Social Media Behind Rise in Divorce in Saudi Arabia

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Social Media Behind Rise in Divorce in Saudi Arabia
Wed 02-11-2016

Around 40,000 divorce certificates were issued in Saudi Arabia in 2015. It means on an average 100 couples were divorced each day, according to official statistics.

Over the past few years, social media and technology have come to play a major role in the increasing divorce rate, with many couples getting a divorce because of disagreements over social media use.

Recently, a Saudi groom filed for divorce two hours after his wedding because his new wife shared their wedding pictures and videos on Snapchat.

He divorced her because he said she broke an agreement that she would not share wedding pictures on social media.

Last year, another Saudi in his 30s, filed for divorce after his wife ignored his messages on WhatsApp, although she read them.

Another couple got a divorce after a fight online between the wife’s brother and the husband on the family’s WhatsApp group.

Many women said that their ex-husbands had divorced them through Whatsapp as well as normal messages.

Some of these women received these messages while their ex-spouses were traveling abroad.

In 2009, in an infamous case, a Saudi man divorced his wife while he was traveling to a Middle East country. The Saudi just informed her that she was no longer his spouse.

Saudi legal consultant, Manal Alshehri, said that divorce can be considerd to be real even through phone messages or any kind of social media.

She added that if a spouse sent the message intentionally, then it would be legally considered as divorce.

Although the way of divorcing through messages and social media is new, the divorce process would take the traditional track.

Alshehri said that the one initiating the divorce must confirm it with the nearest notary and then visit Civil Affairs to update their status from married to divorced.

“About the children, if there are any, if they agreed peacefully about the visiting hours, living and alimony, this will end every right and commitment between two parties and if there are any financial rights between them, it must be finalized but if they didn’t agree, they resort to courts,”Alshehri said.

She mentioned that all women should follow up with the man’s divorcing process until the divorce certificate is issued and the process ends. Yet, if he did not confirm the divorce, she must resort to the court immediately and hire a lawyer.

Source: Saudi Gazette