Unmarried Daughter entitled to claim Maintenance.


Author: Saloni Bansal


  • A person is entitled to basic amenities of life like food, clothing, shelter and another necessary requirement to live a dignified life. The maintenance law in India lays down the duty of a man to provide maintenance to his parents, wife and children.
  • Law of maintenance in India gives the procedure as to how to claim for a child and for the wife in India.


Hindu Adoption And Maintenance Act:-

  • Section 20 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act imposes an obligation upon the parents-mother and father, both equally to maintain the children both legitimate and illegitimate.
  • The right of maintenance for the daughter is extended until she gets married. The parents are obliged to bear her marriage expenses.
  • However even after marriage a minor married daughter, if she is unable to maintain herself then she can claim for maintenance under section 125 of CrPC.


Muslim Personal law:-

  • Under the Muslim personal law, 1937 legitimate (minor as well as major) and illegitimate children are not entitled to claim maintenance but under Section 125 Crpc they can claim maintenance from their father except a married daughter.


  • A Muslim father is under an obligation to maintain his sons until they attain the age of puberty and the daughter till she gets married.


An unmarried daughter is entitled to claim maintenance from her parents.


But the question arises that:

Can a daughter claim for maintenance from her Father after the divorce of her parents?


  • An unmarried daughter is entitled to claim maintenance from her father if her parents are divorced.
  • Justice Bharti Danger said a woman can file an application on behalf of her daughter to seek maintenance.



       Agnes lily Irudaya Vs. Irudaya Kani Arsan

  • In this case, Bombay High Court was hearing a petition filed by city-based woman challenging the family court’s order, dismissing her application seeking maintenance from her estranged husband for the couple’s 19-year-old daughter.
  • The couple married in 1988 and separated in 1997.
  • Till the time the children were minors, their father paid monthly maintenance for each child. However, after the daughter turned 18, the father refused to pay maintenance for her.
  • Her mother claimed though her daughter had attained majority she was still financially dependent on her as she was pursuing higher education.
  • Justice Danger in her ruling said past judgement had held that an unmarried major daughter could also seek maintenance if she was not financially independent.


Can a major daughter claim maintenance?

  • A major unmarried daughter can also claim maintenance.

In Noor Saba Khatoon vs. Mohd. Qasim, in this case, the daughter attained majority, she was held entitled to claim maintenance from her father.


  • The Court further referred to apex judgement in Jagdish Jugtawat vs. Manju Lata and others. Which held that the right of a minor girl for maintenance from parents after attaining majority till her marriage is recognized in section 20(3) of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act.


What are the conditions for granting maintenance?

  • The person from whom maintenance is claimed must have the ability to pay maintenance. Ability Means being annoyed, owning land, having a source of income or having a healthy body capable of work.
  • The person must have neglected the claimant or refused to pay maintenance.
  • Persons claiming maintenance must be a person unable to maintain themselves .if the pet is healthy, adequately educated or capable of pursuing gainful employment no maintenance can be given.


If the maintenance can be given to the unmarried daughter then what is the amount of maintenance that can be given?

  • Maintenance orders under section 125 can be heard only by the judicial magistrate of the first class. She can order a monthly allowance of maintenance that she deems just a fair.
  • This is usually decided after considering the income of the person, the standard of living that is consistent with the status of the claimant and the separate earnings if any of the claimant.
  • Maintenance is payable either from the date of the order of payment or from the date of application for maintenance, depending on the court’s judgement.
  • An unmarried daughter gets the maintenance from her parents until she gets married.