Divorced Saudi mothers gain new custody rights of their children

By Middle East Affairs

Divorced women in Saudi Arabia no longer have to file a lawsuit in order to gain custody of their children, according to the Saudi justice minister.

As long as there is no conflict between the parents, mothers may simply submit a request to the relevant court, Arab News reports.

“In the past, the mother had to file a lawsuit for the right to custody of her children, and it could take a very long time, which had negative effects on the mother, the family, and particularly the children,” the prominent Jeddah lawyer Majed Garoub told Arab News.

“It was a great strain for the mother, the father would be contesting her over custody, and the case would go the the court of appeal, and it could start all over again. However, now it is radically different. The priority of custody of children goes automatically to the mother.”

Mothers may also carry out legal processes for their children such as at government departments, embassies, education offices and schools.

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