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Karnataka HC boosts maintenance for mother, recognises childcare as full-time job

The wife contended that her husband, presently working as a manager in a bank, draws a salary of Rs 90,000 per month. She claimed to have quit the job after being insisted on by her husband to take care of the children.
Last Updated 02 March 2024, 21:47 IST

Bengaluru: The High Court of Karnataka has enhanced the maintenance of a mother, observing that for a mother, taking care of the children is a full-time job. 

The petitioner had challenged the order of the family court awarding interim maintenance. 

The couple married in 2012 and have two minor sons, aged 11 and 6 years. In 2020, as their relationship turned sour, the matter was moved before the family court. The wife filed an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, seeking Rs 36,000 a month as interim maintenance. On June 12, 2023, the family court awarded Rs 18,000 per month as interim maintenance. 

The wife contended that her husband, presently working as a manager in a bank, draws a salary of Rs 90,000 per month. She claimed to have quit the job after being insisted on by her husband to take care of the children. The husband argued that his wife was qualified and worked as a lecturer for some time after their marriage.  Therefore, she has to earn money and not depend on the maintenance to be paid by him, he stated. 

The court cited the Supreme Court's decision in Shamima Farooqi vs Shahid Khan and Reema Salkan vs Sumer Singh Salkan cases and noted that the maintenance has to be awarded to the wife and children which would be commensurate with the cost of living or continued living as they lived along with the husband/father. The court said that the woman is entitled to Rs 36,000 per month as maintenance from her husband, a manager in a nationalised bank, instead of Rs 18,000 per month awarded by a family court at Anekal. 

“The wife-mother admittedly has quit the job to take care of the children and taking care of the children cannot be taking care of mere existence. It is shrouded by countless responsibilities and necessary expenditures from time to time. The wife, as a homemaker and mother, works indefatigably round the clock. The husband cannot be seen to contend that the wife is lazing around and not earning money to take care of the children, as taking care of the children, for a mother, is a whole-time job,” Justice Nagaprasanna said. 

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(Published 02 March 2024, 21:47 IST)

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