Q: Is my husband entitled to a share of the child benefits and tax credits, and anything purchased from them during my lifetime and after my death?
I am in the process of making a Shariah Will. I would like to clarify some matters before finalising the will. I live in the United Kingdom.
My situation is that I am married with 4 children, Alhamdulillah. My first child is from another marriage. I bought my property solely from my work wages, maintenance for my first child and other benefits e.g. child benefit, child tax credit and working tax credit.
My husband did not contribute at all whilst purchasing the house; neither did he contribute towards the renovation, loft conversion, buying furniture and appliances. This house was bought mortgage free. The car we own is in my name and it was bought from my wages and my father contributed towards it. I also have a substantial amount of money in my bank account made from my work wages and the children government benefits as stated above. When I bought my property, my husband included his name in the title deed without my consent; I did not say anything as I did not want to hurt his feelings.
My husband’s argument is that he was looking after the 2 children for 3 and a half years when I went to work. I am currently on career break for my fourth child and has always worked part-time (school hours only) so I can be at home when my children returns home from school. My husband did not have a job then as he is from abroad and was unable to find a job whereas I was already in a well-paid job when married to him. He says that he should receive all of the children’s government benefits and my first child’s maintenance monies.
My questions are:
- According to Sharia, does my husband have a share in the property?
- Was my husband correct in including his name in the property?
- Am I allowed to keep and use my children’s benefit monies on us (i.e. taking them on holiday etc.) or do I need to give them to my husband?
- Do I need to give my first child’s maintenance monies to my husband?
- After my deceased, according to shariah, would my husband be entitled to a share in the property which was brought from my work wages and from my children’s benefit money and child maintenance money?
- If yes, would it be one quarter share of the full value of the property or will he have a share in more than half of the property (three quarter) as his name is on the title deed?
- Will he have a quarter share from my bank savings made from my work wages and my children’s monies, bearing in mind that he has not contributed anything?
- If he is entitled to a share, then how to distribute it as the children’s government monies is also in the property and in my bank account?
- My concern is that, after my deceased, if my husband gets re-married, I do not want his wife or the children he has had from that marriage to have any share in the property that was from my wages and my children’s monies as he did not contribute a penny. I also heard that his parents would have a share in his estate too (if alive). I worked very hard to accumulate all of the above for my children purchased and did not spend much on myself. I want my children to inherit all the above (apart from bequest to Muslim charities) as there was no contribution from my husband. Is this permissible in Shariah?
- The other concern is that I do not want my husband to have to leave the property either until he is deceased. I would like for him to be able to live in the property, should he wish to do so, until he is deceased then for my children only to inherit the property. Is this allowed in Shariah?
My husband has a substantial amount of savings which he has invested abroad and is under his brother’s name.
Please inform me whether the above mentioned is permissible in Shariah. If not, how can I make the will according to Shariah bearing my children full interest in mind. I am so confused.
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: Child Benefit is paid to the parent who is deemed to have care of the child [usually the mother]. Thus, any child benefit received by the parent [usually the mother] is the property of the parent. Similarly, Child Tax Credit is also paid to the parent who is deemed to have care of the child [and again this is usually the mother] and any such benefit received is the property of the parent. Working Tax Credit is given to the working parent and again is the property of the parent. From what you have described, the property and all other items mentioned were purchased by you with your own money and thus are your own property. Your husband does not have a share. Thus:
1. Your husband does not have a share in the property.
2. It was incorrect for your husband to include his name on the title deeds without your consent. In any case, inclusion in the title deeds does not constitute ownership according to Islam. Ownership is vested in the actual buyer of the property.
3. You are allowed to keep all three benefits and use them on yourself and your children. You are under no obligation to give them to your husband.
4. You husband has no right the maintenance monies of your first child.
a. Your husband would be entitled to a share in the property [and all other assets of your estate].
b. The share would be one quarter of the value of you the whole property [and all other assets of your estate].
7. Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits belong to the parent with care and not the children although they are received because of the children. Thus, they will form part of the estate.
8. No. Your husband will be entitled to his share and this cannot be abrogated. If he does inherit from you and then subsequently dies his own heirs will inherit from him and this may include a wife and children from another marriage.
9. No. As explained in no. 8.