Upbringing of children is the responsibility of both parents; extra maintenance awarded to wife for looking after the children alone

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a recent case before the Court, a wife (appellant) filed an application under Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act for grant of maintenance pendente lite and maintenance to her two minor children. The husband and wife both are independently working and earning.

The wife was taking care of the upbringing of both the minor children alone and no help was being rendered by the respondent-husband. Considering these facts and circumstances, the Court observed that up bringing of two minor children is joint responsibility of both the parents irrespective of the fact whether they are earning or not.

As the minor children have already been granted compensation of Rs. 2500  under Section 125 CrPC by the lower court, the High Court did not express any opinion on the matter. However, M.M.S. Bedi, J. took note of the fact that it was only the appellant who was forced to look after the children and on account of this, she would be entitled to nominal maintenance pendente lite on account of additional responsibilities shouldered by her. Consequently, the Court ordered a sum of Rs. 10,000 per month for the said additional responsibilities with effect from the date of application and besides this, ordered Rs. 50,000 to be paid as litigation expenses.

The Court further emphasized on the amicable settlement between the parties if possible and referred the matter to the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh. [Parveen Lata v. Shiv Kumar, 2017 SCC OnLine P&H 2901, decided on 05.09.2017]

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