Mumbai Metropolitan Court has rejected an educated and working woman’s plea for maintenance – for a marriage that lasted only for 32-days! The woman had demanded an interim maintenance of Rs 40,000 per month while the divorce petition remained pending.
This case also throws light upon the non-validity of a prenup agreement that was signed amongst the couple during marriage, however, has been rejected by court at the time of maintenance plea by wife.
Couple got married in 2016 and the marriage lasted only for 32-days. The husband filed for divorce, and later, the woman filed for interim maintenance.
The husband’s lawyer, Advocate Kanupriya Kejriwal’s submission was recorded by the family court which mentioned that the couple had entered into a pre-marital memorandum of understanding (MoU), where the wife stated that she would have no stake in the man’s movable or immovable properties if the marriage fails.
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Stating further, he said that the woman is a well educated person to sustain on her own, and can take care of herself if any such situation arises
The husband also questioned his wife’s claim to have a similar lifestyle as his, when the marriage lasted only for “32 days”.
The wife argued in the court that her husband made her leave her job. She also stated that she had her mother’s pension to rely upon and she had no independent income of her own. Claiming further, the woman said that it was her husband’s moral, social and legal obligation to maintain her. Consequently, she argued to be provided with a similar “standard of living” like him.
Arguing that the husband was responsible for woman leaving her job, the man said that she was a well qualified woman, and left her job at her own will. Therefore, the husband sought dismissal of her maintenance plea.
The man also argued that the couple was living separately since September 2016 and that several entries were missing from the woman’s bank statement.
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The wife on the other hand showed her willingness to come back and live together with her husband. She insisted that she was sent to her parents’ home while she was ill, and since then he did not accept her back.
The court noted that the woman had presented her bank statement’s pertaining to before and after marriage, however, one was from two years after separation. No explanation whatsoever, was given by the woman on the missing entries in the statement and thus the court remarked that it was “difficult to accept” her account had no source of income. The maintenance plea was subsequently rejected.
Kejriwal also cited the Prenup agreement signed by both parties during marriage. The husband’s lawyer put on record that the existence of Prenup prohibits his client’s wife to claim anything after the marriage comes to an end.
The couple who got married in 2016, had signed a pre-marital memorandum of understanding (MoU). According to MoU, the wife did not have any stake in her husband’s property if the marriage fell apart. The man wanted to ensure that his wife would not take advantage of maintenance laws in India.
However, Indian judicial system does not yet recognise Prenup Agreements as official legal mandate.