Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
My husband says the child support I get from the government is what covers his part of providing and working for the family. Any income he gets he pays for groceries and bills.
He says he doesn’t have to contribute to anything for kids and me from his actual earnings. Is that right?
I pray you are well.
The default ruling in the Shari’a is that everyone’s maintenance and expenditure comes from their own wealth if they have any – with the exception of the wife. The husband is responsible for financially providing for her even if she is wealthy.
The child support payments could be seen as money given to the parents to spend on the children, so this is where the costs of the child’s needs would primarily be taken from. If the money is not sufficient then the husband has a responsibility to pay the rest. [Qudri Basha, al-Ahkam al-Shar’iyya fi al-Ahwal al-Shakhsiyya]
The bills, the wife’s expenditure, and other costs are his responsibility. This is one of the greatest ways of drawing closer to Allah for someone in this situation. Not fulfilling this responsibility is also a major cause for concern.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “It is shockingly wicked for a person to withhold from those he is to provide for.“ [Muslim]
This is a serious matter. I suggest you speak to his family or a reliable local scholar to get the matter addressed with minimal friction between the two of you.
A marriage can’t be successful in the presence of problems that lead to anger and resentment.
May Allah facilitate all matters for you.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani