Saudi women to start receiving divorce notice by text message

Starting from Sunday, courts will be required to notify women by text on rulings confirming their divorces. Photo: Reuters

Women in Saudi Arabia will now be notified about their divorce via text messages.

Starting from Sunday, courts will be required to notify women by text on rulings confirming their divorces. “The new measure ensures women get their [alimony] rights when they’re divorced,” Saudi lawyer Nisreen al-Ghamdi told Bloomberg .

“It also ensures that any powers of attorney issued before the divorce are not misused,” she added. “Some men register divorce deeds at the courts without even telling their wives.”

The regulation will stop Saudi women from being divorced without their knowledge.

Many women in the kingdom had filed appeals to courts over being divorced without their knowledge, another lawyer Samia al-Hindi told local newspaper.

Local female lawyers suggest the measure will end what are known as secret divorces – cases where men end a marriage without telling their wives.

The directive would ensure women are fully aware of their marital status and can protect alimony rights.

Currently, Saudi men don’t need legal justification to divorce their spouses and the breakup of their marriage can take effect instantly.

The new regulations follows a historic end to the country’s decades-old ban on female drivers last year and is said to be part of a transformation spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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