The government of Saudi Arabia is considering a new law that would put deadbeat dads in jail. The jail sentence would be limited to 10 or 15 days as the intent is not to have the man fired from his job and thus unable to make his payments. At present, it is far too easy for men to simply walk away from wives or families. They can duck court appearances and delay the legal process for years while those they were supposed to support languish in poverty. The proposal, as can be expected, is being applauded by women’s support groups.
Another part of the proposal would allow women to collect their alimony and child support directly from a government agency which would then be responsible for collecting from the former husband and father. Currently, women must go — individually — to the police to enforce payment.
Jail sentence for denial of child support widely hailed
Fatima Muhammad | Saudi Gazette
JEDDAH — A proposal to impose prison sentences against men who refuse to pay alimony and child support to their ex-wives has been widely welcomed by divorcees and lawyers who represent them.
Al-Mawadda Charity Association, which is campaigning to reduce the high divorce rate in the Kingdom, has proposed the new legislation.
The proposal has been considered favorably by the Ministry of Justice, which has sent it to the higher authorities for approval. Once approved, the ministry will enforce the new law with the cooperation of security bodies.
Princess Sara Bint Musaid, the chairwoman of Al-Mawadda, told local newspapers that the proposed law will give judges the power to imprison any man who delays financial assistance or does not disclose his sources of income.