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18 Aug 2019, Edition - 1496, Sunday

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Men need to cough up 25 p.c. of their earnings as alimony. But are they listening?

Indrani Thakurata

Bengaluru: When Vinita Sharma, 35-year-old interior designer got her divorce, she was more than relieved. A bad marriage has the ability to destroy you mentally, physically and emotionally, and an early exit from it is the best thing that can happen. Her differences with her husband cropped up during her pregnancy. She wanted the baby, and the man didn’t. All along her pregnancy, the man refused to visit her at her mother’s place and didn’t visit the new born baby girl too despite long mails, calls and messages. Only after a few months of the child’s existence in this world, he asserted his claim over the child. Angered by this, Vinita initiated a divorce which resulted in no alimony for her, if he relinquishes his claims over the child. “ I know why he wanted a claim over my child , who he refused to see after birth, is because he wanted to pay no alimony. He gave me back my streedhan, and that’s all. Most men don’t wish to pay alimony. The recent ruling by the SC of setting a benchmark of 25 per cent of a husband’s net salary as alimony money in divorce cases is a good move. But estranged partners don’t cough up the amount that easily.”

Agreeing, that a ruling will help women who really need that financial help, Ankita Malhotra, a journalist says, “ Many divorcees were financially dependant on their husbands. And if they refuse to pay them, they lead a life of penury. Some women were never allowed to work while they were in the marriage. Suddenly, for them to earn their living is difficult. I wanted my divorce at the earliest from a wife beater, and wanted him to pay every penny. But most of these men don’t send the cheques on time.” Similarly Ivy Baruah, a Management professional made sure that her husband pays for her two sons. “ Well, he left me for someone else. I have two sons who are studying and have their future ahead of them. As a parent, I demanded that he takes responsibility of the finances too. I can’t manage all by myself, and why should I?”

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