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Divorce makes up one fifth of Kuwait's legal cases

Divorce rates in Kuwait have reached more than 50 per cent and the number is on the rise

Manama: The cases of women filing for divorce made up one fifth of the total cases in Kuwait in 2009, statistics indicate.

"Last year saw the highest number of divorce cases filed by women, reaching 20.3% of the 5,447 cases in Kuwait, according to the figures of the justice ministry," Kuwaiti daily Awan reported.

Most of the divorce cases filed by women were related to abuses and adultery.

Waleed Al Dossari, A Kuwaiti lawyer, told Arab Times that the rate of divorce in Kuwait had reached more than 50 per cent and the number was on the rise.

According to the lawyer, reasons for divorce included the change in the definition of marriage as a whole from the perspective of both men and women.

"Families in Kuwait no longer feel ashamed that their daughter or son is divorced. Some families are actually encouraging their daughters to divorce because sometimes that divorce gives the woman more financial gains than she already has. In Kuwait, it is a huge problem when a man cannot provide a luxurious life to his wife. It is his duty to provide her with the maid, driver, shopping every now and then, and the ability to travel at least once a year. However, not all Kuwaitis are able to provide this kind of lifestyle for their wives and children," he said.

"Another issue is that of cheating. There is a huge increase in the percentage of cheating wives and husbands. It has become so easy for a husband or wife to cheat on each other, especially because marriages are based neither on love nor on respect. The high divorce rate in Kuwait insinuates that we are too spoiled to remain stuck to our marriages," he said.

Al Dossari cited the case of a woman who divorced her husband on their wedding day because she found out at the wedding ballroom that the groom had not made the costly arrangements that she had asked for, and instead chose a reception that cost much less.

"In many cases the reasons are very silly, which makes it very difficult for us lawyers to take any stand on the issue. For example, one woman filed for divorce because she did not like the way her husband made sounds while eating," Al Dossari told the paper.