As an individual in India we  encounter numerous cases involving divorce and alimony. Understanding the legal nuances and navigating the process can be complex and emotionally draining. Therefore, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of these issues.

Grounds for Divorce:

In India, divorce is governed by different personal laws based on religion. For Hindus, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, specifies various grounds for divorce, including:

  • Adultery: Proving adultery requires concrete evidence.
  • Cruelty: Physical or mental cruelty, including domestic violence, can be grounds for divorce.
  • Desertion: Abandonment of the marriage without reasonable cause for two years or more.
  • Unsound Mind: Mental illness rendering the spouse unfit for marriage.
  • Two Years’ Separation: After living separately for two years, either spouse can file for divorce by mutual consent.


The concept of alimony, also known as maintenance, is governed by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The court may order one spouse to pay periodic maintenance to the other based on several factors:

  • Needs of the spouse claiming maintenance: This includes their age, health, education, standard of living during the marriage, and income-earning capacity.
  • Income and property of the spouse paying maintenance: The court considers the paying spouse’s ability to pay without undue hardship.
  • Conduct of both spouses: The court may consider the conduct of both spouses during the marriage and the reasons for divorce.
  • Contribution of the spouse claiming maintenance: The court may consider the contributions made by the spouse claiming maintenance towards the family, such as household work or managing finances.

Calculating Alimony:

There is no fixed formula for calculating alimony. The court considers the aforementioned factors and determines an appropriate amount based on the specific circumstances of each case. However, some common factors considered include:

  • Average monthly income of the paying spouse: This includes salary, rent from property, and other sources of income.
  • Monthly expenses of the spouse claiming maintenance: This includes rent, food, clothing, medical expenses, and other necessary expenses.
  • Standard of living during the marriage: The court aims to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, considering inflation and other factors.

Procedure for Filing for Divorce and Alimony:

In India, the process typically involves:

  1. Consulting a lawyer: Discuss your situation and obtain legal advice regarding grounds for divorce and potential alimony claims.
  2. Filing a petition: The lawyer will draft and file a petition with the Family Court in India.
  3. Mediation: The court may encourage mediation to resolve the issues amicably.
  4. Contested Trial: If mediation fails, the court will hold a trial to hear evidence from both parties.
  5. Judgment: The court will issue a judgment granting or denying the divorce and determining the amount of alimony, if any.

Additional Points:

  • Mutual consent divorce: If both spouses agree to dissolve the marriage, the process can be faster and less complex.
  • Maintenance during pendency of proceedings: The court may order the paying spouse to provide interim maintenance to the other spouse during the proceedings.
  • Enforcement of alimony orders: If the paying spouse fails to comply with the court order, the spouse receiving maintenance can file an execution petition to enforce the order.

Written by Adv Rohit Yadav

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