Saudi husbands who refuse to divorce their estranged wives will be brought to the court by force as part of new judicial rules to be effective early next week, the Saudi-based Al-Watan newspaper reported on Tuesday quoting official judicial sources.
The sources said the new system will expedite the consideration of divorce lawsuits filed by wives against their husbands.
They said if the husbands refuse to divorce, pay alimony or give the wives custody over their children, they would be brought to the court by force. The sources said the Ministry of Justice has liaised with the Ministry of Interior to implement this system.
Meanwhile, courts have registered 1,802 cases of husbands asking their estranged wives to return home over the past 12 months, Makkah daily reported.
Riyadh alone registered 668 such cases while Qatif registered only 16 cases.
These cases involved claims by husbands that their wives were resisting them and wanted them to remain at home.
In cases where such resistance is proven as unjustified, the court will usually rule that the wife returns home.
If she still refuses, she will not be forced to return home but will forfeit all her rights, according to Article 196 of the judicial system.
Lawyer Ammar Jastanyah said wives will relinquish their financial rights in such cases but are not obliged or forced to return to their husbands.
(This article was originally published in Saudi Gazette on April 8, 2014)