Father’s obligation to ensure maintenance of the child, orders Bombay High Court


Upholding an order of the family court increasing child’s maintenance amount payable by the father, the Bombay High Court recently said a father had an obligation to see that his child lived in the same comfort that he would have had if he was living with him. With the wife and the husband having filed for a divorce, the former had moved an application for enhancement of the maintenance amount to be paid by the father for the son. A trial court had earlier granted maintenance of Rs 20,000 to the wife and Rs 5,000 to the son. The wife, recently, said that the amount was granted when the son was nearly two-years-old but he was now four-years-old, and expenses towards school fees, tuition fees, extra curricular activities had increased. She added that the son was allergic and expenses towards his medical care had to be looked after.

So, a family court increased the maintenance amount from Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000. Upholding this, Justice R M Savant said, “In my view, it is not possible to accept the contentions raised by the husband. As observed by the family court, at the time when the interim maintenance was fixed, the son was one-year and 11-months old. However, he is now four-years-old and his requirements have obviously changed, considering his age. He also seems to be having a respiratory infection and the expenses for treatment have been incurred by the wife.” The HC held that the wife had incurred expenses for his education too. It said earlier the child was in a Kindergarten school but was now in a regular school for which the school fees and the tuition fees had to be paid, along with charges for transport from house to school.

The father of the child had contended that the enhancement had been granted without considering his financial condition and the increase would have an impact on whatever was left with him after paying compensation to both his son and wife.

Source: Indian Express

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