Saudi Arabia's soaring divorce rates have forced young Saudi girls to opt for pursuing higher education rather than getting married at an early age.
Divorce cases increased to more than 30,000 in 2012, averaging 82 divorces per day, or 3 divorces an hour.
The study, conducted by the economic research unit at Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper, showed that there are 2.5 divorce cases for every 1,000 men above 15.
"Divorce rates in the Kingdom are alarmingly high. To put an end to that, young couples must attend marriage counseling sessions before getting married," says Dr. Aliyah Hani Hashim, a Jeddah-based marriage counselor.
"Having a certificate from a marriage counselor prior to getting married should be made obligatory. This will ensure a better understanding of the responsibilities spouses have toward one another," she said.
Hashim adds that the rate of divorce among youth is definitely on the increase and that many couples are getting divorced after only one or two years of marriage.
In earlier reports, the Ministry of Economy and Planning confirmed that while courts and marriage officials register around 70,000 marriage contracts annually, they also process more than 13,000 official divorce papers.
The study also showed that the Kingdom ranked 2nd among GCC countries for the highest divorce rates after Bahrain, where the rate stands at 2.7 cases for every 1,000 people.
The same study showed an upward trend in divorce cases in 2012 compared with 2010, when divorce cases amounted to 75 a day.
Source: Al Bawaba