Saudi marriage contracts under threat because of paper shortage

One of the officials said as a result of the paper shortage they had to increase their fees

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A number of marriage officials have complained there is an acute shortage of official paper for the documentation of marriage contracts, a claim refuted by the Justice Ministry.

According to Makkah daily, officials in Riyadh, Makkah and Jeddah complained that there was not enough official paper for them in the Shariah courts to write the marriage contracts.

They said the courts were giving them insufficient quantities of paper for more than a year now.

One official, who did not want to be identified, said: “The marriage officials document 20 to 25 marriages every month. This number may increase or decrease depending on the population density of the areas in which they work.”

The officials said every month they ask the Shariah courts for 500 leaves of paper but are only given 20.

They said they had to go through the hassle of going to the courts twice a month to get more paper.

They noted that the marriage paper stores of some of the courts were almost empty and said they would only be given five leaves.

One of the officials, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said as a result of the paper shortage they had to increase their fees.

“My most recent victim of this shortage is a husband who had to pay much to get his marriage documented,” he added.

However, Ibrahim Al-Tayyar, the Justice Ministry’s spokesman, denied any shortage in paper for marriage documents and said the ministry and the Shariah courts had enough supplies. He asked the officials to visit the ministry to get all the supplies they needed.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on May 1, 2014.

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