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.
According to Khalid Abu Rashid, a Jeddah-based lawyer, imprisonment should be the last resort when a man refuses to provide financial assistance to his ex-wife.
“The imprisonment should not exceed 15 days as this will result in him losing his job. According to the law, a government employee does not lose his job if he or she stayed in prison for 15 days. In case of the private sector, 10 days is the maximum limit,” said Abu Rashid.
“The judges need to take this into account before passing sentences because if a man stays more than 15 days in prison he would risk losing his job and thus would not be able to make any payments at all,” he added.
“As soon as a man hears about the possibility of imprisonment he will become cooperative and fulfill all financial obligations because of his social image and this is what we are looking for,” said the lawyer. (link)
*This comes on the heels of KSA going after children left behind by their Saudi fathers*
The Ministry of Interior is trying to locate Saudis who married women and started families outside the Kingdom, then disavowed them, said the Saudi Society for the Welfare of Saudi Families Abroad (Awasir).
The society now can contact the Ministry of Interior to take necessary actions against those who refrain from taking care of their families and children, said Tawfiq Al-Swailim, chairman of Awasir.
The society is sponsoring over 1,550 Saudi families in more than 30 countries, and 940 of them were found only this year, said Al-Swailim.
He said that Awasir is helping those families to correct their legal status by issuing them official papers.
Awasir helped some of the Saudis stranded outside the country to join ongoing scholarships, in addition to the financial aid provided by the society, according to Al-Swailim.
He said members of the society were preparing to visit five countries to closely observe the situation of Saudi families there. These countries are the Philippines, India, Jordon, Egypt and a Gulf country he didn’t specify.
Way to go KSA! Kuwait are you listening?