I am a Muslim man married to a Muslim woman for five years. I have two sons, ages 3 and 4. My question is that I am currently at a conflict with my wife and she is asking for a divorce without any reason. If she asks for divorce and I do not want to divorce, does the court order a divorce for her? And if she gets a divorce, how long will she have custody of the children? How much alimony do I have to pay? Please advise.
To answer this question, I would advise the following:
1. As per article 118 of the Personal Status Law, if the prejudice is not established and the wife has no reasons for divorce, the lawsuit shall be rejected, and if the discordance is still continuing between the spouses, then the aggrieved party may file a new lawsuit.
If the Family Orientation Committee and the judge were not successful in reconciling them, the judge shall issue a judgment appointing two arbitrators. The two arbitrators have to find out the reasons of discordance and deploy efforts to reconcile differences between the spouses.
If the two arbitrators fail to reconcile the spouses, the court shall present the arbitrators’ recommendations to the spouses and invite them to reconcile before issuing the judgment of separation taking into consideration whether the offence is entirely or partially on the husband’s part or the wife’s part and separation is sought by the wife or by the husband, or by both of them.
After all, it is the court estimation to decide divorce or not, as per the circumstances of the case, the claim requests and the evidences made.
2. The right of women to fosterage of a child shall end upon his reaching the age of 11 years, if a male, and 13 years, if a female, unless the court deems that extending this age to the age of maturity, for the male, and up to her marriage, for the female, is in his/her best interest. The fosterer’s right to fosterage is forfeited as per Article (152) in the following instances:
a) Derogation to one of the conditions stated in Articles (143) and (144).
b) In case the fosterer elects a domicile in another city thus making it difficult for the tutor to attend to his duties.
c) Should the person entitled to fosterage keep silent and do not claim this right for a period of six months without excuse.
d) Should the new fosterer live with the one whose fosterage has been forfeited for a reason other than physical disability.
3. The court decides how much alimony shall be paid taking into consideration the possibilities of the debtor thereof, the circumstances of the beneficiary and the economic situation, in place and time, provided it does not fall below the sufficiency level as per Article 63 of the law.