Child maintenance is based on the principle that both parents are obliged to financially
support their children. When parents are not living together, courts often order
interim / permanent maintenance to be paid by earning parents to the child and from
earning spouse to non-earning spouse.
Maintenance Under-Hindu Law:
Under S.24 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 (herein after mentioned as HM Act), either
the wife or husband can apply for maintenance and interim maintenance. The basis
of the claim for maintenance is that the claimant has no independent income of his/her
own to support himself/herself.
18. Maintenance of wife- (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a Hindu
wife, whether married before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled
to be maintained by her husband during her lifetime.
19. Maintenance of widowed daughter-in-law
Maintenance of Children and Parents - Hindu Law:
U/s 20 of the The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA) a Hindu during
his/her lifetime shall maintain his/her legitimate or illegitimate children and
aged or infirm parents.
Maintenance Under- Muslim Law :
Maintenance under Muslim law is known as "Nafqah". "Nafqah" basically the minum
needs of wife such as includes food, clothing and lodging.
Maintenance Under - Parsi law
The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 recognizes the right of wife to maintenance-both
alimony pendente lite and permanent alimony. However the husband doesn’t have the
same rights under the said Act.
Maintenance Under - Christian law
The Indian Divorce Act, 1869 governs maintenance rights of a Christian wife. The
Indian Divorce Act, 1869 recognizes the right of only wife to maintenance-both alimony
pendente lite (during pendency of a suit) and permanent alimony. However the husband
doesn’t have the same rights Under the said Act.
Maintenance under Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC)
Although right to maintenance forms a part of the personal law, but in order to
protect women and children and provide a swift and cheap remedy against neglect
and refusal to maintain, a secular safeguard irrespective of personal laws of the
parties was necessary. With this intention Sec. 125 was inserted in the Cr.PC.