Divorce motives to be studied in Oman
The number of divorces in Oman is substantial, even if figures comparing GCC countries show that the sultanate stands at the bottom of the table. In 2011, a total of 3,805 divorce cases were registered in the country, of these 3,552 involved Omani couples, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information.
Muscat governorate with 755 cases, Dhofar with 705 and North Batinah with 527, recorded the highest numbers. Musandam with 23 was among governorates will lowest number of divorce cases. Of the total 3,805 cases, 70 involved expatriate couples, seven cases involved an expatriate husband and an Omani wife, 75 had an Omani husband and an expatiate wife, 68 involved a GCC citizen and an Omani wife and 33 cases had Omani men married to women from GCC countries. Expert say that divorces not only impact couples but also their children.
Currently, a new study is being conducted by Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) to investigate causes of divorces among Omanis, with results expected by the end of this year. The study, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development, is the first of its kind that will draw results from the entire country.
Statistics show that in 2011 divorce rates reached 37.13 per cent in Kuwait, 34.76 per cent in Qatar, 25.62 per cent in UAE, 24.05 per cent in Bahrain, 20 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 12 per cent in Oman. Dr Auhoud al Bulushi, head of research and studies at the Omani Studies Centre, SQU, had said the issue is a complex one as it impacts not just individuals, but society as a whole.
“Considered by some to be a solution, divorces could be the beginning of a series of complications,” she said. Laila (name changed), a mother of two who divorced in 2011, said, “We opted for divorce because we felt there was no love left in our marriage, but the consequences have not been pleasant.
Both my children don't live with me and I only get to see them on weekends as per court orders. Although, we pretend to be happy, my 14 year old son, ten year old daughter and I are suffering emotionally. I wanted to have custody, but the court ruled in favour of their father.”