While layoffs and wage cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic have increased many times over, the waves of divorced people are being perceived even more clearly.
Attorneys have received numerous calls from clients asking for action to reduce or waive support for separated wives and children, the Indian Express reported.
Although the tendency to evade child support is not uncommon, the circumstances enforced by the pandemic have led the courts to consider these conditions when deciding on child support cases.
An actor who paid his ex-wife and son alimony of 70,000 rupees a month has been unemployed since the nationwide lockdown. He had initially told his lawyer that he could pay 30,000 rupees, but later said he couldn’t even afford it.
“The woman is a journalist and has a regular snack, even if there may be cuts in her salary, but in his case his income was reduced to zero,” family court attorney Vandana Shah told the publication. Her client asked her why he should continue to pay for daily living expenses when paying for his son’s school fees, extracurricular activities, and travel abroad.
Lawyer Mridula Kadam said lawyers from the family court had already filed interim petitions for reduction or alimony waiver cases. The request cited “changed circumstances” as a reason and asked the court to review its previous decision on the maintenance order.
“I got a call from a banker who said he could no longer pay the same amount of child support he had paid because he had to cut his wages. It is easier for an employee to prove the decrease in their income with a pay slip, but it is more difficult for business people. As with a restaurateur, he has to prove that the restaurant was closed for so many months and that he had no income, ”Kadam told Indian Express.
Lawyer Amit Karkhanis said this was an “obvious consequence” of wage cuts and rising unemployment. After the courts have fully reopened, several requests to change the maintenance amounts can be made. According to Karkhanis, a reduction in alimony proportional to the husband’s income is decided.
Women’s rights attorney Veena Gowda said cutting child support would make the situation of economically disadvantaged women more difficult. The pandemic could serve as an excuse for men who tried to evade child support.
Gowda told the news agency: “We tend to really ignore patriarchy when we look at this concept of ‘family’. When we see cases pending before the family court, many of them depend on the collection of arrears (alimony). Even in middle and upper middle class families, it becomes an excuse not to pay and harass the woman. They know that the courts are not going to do much now because their matters are not that urgent. “