Maintenance flows from the concept of marriage. The question of maintenance is not dependent upon the divorce proceedings. Even before the case of divorce is filed, Indian law provides the right to claim maintenance through the medium of the court.
A general conjoint reading of the aforesaid provision makes it amply clear that the objectives of law is to provide maintenance to the Spouse who does not have sufficient means to maintain himself/herself by the one who has capacity and means to provide maintenance. The object is salutary and the scheme appreciating.
A cursory look at the past practices and belief is a clear cut indication of the fact it is the man who has been bestowed with the power, capacity and capability to look after the family. Womanhood is expected to take care of the domestic chores while men were held responsible for all financial support to the family.
Law is expected to change with the time. So, when women starting assuming proactive roles in the society, then maintenance law in India took care of this fact and brought the working men and women in the same pedestal. In number of cases, it was held that Husband is entitled to maintenance if he does not have sufficient means and the wife is working.
Though there is no fixed formula to arrive at the calculation of maintenance. Yet, the figure hovers around 30% to 40% of the salary/income.
It will be a no defense in case of maintenance that other spouse is at fault or marriage is solemnized on the strength of fraud, the other claimant willfully and without reasonable cause left the society of the spouse, etc. Court awards maintenance on the strength of marriage and conduct of the party could pay a part in determining the quantum of maintenance. This, as a matter of general rule maintenance is awarded.
The job of Divorce/maintenance lawyer as well as the court is to have an award of reasonable maintenance depending upon the status of the parties.