Adultery is ground for 10 per cent of the divorce cases in Kuwait

August 17, 2010

Adultery is ground for 10 per cent of the divorce cases in Kuwait, a senior judge has said.

“We have a high divorce rate in Kuwait and there is a need to address the issue promptly,” Dr Adel Al Filkawi said. “Most of the cases are caused by financial disputes, but we also have 10 per cent of the divorce cases linked to adultery,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas.

The personal status law is now 26 years old and there is a need to review it as a result of new social developments, Al Filkawi said.

“The establishment of a family court in Kuwait will help reduce the alarming rate of divorce cases. The court will include psychologists and sociologists who will tackle divorce issues and applications in a bid to decrease their rates,” he said.

The judge said that relations before marriages did not always result in successful unions, explaining that 50 per cent of such cases ended in divorce.

“The problem is that there are divorces that have trivial causes. We have had several cases of people getting married and divorcing within one week. Thanks to modern technology, most couples become knowledgeable about a lot of things,” he said. “However, there is a deplorable lack of funds and they become disillusioned because everything is based on money and they end up divorcing. Most divorce cases are caused by the lack of funds. Alimonies in fact make up around 70 per cent of the post divorce disputes,” he said.

A recent study on divorce rates in Kuwait has concluded that a major cause was the extra benefits received by divorcees.

Under Kuwaiti civil legislation, divorcees are entitled to a car, a housemaid and a chauffeur, as well as alimony and housing payments from their former husbands.

The study, conducted by the parliamentary general secretariat’s research department and published in July, called for the introduction of more premarital counselling programmes for engaged couples to increase awareness about long commitments, responsibilities and duties in marriage.

Annual divorce rate among Kuwaitis has increased from an annual average of 31 per cent throughout the 1980s and 1990s to 35.4 per cent in the past decade, the study indicated.

10 cases daily

Although an average of 30 Kuwaiti men and women get married every day, the study, based on Ministry of Justice records, found that 10 Kuwaitis file for divorce daily. The study said that 65 per cent of divorces occur within the first five years of marriage.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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