Can a working wife get Alimony?

Can a working wife get Alimony?

04-Jul-2021 | Article by Legal White Official

In case of a divorce, the law makes the wife entitled for alimony. Alimony can be defined as the amount of money which is due to be given by the former husband for her wellbeing. Alimony is also called maintenance. As most of the women in India are dependent on their husbands for financial needs, alimony comes in handy in case of a divorce between them so that welfare of the women can be maintained. She may also face problems financially as well as emotionally after leaving her husband and the alimony can be a form of compassion.

If we talk about the scenario in which a divorce happens between a husband and his working wife, the question arises, “can a working woman get alimony after her divorce?” The straight forward answer to this question is “YES”, as the divorce law ensure alimony for the women in case of a divorce irrespective of whether she is working or not. It must be noted that the alimony she will receive will depend on her income and her standard of living. Alimony for the wife has been introduced in the divorce law after the amendment as there was no scope for alimony earlier.

The Indian divorce law gives a definition of a working wife and accordingly the alimony is decided. As per the law, whether the wife is completely independent economically or she may be partially independent, (the case in which the wife earns some money however unable to satisfy her needs without the financial help of her husband) both are eligible for alimony, however as mentioned earlier, the amount of the alimony will be decided based on the economic dependency of the wife.

There was a case in a court in New Delhi, where in the husband appealed against the order to pay the wife a huge sum of money on the ground that the wife is working and is able to take care of her needs quite well, however the court dismissed his appeal and stated that, it is the duty of the husband to maintain his estranged wife and the wife is eligible for the same standard of living which she used to have.

It is important to understand that there is no set formula to calculate alimony, however at the same time it is a legal obligation to pay for the maintenance after divorce. The reason for alimony is to reduce the negative effects of divorce, be it economic or emotional. Below are some of the circumstances based on which the alimony is calculated.

  • It depends on the income of husband as well as the wife. Generally higher the income, higher the alimony. If the husband is earning less than the wife, the alimony will be less.
  • It depends on the standard of living, most often, higher the standard, higher the alimony.
  • Longer the duration of the marriage, it is more likely that the alimony will be on the lower side.
  • More the number of children, the alimony will be more as it will also include child support.


Alimony is the right of the wife (working/non-working), however as to how much the alimony is going to be is decided by the court taking in to the consideration all the above factors or may be more as the judge may deem fit.

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