More Mideast News: Saudi Marriage Contracts

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Agreements on Monday, May 23, 2016.

Speeding into the 21st Century, Saudi Arabian brides will now get a copy of their prenuptial agreements, in the latest women’s rights breakthrough in the kingdom.

Another post from the Middle East. Women can now receive their marriage contracts. Saudi Arabian media is hailing this a “great step forward for women”! The disturbing reality is that Saudi women had no idea about their marriage rights before being wed.

This presented a problem, as women who married secretly have had to face frustrating legal wrangles with their husbands denying their formal relationships.

In some cases, wives have had trouble with the families of their husbands determined to deprive them of their inheritance and other rights following their husband’s death. The women had no formal evidence they got married since they did not have copies of their marriage.

Justice Minister Waleed Al Samaani said that the decision allows women to be fully aware of their rights and of the marriage contract conditions.

Under the minister’s decision, two copies of the contracts are given to the groom and the bride and each must sign to acknowledge they received it.

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements many times. Prenups can address many issues, including: Caring for a parent; Going back to school; Shopping habits; Credit card debt; Tax liabilities; Alimony and child support from previous relationships; and Death or disability.

In Saudi Arabia, the copy of the contract will also allow women to check all the details of the marriage contract, including the prenuptial agreement and the amount of money to be paid in case of divorce or the possibility for the wife to take up a job.

Last week, an Arab woman who got married with a rich Saudi businessman won a legal case against his family following his death after her lawyer successfully proved their formal marriage.

The wife had no copy of the contract and the husband’s family rejected her marriage claims. She eventually won the case when the lawyer was able to convince the two witnesses of the marriage to come forward and give their testimonies.

The 22-year-old woman, from an Arab country, was given SR67 million (about $17.9m) as her share of the inheritance. She and her husband were married for only one month when he had a heart attack and died.

The Gulf News article can be found here.