The Supreme Court has put forth a benchmark for the maintenance money a husband is required to pay his ex-wife, stating that a ‘just and proper’ amount of 25% of his net salary is to be paid as alimony. The benchmark amount was selected keeping in consideration that the former wife should be able to live with dignity at an acceptable status after divorce.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi and M M Santanagoudar announced the judgement while dealing with the case of a West Bengal resident who appealed to the courts against paying high amounts of alimony.
The man from Hoogly, earned Rs 95,525 a month had been paying Rs 20,000 to his ex-wife and their son when he was directed by the Calcutta High Court to pay her Rs 23,000 which the man felt was excessive as he had remarried and needed money for his current wife.
Considering that the man had remarried and had a second child as well, the apex court reduced the alimony he was required to pay from Rs 23,000 to Rs 20,000.
“Twenty-five per cent 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 dependant on the factual situation of the case… and the court would be justified in moulding the claim for maintenance passed on various factors,” Times of India quoted the bench as saying.