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Maintenance for wife, children and parents - Section 125 CrPC

When any person neglects or refuses to maintain, his wife, children or parents, than they can claim maintenance by filing an application before the Magistrate under Section 125 CrPC
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Section 125 Cr.PC

As to who is Eligible to Claim Maintenance?

When any person neglects or refuses to maintain-
(a) wife,
(b) children,
(c) parents,
they can claim maintenance by filing an application before the Magistrate.

Such maintenance is granted at such monthly rate, as the Magistrate thinks fit.

If you are a woman and have been divorced by your husband or you have obtained divorce from your husband, you are entitled to maintenance.

However, a wife cannot claim maintenance in case she is living in adultery or she without any sufficient reason refuses to live with her husband. If she remarries, after the date of her divorce, she cannot claim any such maintenance. On any of these grounds, a husband may apply for cancellation of any such order of maintenance.

If husband and wife are living separately by mutual consent, even in that situation wife is not entitled to claim any such maintenance.

Sufficient Means to Maintain - Satisfaction of Magistrate

Before any such order is passed in favour of the applicant, Magistrate is to be satisfied that the person who neglects or refuses to maintain must have sufficient means.

In case one claims maintenance in the capacity of wife, she must be unable to maintain herself. In case of claim of maintenance in the capacity of a child, legitimate or illegitimate minor children, whether married or not, they can claim maintenance, if they are unable to maintain themselves.

Even if they have attained majority, they can still claim maintenance, but only when they are unable to maintain themselves because of any physical or mental abnormality or injury.

Married daughter is not entitled to claim such maintenance. In case of minor married female child, she would be entitled to claim maintenance

from her father, if she is unable to maintain herself, until she attains majority, if the Magistrate is satisfied that her husband is not possessed of sufficient means.

You as one of the parents are entitled to claim maintenance, when you are unable to maintain yourself.

Are you Entitled to Claim Maintenance During Pendency of your Application for Monthly Maintenance?

Decision of a petition or application for monthly maintenance takes sufficient time. Therefore, there is provision for interim maintenance, meaning thereby that during the pendency of an application for maintenance, Magistrate may order the person liable to pay monthly allowance to the person so entitled.

Are you Entitled to Claim Litigation Expenses?

You as an applicant may have to bear litigation expenses incurred during pendency of such an application for maintenance. Therefore, an order of litigation expenses can also be passed in your favour if you are entitled to maintenance and against the person who is liable to pay the interim maintenance.

With a view to avoid any inconvenience to the claimant, law provides that application for interim maintenance and expenses for proceeding shall be disposed of within 60 days from the date of service of notice.

Where to File Such an Application for Maintenance?
An application for maintenance may be filed against any person, liable to pay the same, in any district-
(a) where he is, or
(b) where he or his wife resides, or
(c) where he last resided with his wife, or as the case may be, with the mother of the illegitimate child.

How to Get Order of Maintenance Changed?

Whenever there is a change in the circumstances of any person receiving or paying such monthly allowance for maintenance or interim maintenance, Magistrate may make such alteration, as he thinks fit.

Sometimes, parties are litigating on civil side as well. Decision of litigation on civil side may also call for change or variation in the order of maintenance. Where it appears to the Magistrate that in consequence of any decision of a competent Civil Court, any order of maintenance should be cancelled or varied, he is empowered to cancel the order or vary the same accordingly. For example, where your wife has been divorced by you and she has received whole of the sum payable under any customary or personal law on such divorce, Magistrate may cancel such order of maintenance.

How to Get the Order of Maintenance Enforced?

You are entitled to copy of order of maintenance or interim maintenance and expenses of proceeding free of costs. To get the order executed, you are to file an application before the Magistrate at the place where the opposite party liable to make the payment may be. (Section 128 Cr. P.c.)

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