First you should thank the farsighted lawmakers of yore who made the Section 24 (maintenance during litigation) and Section 25 (maintenance or permanent alimony after divorce) of HMA (Hindu Marriage Act, 1955) gender neutral. What that means is that anyone of the needy parties can claim maintenance from the other.
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Nov. 21: In an unusual case, a 43-year-old civil engineer has approached the family courts here seeking alimony Rs 25 lakh from his ex-wife, an assistant professor at a reputed university, whom he had divorced a year ago.
In his petition, Mr Kalaiselvan, claimed that he had lost his lucrative job in Kuwait and all his savings because of the legal battle over divorce and custody of their child.
“My ex-wife Malarvizhi was unemployed when I married her in 1997 while I had a decent job abroad,” he said. “My life was ruined after the marriage turned sour and today I am literally in the streets but Malar is well settled. The court has accepted my case and the first hearing will be held on December 15.”
Although the couple separated within a year after the marriage, Malarvizhi and Kalaiselvam applied for a divorce in 2002.
“Between 2002 and 2006, I had to come to India on at least 20 occasions to fight the case,” said Mr Kalaiselvan. “During this period, I lost my job.”
Mr Kalaiselvan said that his wife and in-laws had also filed a case against him under the Dowry Harassment Act and that he spent three months in jail. “My divorce came through last year and I even got custody of the child,” he said. “But in the process I became a pauper.”