RIYADH: Saudi courts have obligated 3,683 divorced fathers to pay a total of SR52 million ($13.86 million) in child and spousal support this year.
“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,” Majed Al-Khamees, media and corporate communication officer at the ministry, told Arab News.
The Kingdom is keen that families live in dignity after divorce, he said, adding: “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.”
There will be no difference in payment amounts for boys and girls, but there will be payment differences regarding age and whether they have special needs, Al-Khamees said.
Families are a key pillar in Saudi Arabia, and the preservation of the dignity of each member is paramount, which is why the courts should give “top priority to these cases,” he added. Those who evade alimony face up to seven years in prison.
According to official statistic, Makkah topped the list of applications submitted to the courts and the enforcement services concerning the provision of maintenance with 1,274 applications worth SR16.5 million, followed by Riyadh with 972 applications worth SR16.4 million and then the Eastern Province with 538 applications.