Divorce rate in Kuwait hits 60 pct ‘Some women forgo rights for freedom’

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 22: ‘Usually, whenever a couple comes to my office to ask for divorce, the wife and husband behave like two enemies who completely hate each other and cannot even bear to stand in the same room with each other. The woman usually tries to file as many cases as possible against her husband to get all the rights she wants, and the man does the same,” says Khaled Al-Dousari, a divorce lawyer at the Mohammad Saleh Al-Sabti Lawyer Office.

Al-Dousari, who started the office in Jan 2007, graduated from the Academic Law Institute of Jordan in 2006. Until today, he has taken nearly 300 divorce cases.


‘One intriguing case involved a woman who divorced her husband because she did not receive the wedding package she was promised before her marriage. The package included a honeymoon tour around Europe with shopping included, a car, and as many servants as she wanted. Unfortunately, due to wedding expenses, the deal could not be fulfilled and the woman simply asked for a divorce,’ Al-Dousari added.

‘In some cases, women seek divorce because they see it as a financial gain. Men are sometimes forced to provide their former wives a house, a maid, a driver and monthly expenses for the wife and her children. In many cases, the reasons for seeking divorce are so silly that it becomes very difficult for us lawyers to take any stand on the issue. For example, one woman filed for divorce because her husband snored and she didn’t like the sounds he made while eating and sleeping,’ said Al-Dousari.

Speaking about the conditions which allow a woman to file for divorce, he said “a woman is granted divorce if she can prove that her husband physically or mentally tortured her. A woman may also file for divorce if her husband abandons her for a period of three months, or if he has not taken care of her needs or that of their children. However, it is here that the problems begin. In many cases, the women can’t prove that her husband abused her and the court in this case will not grant her divorce if the husband refuses to divorce her. There are women who suffered for years before being granted divorce. Sometimes, women give up many of their rights just to attain freedom.”

Al-Dousari says it is very important to educate people on what marriage is really about and he advises parents to bring up their children in such a manner that they realize that there is more to marriage than physical intimacy and material gains. “Marriage is about love and compatibility of two people who wish to spend their lives together for no personal gains, but to share all that they have. The society should be well educated about relationships, marriage and love so that women don’t feel marriage is only about a costly wedding, a car and a honeymoon and men don’t see it as relationship that allows physical intimacy,” he noted.

There should also be a law to educate and protect people because divorce rates in Kuwait are heading up to nearly 60 percent and this is really dangerous. People are not realizing the effect of this on society in general and on children who are growing in broken families, Al-Dousari explained.

If any married couple is facing problems, they should seek counseling before thinking of divorce because counseling helps people understand various aspects of relationships and helps in leading a better married life, he added. 

By: Rena Sadeghi

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