Source: Flickr

Saudi courts have ordered over three thousand men to fulfill their families' monetary rights this year, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Tuesday.

Enforcement courts across the kingdom have issued orders directing 3,652 men to pay alimony - the legal obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse after separation or divorce - to their divorced or abandoned wives and their children.

As per Islamic Sharia, husbands have a legal and religious obligation to financially support their wives and children, known as the nafaqa. Women are also entitled to spousal maintenance in case of divorce. 

If a husband fails to fulfill these marital obligations, his wife can take the matter to court and demand a court-ordered alimony.

According to a circular issued by Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani last year, Saudi courts consider one's failure to financially support his children as a form of abuse.

Men ordered to pay alimony face penalties, including imprisonment and fines, if they fail to fully comply with court rulings.

Penalties could reach up to seven years in prison for those who do not pay court-ordered alimony, deliberately disrupt the implementation of court rulings, or conceal their money, according to Arab News.

Last year, the family court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah ordered a Saudi man to pay his former wife and their son an overall of SR2.9 million ($773,323) alimony for leaving them for 32 years.