What should a wife do if her husband has abandoned her but she wants to remarry? By this, I mean that a husband has disappeared without a trace and has been gone for a year. He has not left any maintenance for her. Are his family obliged to pay the maintenance? In any case,the wife now wants to remarry but how can she when she can't divorce him because he is missing?
If the husband is missing, in other words, if there is no word of him and his whereabouts is not known, then the wife should go to the Islamic judge, who can stipulate a specific time period, after which he may be presumed dead, according to whatever he sees fit. If that time period expires without any trace of him being found, then the judge may rule that the husband is presumed to have died, and his wife should observe the ‘iddah of one whose husband has died, which is four months and ten days. After doing that, it will become permissible for her to remarry.