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Divorced Saudi fathers ordered to pay $14m in alimony

Divorced Saudi fathers ordered to pay $14m in alimony

The Ministry of Justice ordered 3,683 men to pay up or face time in jail

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice has ordered 3,683 divorced fathers to pay a total of SAR52m ($13.86m) in child and spousal support this year.

According to local daily Arab News, the ministry’s media and communication officer, Majed Al Khamees, said: “Each month, a divorced father is obliged to pay for each of his children and the mother. The amount varies with each family, and considers the father’s financial capability and monthly salary.”

He added that there will be no difference in payment amounts for boys and girls, but that there would be differences depending on age and whether they have special needs.

Those who evade alimony will face up to seven years in prison.

“The Justice Ministry sent a circular to all the courts, stating that any father who does not pay child support will face the same consequences as domestic violence,” added Al Khamees.

Official statistics show that Makkah has had the highest number of applications submitted to the courts and enforcement services, with 1,274 applications worth SAR16.5m ($4.4m). Riyadh received the next highest amount, with 972 applications worth SAR16.4m ($4.37m), followed by the Eastern Province with 538 applications.

In January, the Saudi Press Agency reported that the Ministry of Justice had implemented a new regulation whereby women would be notified by text message that they are divorced, ensuring they are not divorced without their knowledge, and that they are provided with alimony rights.

Read Saudi women to be notified about divorce by text message

Current regulations permit men to legally divorce women with a verbal statement, with the decision finalised later in a court. Under the new system, the text message will provide the divorcee details about the divorce document and the court that issued it.

 

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