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Conditions for Granting Maintenance:

Person from whom maintenance is claimed must have the ability to pay maintenance. Ability means being employed, owning land, having a source of income or having a healthy body capable of work.

The person must have neglected the claimant or refused to pay maintenance.
Persons claiming maintenance must be unable to maintain themselves. If a person is healthy, adequately educated or capable of pursuing gainful employment no maintenance is given. Wives and elderly parents are generally given maintenance. The mere fact that the wife is earning does not dis-entitle her from claiming maintenance. The question is whether she is able to maintain the same standard of living that subsisted prior to the neglect or divorce with her own earnings without having to depend on another.

Maintenance orders under Section 125 can be heard only by the Judicial Magistrate of First Class. She can order a monthly allowance of maintenance that she deems just and fair. This is usually decided after considering the income of the person, the standard of living that is consistent with the status of the claimant and the separate earnings, if any, of the claimant. The maintenance must aid in ensuring the same standard of living for the claimant. It must neither be so plentiful that it tempts the claimant to rely solely on maintenance nor so pitiful that it pushes the claimant into vagrancy or a lower standard of living.

Maintenance is payable either from the date of order of payment or from the date of application for maintenance, depending on the court’s judgment of the cooperation and decent behaviour demonstrated by the parties.

A second application of maintenance is allowed under Section 125 and the quantum of maintenance can be enhanced with passage of time or change in material circumstances and prices.