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Understanding Alimony: Legal Principles and Practical Considerations

Where a decree of Divorce was granted to a husband on the ground of desertion by the wife,it was held that the wife is not disentitled to get the alimony though her conduct may be considered in fixing the quantum. The conduct is not limited to the instances mentioned in section 25(3) . On the aspect the decision in Rajinder Prakash v Roshnidevi was dissented from.

In Atam Prakash v Jaya Devi ,a wife living in adultery was held entitled to alimony.

Unchastity is no ground to refuse maintenance u/s 24 or under this section . However the conduct is relevant while considering the quantum of maintenance. An unchaste wife' at the time of dissolution of marriage is entitled to starving allowance which disappears if she is earning or is not in a helpless position.

For the allowance is meant to prevent starvation relying on Asheroff vs Asherof, in which it was held that u/s 32 of the Matrimonial causes Act ,the court will order the husband to secure a provision for his guilty wife even though his own conduct has been unimpeachable if the wife is entirely without means of support and unable to have her own living.

But in Sachindranath v Benamala it was held that as unchastely on the part of the women and also sexual intercourse by a man with a women out side wedlock are sins against ethics of matrimonial mortality in this country , where the wife is proved to be living in adultery ,she would not be entitled for maintenance.

The wife is not entitled to maintenance if she begot a child by some person than the husband. Maintenance of that illegitimate child also does not arise. These decisions were dissented from in a recent decision.

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