Maintenance to Wife who Voluntarily left Husband

Wife leaving husband voluntarily eligible for maintenance

A wife, who leaves the husband voluntarily due her inability to stay in the matrimonial house, is eligible to get maintenance from her husband. This is what Kerala High Court states in Arun v Reshma, a revision petition filed under Section 19(4) of the Family Courts Act.

Family court ordered maintenance

The Family Court in the impugned order had earlier directed the revision petitioner, the husband, to pay Rs 4,000 maintenance to his wife who had claimed the amount under Section 125(1) Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Husband argued wife not entitled for maintenance

In the revision petition, the husband argued that since she had left his company voluntarily and without any justified reasons, he had no liability to pay maintenance to his wife. He contended that the wife is not legally entitled to get maintenance since she has been willingly residing separately and that the case filed by the respondent on the ground of cruelty ended in acquittal.

She left voluntarily due to her inability to stay

The court found out from the exhibits that the evidence suggests that wife left the matrimonial home since she could not reside there due to the particular circumstances prevailing in the matrimonial home.

Maintenance ends on her remarriage

Therefore, the high court comes to the conclusion that there is no reason to hold that the respondent is not entitled to get maintenance. Therefore, the entitlement of maintenance found by the Family Court can only be confirmed. However, considering the fact that the woman remarried in September 2022, the court observed that the entitlement of maintenance ceased from the date of remarriage.

Her eligibility ends with her remarriage

The High Court of Kerala therefore directed the husband – the revision petitioner – to clear the entire arrears at the rate of Rs.3,500/- per month, starting from the date of petition till the date of remarriage, within a period of thirty days.


  1. Arun v. Reshma