Alimony evaders in Saudi Arabia face up to 7 years in prison as punishment

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Time: June 28, 2018

Divorced men who avoid paying alimony and do not follow a court sentence will now risk facing a prison punishment that reaches up to 7 years. The ministry of justice said that alimony verdicts are to be taken seriously. The justice minister, Waleed Al Samaani, instructed all relevant entities to put the prison punishment into action against anyone who obstructs, delays or avoids implementing alimony payment verdicts.

The ministry has activated an e-link service between its different departments and SAMA (Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency) in order to have the capacity to deduct an alimony amount each month from bank accounts belonging to those who are sentenced for alimony payments.

According to clause 1/37 from execution list, the execution court will then do a monthly follow up to ensure payments are done on time. This is a process which is seen as a real upgrade to the old procedure when a divorced man is asked to deposit the alimony amount himself for his ex-wife and children each month, which caused a number of delays and issues.

This new procedure is part of the ministry’s move towards protecting women and children and help them know their legal rights . It also aims to limit the abuse towards them by men who refuse to provide financial support to their ex-wives and children.

Recently, Saudi courts issued a number of sentences ordering ex-husbands to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to ex-wives and kids to cover years of expenses that were neglected by those husbands after divorce. The plan to launch an alimony fund was also announced  which ultimately seeks to financially protect women and children.

This article was first published in Al Arabiya English  

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