What Is Alimony And How Is Alimony Calculated?
Alimony refers to the payments ordered by the court awarded to a spouse or a former spouse by the other spouse within a divorce or legal separation.
Also known as spousal maintenance, the reason for providing alimony to the spouse is to render financial support to the spouse who earns less income or no income at all as compared to the other spouse in the marriage.
How Is The Amount Of Alimony Calculated?
One of the landmark judgements of the Supreme Court of India states that the amount of alimony should not exceed 25% of the husband’s income.
The maintenance amount is calculated based on the following factors –
- The total monthly income of both spouses that does not includes the tax.
- The educational qualifications of both spouses.
- The number of years of marriage – how long the marriage has lasted.
- The number of children and child custody.
Although every case differs due to its distinct facts and circumstances, so will be the amount of alimony decided, however, following are the factors taken into account while deciding the amount of alimony –
Age of the spouse – a young recipient of alimony gets it for a shorter duration of time if the court understands that he/she will soon stand in a stronger financial position through work or excellence.
The spouse who earns a higher income than the other will be liable to pay alimony to the spouse earning less.
In case of physical disability – if the wife for instance is totally unable to earn on her own due to a physical disability, the husband is supposed to pay the wife a certain amount at a regular interval monthly or quarterly as directed by the court.
Lack of education- that results in not being able to earn a suitable livelihood.
Major health issues- if the spouse is suffering from poor health issues is to be supported by the other spouse to ensure the well-being and proper care and medication to the spouse suffering.
In cases where the wife is well educated and qualified enough to support herself through a job, the court shall direct the wife to find a job to earn a livelihood and pass an order to grant maintenance of a certain amount that serves as an aid to maintain her during the period of a job search.
Duration of the marriage – marriages that have lasted for more than 10 years duration are entitled to be granted lifelong alimony.