When does child support end?

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Child support is an important factor in while deciding the maintenance or alimony in the matrimonial disputes and while deciding the child custody a financial support after divorce.  Child support is a part of alimony apart from the alimony provided to the spouse.  As per Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, child custody is given to the mothers of child aged below 5 years, custody of boys may be given to the father.   In general , Child support is given to the parent who won the child custody and not having much financial support.  Mothers could claim child support from the father who is financially strong enough to provide.  Usually child support creates a good bondage between the parents from whom the child obtains such financial support even after the post divorce period.

In India, maintenance to children and child support governs by Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and religious laws.  Maintenance includes providing basic necessities such as shelter, food, and clothing  to wife, children and parents and man is socially obliged to provide these basic things required to live for his dependents.  One regardless of any religion, who has been denied of these things may initiate the maintenance proceedings under section 125 against such responsible person who is of negligent towards his family members

For Hindus, the male child entitled to financial support from the parent receiving the maintenance till he completed 18 years of age, and for girl child, the support is extended till she gets married under Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act

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Personal law governs the child support for Muslims.  Apart from that under Section 125 of Cr. P.C., father should maintain the Muslim minor child if conditions required under Section 125, Cr.P.C., are satisfied.  Rights of Muslim minor child whether legitimate and illegitimate child is not taken away by Section 125 of Cr.P.C  (Rahamathulla vs Piyare And Others) 1996 CriLJ 4322, II (1996) DMC 295

Divorce of persons following the Christian religion come under the purview of The Indian Divorce Act, 1869.  Section 41 of the Act provides wide powers for the court to make orders of child custody custody, maintenance and education of the minor children in the suits for judicial separation even after decree upon application.  In suits for dissolution or nullity, the High Court or any other Court where the suit is filed, may order interim orders with respect to custody, maintenance and education of the minor children.

By Anitha Gutti

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