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Guidelines for matrimonial cases

Topics Covered: Women related issues.

Guidelines for matrimonial cases:


In a judgement, the Supreme Court has laid down guidelines for matrimonial cases.

  • The judgment was based on a matrimonial plea from Maharashtra on the question of payment of maintenance by a man to his wife and son under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

As per the Supreme Court guidelines (Have a brief overview):

  • Deserted wives and children are entitled to alimony/maintenance from their husbands from the date they apply for it in a court of law.
  • A violation would lead to punishment, such as civil detention and even attachment of the property of the latter.
  • The plea of the husband that he does not possess any source of income ipso facto does not absolve him of his moral duty to maintain his wife, if he is able-bodied and has educational qualifications.
  • Both the applicant wife and the respondent husband have to disclose their assets and liabilities in a maintenance case. Any earlier case filed or pending under any other law should also be revealed in court.
  • The expenses of the children, including their education, basic needs and other vocational activities, should be factored in by courts while calculating the alimony.
  • Other factors such as “spiralling inflation rates and high costs of living” should be considered, but the wife should receive an alimony which fit the standard of life she was used to in the matrimonial home.

Need for:

Women deserted by husbands were left in dire straits, often reduced to destitution, for lack of means to sustain themselves and their children.


These uniform and comprehensive guidelines should be followed by family courts, magistrates and lower courts while hearing applications filed by women seeking maintenance from their estranged husbands.


Prelims Link and Mains Link:

Overview of the Guidelines and their significance.

Sources: the Hindu.