Answered by: Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani
I have been divorced by my ex-husband and my waiting period (Iddah) time has also come to end. We had been married for 2 years and 9 months; in that time my ex-husband did not give me any money in terms of Nafaqah (expenditure) for myself. I lived with my in-laws so pretty much all other costs were covered, like rent, food etc.
However, I do wish to find out if there is a debt on my ex-husband because he did not spend on me at all. I believe it is upon him to give me Nafaqah (expenditure) during my waiting period also.
It would be very helpful if you could clarify this point on Nafaqah (expenditure) and what it includes?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
It is not obligatory for the husband to pay any unsettled nafaqah of the past, i.e. it is not considered a debt which is due upon him. However, if a judge stipulated a certain amount of nafaqa for the wife, or both spouses agreed upon something (e.g. $200/month), then it would be compulsory for him to settle any unpaid nafaqa of the past.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Kitabul Nafaqaat: p. 51-52 (Zam Zam); Al-Binayah: v. 7, p. 365-366 (Al-Maktaba Al-Haqqania); Fatawa Hindiya: v. 1, p. 573 (DKI); Raddul Muhtar: v. 5, p. 311-312 (Maktaba Imdadia); Al-Bahr Al-Raiq: v. 4, p. 316 (Maktaba Rasheedia)