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Wife’s ability to earn is no ground to refute maintenance: Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court held that merely because the wife can earn will not be a justifiable reason to lessen the maintenance awarded to her in a case of a marital dispute by the family court.

The man claimed his wife was an independent practicing advocate. But the wife denied the man’s claims, said, although she was qualified to be an advocate, she was completely reliant on her parents for a living.

“Merely because the wife is capable of earning was held not be a sufficient reason to reduce the maintenance awarded by the family court,” the court said.

Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri held that ‘capable of earning’ and ‘actual earning’ are two different specifications and declined the plea.

The man challenged the validity of the maintenance order, stating the court has ignored the fact that his wife must be earning well as she is a practicing advocate.

In 2018, the wife left the matrimonial house and claimed Rs 1 lakh as maintenance.

The court decided to not interfere with the trial court’s order of dividing the man’s admitted salary of Rs 1.68 lakh per month into three equal shares – one for the respondent and the rest for the petitioner.

Therefore, Rs 50,000 as the maintenance for the respondent was “completely justified.”