Decision to grant mothers with children custody rights welcomed

Updated 05 November 2014

Decision to grant mothers with children custody rights welcomed

Many Saudi activists welcomed the judicial authority’s decision to grant mothers with custody guardian rights. The Kingdom’s Supreme Judicial Council obliged courts ruling in custody cases, to include the right to guardianship for divorced women who were granted custody.
The council’s decision will make these mothers’ lives easier as the decision enables women with custody to go to the Civil Authority, passports department, embassies, education departments, and schools to finalize all issues related to their children, whether in governmental departments or civil ones.
The only part the decision excludes. is the right to travel with the children outside the Kingdom which requires a Saudi judge’s order. “The request to travel with the child under custody will be treated as part of the urgent matters in accordance with articles 205, 206 of the Sharia pleading system,” the decision stated.
Journalist Maryam Al-Jabir from Al-Riyadh newspaper considered the decision the loudest show of support to Saudi women, and said it worked in favor of families across the Kingdom by supporting mothers.
She added that divorced women suffer immensely in court due to the lack of a personal status law or an executive judiciary to achieve Saudi women’s aspirations of obtaining the rights of custody and achieving domestic stability. According to Al-Jabir, in case of marital disputes on custody issues, many cases remain hanging in courts, unresolved, because of the husband’s procrastination which negatively impacts children, their education and their sense of stability.
Supervisor of the Human Rights Commission in Aseer, Dr. Hadi Al-Yami, said that this humanitarian decision comes as a result of the judicial institutions’ attention to the promotion of social responsibility and willingness to solve problems faced by divorced women and their children. He said the judicial authority observed the arbitrariness of some couples and the way they control the fate of the children by threatening not to complete the legal procedures in registering them in educational institutions, health facilities and others. “This affects the children’s future and might harm their psychological and social stability,” Al-Yami added.
He described this decision as historic, because it gives divorced women broad powers in governmental and non governmental departments.
Wafa Al-Falaqi, a mother in a similar situation, said that people going to court for divorce and custody matters have it the hard way. Even though Al-Falaqi had a court judgment of custody over her daughter, she hasn’t been able to execute the decision for eight years. “My husband is manipulating the issue and delaying the execution of the judge’s order, which makes the Supreme Court’s decision really important for many mothers like me,” she told Arab News.
Dr. Ali Al-Shoabi, Director of The Human Rights Association, told Arab News that the decision comes in light of the growing problems women face after a ruling is made. “Some husbands try to bargain on their ex-wives right to custody by hiding their children’s identity cards, which poses more pressure on mothers,” he explained.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman touches down in India

Updated 11 min 20 sec ago

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman touches down in India

NEW DELHI: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in India on Tuesday for the second stage of his Asia tour.

His plane touched down at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi shortly after 8.45 p.m. local time.

The crown prince is expected to announce a $1 billion investment in India’s infrastructure and farming sectors during his first visit to the nation.

Prince Mohammed is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and various other ministers and officials.

He is accompanied by leading Saudi businessmen and officials.

India is hoping the crown prince will announce an investment in its National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a sovereign wealth fund that includes private companies and foreign investors.

The Kingdom is India’s top energy supplier and home to more than 3.5 million Indian expatriates.