Can a working wife claim maintenance from husband?


Yes, a working women can claim maintenance from her husband under section 125 of the criminal procedure code and section 24 of Hindu Adoption and maintenance act, 1956

Initially, a misconception existed that a working woman is not entitled to claim maintenance as she is earning and is thus able to maintain herself.

Now, based on the judgements in cases like Bhagwan v. Kamla Devi and Chaturbhuj v Sita Bai, it is evident that she can claim maintenance even though she is earning.

The SC of India, in this regards, has ruled that an estranged woman can claim maintenance from her husband in spite of her efforts to earn a monthly income if that is not enough for her maintenance.

It also clarifies that the expression ÔUnable to maintain herselfÕ does not require a wife to be absolute destitute before she can apply for maintenance.

So where a wife can prove that her income is not enough to pay off her expenses and her husband is earning more than her in such case wife is entitled for interim as well as permanent maintenance.

There are also cases where wife earns more than husband and Courts of India had passed reverse orders compelling wives, who earn substantially, to pay maintenance to their husbands if such a woman decides to walk out of a marriage, for whatever reason. Also, there are instances where though a woman was not working but still her professional qualification became a barrier to the quantum of maintenance that she received.

Reference: Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973;
Section 24 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956



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