Saudi allows women to sue husbands for permission to travel with children
No husband, no problem: Saudi women can now travel as a legal guardian for their children without their husbands. (Shutterstock)
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The Ministry of Justice has said women can grant travel permission to children under their custody if their fathers refuse to do so.
A source in the ministry said the Supreme Judicial Council ordered all courts in the Kingdom to give priority to cases of mothers suing their husbands or ex-husbands when they do not give travel permission to children under their custody.
“The permission to travel is a legal right of the guardian. However, if the guardian, who is the father of the children even if they were not under his custody, prevents the children from travel, the mother has the right to file a lawsuit against him for preventing the children from traveling as per the mother’s wish,” said the source.
He said such cases are given top priority in courts and are dealt with in the fastest way possible.
“The Ministry of Justice’s General Department of Consultants was studying the possibility of granting travel permission to the mother of the children if they are under her custody and the father would simply receive a phone call regarding the children’s travel. However, the department concluded that the guardian of the children will be the one with the authority of granting them travel permission,” said the source.
The source said all cases should be filed during normal working hours except in emergency cases.
“The defendant is then informed of the lawsuit by delivering a court notice at his place of residence or workplace or to a representative, who can be a relative or colleague at work,” said the source.
The source also said if the defendant or his representative cannot found the notice may be delivered to the district mayor, the police or the head of the tribe where the defendant lives.
“Whoever receives the notification must sign that they have received it. A notice of the delivery is then sent to the defendant with details of where the notification was delivered. If the defendant refuses to receive the notification, a copy of the notification is delivered to the governor’s office,” said the source.
By Fatima Al-Dabyous
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