[Urvashi Aggarwal v. Inderpaul Aggarwal, Crl. Rev. P. 549 of 2018, decided on 14-06-2021]
The Delhi high court said that a father’s obligation does not end as soon as his son turns 18 years as the burden of his education and other expenses cannot fall only on the mother. The court made this observation while granting ₹15,000 interim maintenance to a divorced woman to cover expenses for her adult son until the time he completes graduation or starts earning.
The couple had got married in 1997 and had two children. They got divorced in 2011 and the son and daughter are 20 and 18 years old. The two children have been living with their mother. She has been working as an upper-division clerk in Delhi Municipal Corporation, on a salary of around Rs 60,000 per month. The court said that as per the salary certificate submitted by the man, he has a salary of Rs 1.67 lakh.
As per the Family Court’s order, the son was entitled to maintenance till he turned major and daughter would be entitled for the maintenance till she gets employment or gets married.
Court said that , It is impossible to say that a father’s responsibility ends when his son reaches the age of 18, leaving the mother’s shoulder the entire weight of his education and other expenses. Because the son has reached adulthood, the mother’s earnings must be spent on her and her children with no contribution from the father.
The court will not be able to ignore the rising cost of living. With the modest amount of support paid by the respondent herein towards the maintenance of his daughter, it is unreasonable to ask the mother to shoulder the whole burden for herself and the son, the high court said.
Hence, Court granted a sum of Rs 15,000 per month as interim maintenance to petitioner 1 (mother) from the date of petitioner 2 ( son) attaining the age of majority till he completes his graduation or starts earning whichever is earlier.