Compensation for wives of drug addicts

Compensation for wives of drug addicts

Samar Al-Mogren

Samar Al-Mogren

MANY women have spoken to me on the need to get compensation for women married to drug addicts. Many young women were shocked to learn that their husbands, whom they married with tremendous expectations, were addicted to drugs. A man’s drug addiction endangers the lives of his wife and children. Consequently, she demands for divorce.

When the man refuses to divorce she resorts to khula, a form divorce in Shariah which allows a woman to get separated from her husband by paying part or full of the dowry she had received from him.

I believe that the authorities should revise the law that addresses such cases so that women married to drug addicts would get suitable financial compensation. At present, such women have to pay compensation to their husbands when they demand divorce through khula.

The situation of women is pathetic. They wait for their future groom to knock at their doors but the success of their married life depends on luck. Some of them will be lucky to have a happy married life while many others will be disappointed and suffer throughout their nuptial life.

One will come to the true character of the life partner only after starting to live with him or her. It will take a long time for a wife to know many things about her husband though she will be able to discover certain other things soon after the marriage.

A woman married to a drug addict by chance deserves the right to divorce him with compensation, not khula, which allows her addict husband to get compensation.

I would like to propose that the premarital medical tests, which have been made mandatory, should include drug tests. This will help save many marriages in our country from failure.

Young women would not be able to find out their husbands are drug addicts in the beginning of their married life. In most cases, they would discover it after giving birth to a child. After that they begin their court battle to get divorce and alimony and our courts are full of such cases.

Parents and guardians should check the mental state of the groom before finalizing the marriage of their daughter to save her from future troubles I have received several complaints from women about mentally ill husbands. Women marry such men and give birth to children without knowing about his condition. When she discovers his illness and demands divorce, she confronts the fact that she has to return the dowry and other expenses.

Obviously, a divorced woman gets custody of her child in normal cases. But we don’t know what will be the situation when her husband is a mental patient and poses a threat to her and her children. In some cases she would not be given custody while in some others the husband’s father or brother gets custody. It all depends on her luck and the discretion of the judge.

Such painful cases are taking place in our society and we receive complaints directly from those women who suffer from such problems. This demands quick review of laws governing such cases in order to ensure justice for women and children who are the weakest members of our society.