I am married since August 2002 and my wife is still living with her parents in Algeria. Who is in charge of the payment of the Zakat Al-Fitr? Personally, I am living in France and I did not succeed to bring my wife regularly (I mean to establish her permanently in France). Should I pay for her or should her father pay?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Every person has to pay Zakat Al-Fitr for himself and for every Muslim on whom he is obliged to provide for. Ibn ‘Umar said that "The Prophet made Zakat of Al-Fitr, which is a Sa'a (2480 grams) of dates or of barely, obligatory on every Muslim, be that a slave, a free person, a male or female." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] The wife is among the persons whom the husband has to provide for, so he has to pay Zakat Al-Fitr on her. This is the opinion of Imaams Shaafi'ee, Ahmad and Maalik .
However, it should be noted that the husband is not obliged to pay Zakat Al-Fitr for his wife unless he is obliged to provide for her and sustain her. Spending on the wife is obligatory if the marriage is consummated. Just signing the contract without consummating the marriage does not obligate the husband to provide for her or pay Zakat Al-Fitr on her.
Therefore, if you have consummated the marriage, or consummation of marriage was arranged and made easy for you but you failed to consummate it, you are obliged to provide for her and pay Zakat Al-Fitr on her. However, if you have not consummated the marriage or it was not made easy for you, or she refused, then you are not obliged to provide for her, or pay Zakat Al-Fitr on her. In any case, if you pay Zakat Al-Fitr on her with her permission, then that suffices her, even if you are not obliged to pay for her. Anyway, Zakat Al-Fitr is not a great expenditure; it is only 2.5 kilograms of rice, wheat or the like.
Allah Knows best.