: Divorce alimony MUST be 25 percent of husband’s net salary

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A ray of hope for women fighting for their rights after a divorce!

In a statement that could hold a lot of hope for women at the receiving end of a divorce, India's apex court, Supreme Court, has said that the maintenance amount that a husband pays his wife after divorce, known as alimony, should be at least 25 percent of his total net income.

This, says the SC, will be a “just and proper” amount that can be granted as alimony.

In its statement, the court said that the reason for arriving at this particular amount was to make sure that even after the divorce, the wife, or ex-wife as per the divorce, can continue to live in a dignified way after she separates from her husband.

"Twenty-five percent of the husband's net salary would be just and proper to be awarded as maintenance to the (former) wife. The amount of permanent alimony awarded to her must be befitting the status of the parties and the capacity of the spouse to pay maintenance, which is always dependent on the factual situation of the case... and the court would be justified in moulding the claim for maintenance passed on various factors," the bench said.

The amount should consider the husband’s capacity to pay….

The court also went on to say that the amount was decided based on the husband’s capacity to pay the maintenance, but that it could also be a factual condition, where the amount can be changed in some specific cases.

A bench of Justices R Banumathi and M M Santanagoudar made the observation while directing a resident of West Bengal's Hoogly, earning Rs 95,527 a month, to set aside Rs 20,000 as maintenance for his former wife and their son.

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Being financially independent is important

While the statement does come as a welcome sign for many women who are not working professionally and are housewives, it is also true that being financially independent can definitely help you take better care of yourself, as well as your children.

Here are a few ways in which you can start your journey into the professional world, whether you have prior experience or not:

  • Identify your strengths: Create your resume and highlight all your strengths and capabilities. Write down any work experience you have, even if you feel it may not be relevant now. Make sure the format is clear and easy to read. You can access various templates available for free online to have an idea of what you need to do.
  • Look for work from home options: Understand your talents and what you are good at. You don’t always have to apply for a desk job. There are various things you can do from home that will require very basic investment, and some amount of marketing skills online, such as spreading the word on social media.
  • Don't lose hope: If you don’t have family support, you can look at day care centres near your home or the area you choose to work in. Alternatively, you can also take up freelance assignments that allow you to work from home.
  • Some lucrative options: Some areas where you can use your talent and also work from home or at your own time are working as a home cook and starting your own home meals kitchen service online, sourcing materials for brands that require you to pick the best of materials at the best rates, starting your own baking service, conducting cooking and baking classes, teaching various academic subjects to kids, conducting art and craft classes, content and copy writing services and more.

While a wife is definitely entitled to alimony after a divorce, having your own source of income, no matter how big or small, will ensure that there is some amount of financial freedom and security that you can rely on, without having to ask for it.

Also Read: Denying sex to spouse is now a legal ground for divorce

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