Divorced Saudi mothers win new rights to child custody

Updated 11 March 2018

Divorced Saudi mothers win new rights to child custody

JEDDAH: Divorced women are no longer required to file a lawsuit to gain custody of their children, provided there are no disputes between the parents.
Mothers may now simply submit a request to the relevant court, without the need for legal action.
The new process was outlined in a circular to the courts from Sheikh Walid Al-Samaani, the minister of justice and president of the Higher Council of the Judiciary.
The circular also gives the mother the right to carry out all formalities related to her children at government departments, embassies, education offices and schools, and to apply for and collect her children’s passports.
She will also be able to collect all child support and maintenance from government and civil entities, but may not travel with her children outside the Kingdom without a judge’s permission.
“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.
“Protracted litigation over custody was hard for the mother, and there were litigation expenses too,.
“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.”


Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 20 October 2019

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”

 

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