Unmarried Daughter Can Claim Maintenance from Separated Father: Bombay High Court

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday ruled that unmarried women above the age of 18 are entitled to claim money as maintenance from their fathers if their parents are divorced or estranged. Justice Bharti Dangre said a woman can submit an application for maintenance on behalf of her adult married daughter.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a woman seeking a maintenance amount from her estranged husband for her 19-year-old daughter. The woman claimed that while her daughter had attained majority, she was still studying and financially dependent on the petitioner. A family court had denied the woman’s petition while reiterating that the maintenance could only be provided to minor children.

The couple married in 1988 and separated in 1997. The father paid a monthly maintenance for their three children until they turned 18. The woman said that her two sons were unable to help her daughter financially as one was repaying an education loan and another was unemployed.

The petitioner receives a monthly maintenance of Rs 25,000 from her husband and sought an additional Rs 15,000 for her daughter. Justice Dangre cited earlier Supreme Court and High Court judgements that ruled in favour of providing maintenance to unmarried financially dependent major daughters even if they do not suffer from any disability. The High Court has asked the family court to reconsider its order.

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