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Divorced Moms Win Better Child Custody Rights Saudi Arabia

Divorced Moms' Child Custody Rights Just Got Better in Saudi Arabia

Ask any divorced parents and they'll tell you everyone suffers when it comes to a breakup – the parents are struggling to adjust to their new status and the children are trying to make sense of it all.

And if you were a divorced woman in Saudi Arabia, things were a lot worse, up until recently.

By virtue of being divorced, Saudi women have had to fight for custody of their own kids. But for this religious, conservative and extremely theocratic country, the recent slew of reformed laws pertaining to women, may be considered major strides in women's rights.

As of now, a divorced mother (provided that there are no disagreements between her and her ex) need only submit a request to court to be granted custody, as opposed to filing a lawsuit and going through a costly, lengthy and emotionally fraught legal battle – which is what was done in the past, Arab News has said.

The revised rule will also allow mothers to take charge of tedious, run-of-the-mill procedures in government departments, embassies, and schools. Child support will be collected from the government, a relief to those with tardy exes.

What she still cannot do, is leave Saudi without a judge's permission. Funnily enough, this pesky rule still applies in what is perceived as progressive Arab countries such as Egypt and Jordan, as well as other gulf countries.

It is still unclear (but doubtful) whether these amendments will include non-Saudi and non-Muslim women, who currently aren't granted custody of their children simply because they're foreigners.

Seems like Saudi reforms still have some way to go.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Grace Hitchcock
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