The Delhi High Court in its recent order has observed that an individual marrying a person, who already has a child, cannot be allowed to argue later that the child is not his or her responsibility, reported LiveLaw.
The respondent wife was earlier married to an Army personnel, from whom she had a daughter. After the demise of her husband, she remarried the appellant-husband in this case.
The second husband had been paying for the upbringing of the daughter until parties lived together. However, when separation happened between the two, the husband filed for divorce on grounds of desertion by wife.
While the elder daughter was born out of the wife’s first marriage, the younger daughter was born out of the wedlock with the petitioner.
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While the Family Court granted divorce to the petitioner-husband from his wife on the ground of desertion, it also directed the petitioner to pay Rs 2,500 to the two children for first five years and Rs 3,500 for another five years. The petitioner was also directed to pay Rs 5,000 each till both the children get married or become financially independent.
Challenging the maintenance order towards the elder daughter, the petitioner had sought modification of the family court’s order on the ground that the she was shown as a dependent in the order issued by the Army and a family member of his former wife’s late first husband.
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Delhi High Court
A division bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Justice Vikas Mahajan of the Delhi High Court observed
When a person solemnizes a marriage with a person who already has a child, said person shall be presumed to have undertaken the responsibility of the child and also cannot later be permitted to contend that the child is not his/her responsibility.
Upholding the impugned order passed by family court, the division bench said that the order passed by the Army Authority merely recognized a fact which was within the knowledge of the petitioner. The court observed that it would not constitute a change in circumstance as required under section 25(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act.
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The court added that it is not in dispute that the petitioner was aware that the first daughter of his wife was born out of her first marriage at the time when he solemnized the marriage with her. The bench remarked,
If the Respondent had known that the appellant was not going to maintain her first daughter, she would not even have married him. It is not in dispute that appellant was bringing up the elder daughter and maintaining her till the parties fell out.
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The court observed that the order passed by the Army Authorities showing the elder daughter of the wife from her marriage as a family member of her late husband would not have any bearing on the family court’s order as the petitioner was aware of existence of the daughter and had also undertaken her responsibility.
Dismissing the man’s plea, the Delhi High Court concluded:
Accordingly, we find no infirmity in the view taken by the Family Court that there is no change in the circumstances entitling the appellant for modification of the order. The appeal is, consequently, dismissed.
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- This order may seem reasonable because court has kept the child’s best interest in mind
- However, the order may seem unreasonable for the men, who are made accountable to maintain children from wife’s first marriage, even after the couple has been divorced
- As laymen, most of us do not read up laws before agreeing to get into any form of relationship
- VFMI always suggests that one must at least be aware of all the consequences upon separation, even if you believe it may not happen with you
LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW:
Delhi HC Orders Man To Pay Maintenance For Wife's Minor Daughter From 1st Marriage After Parties Have Divorced
▪️Woman was married to Army man who passed away; she had daughter from him
▪️After remarriage, woman deserted 2nd husband, divorce grantedhttps://t.co/BC6shu5TI2
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) March 6, 2023
Justice S N Dhingra | Former Delhi High Court Judge | Marital Rape | Men Welfare Trust | Sifar
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