In a landmark verdict, the Delhi High Court has ruled that a father’s obligation towards his child does not end with the child turning 18, and the burden of his education and other expenses cannot be the mother’s sole responsibility. The court made the observation while hearing a plea filed by a divorced woman. The High Court granted Rs 15,000 monthly interim maintenance to the woman to cover the expenses of her adult son until he graduates and starts earning.
Noting the rising costs of living, the Delhi High Court also said that it is unfair to let the mother single-handedly bear the cost of living for herself and her children. The husband has been directed to pay the monthly amount in addition to the small amount he has been paying for the maintenance of their daughter.
Justice Subramonium Prasad said that the family court has failed to consider the fact that since the husband is not making any contribution towards the son, the woman’s salary would not be sufficient to maintain herself. The couple got married in 1997 and divorced in 2011. The son is 20 years old while the daughter is 18 years old.
The Family Court had ruled that the son was entitled to maintenance only till he attains a majority and daughter till she gets a job or gets married.
The woman was working as an upper-division Clerk in Delhi Municipal Corporation, earning about Rs 60,000 per month while the man’s gross monthly income was Rs 1.67 lakh as of November 2020.
A trial court in 2018 had declined any maintenance to her while granting it only to the two children.