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Once the son turns 18, the father’s duty does not end: Delhi High Court

The court said that when the son completes his graduation and starts earning till then all his expenses must be suffered by the father alone and the mother can never be asked to bear such onus

By: Sachin Jain, Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi 

Delhi High Court gave rise to this statement on Tuesday, June 23 while granting interim maintenance to a divorced woman to cover costs for her adult son until he completes his studies or starts earning.

It was contended that the woman has to take care of the entire expenditure of the son who has now attained majority but is not earning because he is still studying.

“The Family Court, therefore, failed to appreciate the fact that since no contribution is being made by the respondent(man) herein towards the son, the salary earned by the woman would not be sufficient for the woman to maintain herself,” Justice Subramonium Prasad said. 

“It cannot turn a blind eye to the rising costs of living and it is unreasonable to let the mother single-handedly bear the entire burden for herself and her children,” Court stated while granting interim maintenance of ₹15,000 to a divorced woman from the date of her son attaining the age of majority till he completes his graduation or starts earning or whichever is earlier.

In November 1997, this couple got married and had one son who is now 18 years old and one daughter who is now 20 years. They got divorced in November 2011.

The high court during the proceeding remarked that the woman was working in Delhi Municipal Corporation as an upper-division Clerk with a salary of about ₹60,000 per month. The court also asserted that the salary certificate filed by the man mentioned gross monthly income, as of November 2020, was around ₹1.67 lakh.

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