Wife's Rights After Divorce

Question :

Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum. If a husband divorces his wife, should he maintain her materially? How should the property be divided? Should he maintain their children if they live with the mother after divorce? Thank you.

Answer (Zeinab Al-Awani) :

Wa`alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear sister in Islam, we would like to thank you for your question and the great confidence you have placed in us. May Allah reward you abundantly for your interest in knowing more about the teachings of Islam.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Among lawful things, divorce is most hated by Allah" (Abu Dawud). The spouses should avoid divorce as much as possible. If they have difficulties and problems, they should try to work out their differences and seek help from their relatives, friends, or professional counselors. However, if the differences are irreconcilable, then divorce is permissible, but it should be done in a decent manner and the husband has to maintain his wife during `iddah (waiting period) and his children until they become able to establish and support themselves.

Responding to the question, Zeinab Al-Alwani, an instructor in fiqh and Islamic studies at the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences in Ashburn, Virginia, United States, states the following:

The wife has the right to be financially maintained for three months after final divorce in addition to receiving her deferred dowry. For the division of property, jurists say that if both the husband and wife had shared in building or purchasing their property, it should be divided justly between them.

For the children, the father is responsible for maintaining them until they become able to establish and support themselves. After this, he should continue to support them morally and stand beside them if they need his help financially.

(Source : Islamonline)