Where a family court rejected a woman’s interim maintenance application as she was living with her parents who are very well-to- do, she has appealed that said order before the Bombay High Court.
The Bombay High Court, hearing the aggrieved wife, has held that the family court did not have the right approach to deciding maintenance and they had not even seen the records and documents of the wife and this was ‘untenable’ in law whether the parents of the wife are wealthy and it is no grounds to refuse maintenance.
The High Court has held that neither the wife’s parents financial situation, nor the wife’s education and ability to earn is a precursor in deciding interim maintenance. It is her current financial status which is to be recorded and it is very clear in the act itself that if either party has “no independent income,” they may approach the court for interim maintenance. The court only has to consider the status of the parties (the husband and the wife), their needs, the husband’s capacity to pay for his own maintenance and of those he is obliged as per law such as his wife/parents.
There is no set ‘formula’ for courts to decide the amount of maintenance but it matters case to case as per the financial status of the parties and the circumstances of each case.
Reference: Shloka Chhabria v. Narendra Chhabria

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