Saudi Personal Law: Wives must be Present if Husband Seeks a Divorce
The prospective amendments to the Saudi Personal Status Law put “abusive men” to the test, after Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani declared that those wishing to divorce could not implement their wishes without the presence of their wives before the courts.
This is a new victory for women, in the multiple package of gains approved by the Ministry of Justice in the last period. The description of “abuse” in its verbal meaning applies to men when they unlawfully use the right to harm others, so that homes have become crowded with divorcees.
With the introduction of smart technologies that dispense with speech in throwing the oath of divorce, the judiciary circles recorded more than one case in which the separation occurred through text messages.
The irony is that the same method that some take as a “divorce oath” is classified as one of the causes that lead to the sad ends of the partner’s life.
Man had no choice but to make his “historic” decision electronically fill out the case sheet form, set an appointment through the judge and attend the appointments department in the court, then attend in person in the absence of the original party in the case, the “wife”.
The matter was resolved by Minister Al-Samaani by obligating him to appear shoulder to shoulder with the divorced woman. The one who wants to divorce is in confrontation with the divorced, so that the judge can make his decision after hearing both parties of the conflict.
According to the words of an Internet mufti earlier, divorce takes place if a person speaks or writes it in a paper or in a phone message as long as he intended to inflict it. In September 2013, a city court ordered the divorce of a wife through “WhatsApp” after the husband sent her a letter confirming “You are divorced” three times.
The wife presented to the court the letter of her husband, who attended and acknowledged that the message was sent from his phone, adding that the message was sent by mistake, and it was not intended to end the marital relationship, but the judge considered it a permanent divorce, and the wife received accordingly a divorce document.
The number of divorce deeds reached 4,566, about half of which were issued from the regions of Makkah and Riyadh.
However the situation will not proceed as it was, after the Ministry of Justice put in place amendments to the Personal Status Law. Men faced their historical responsibilities to make self-determination decisions without slurs, arbitrariness or obstinacy.