Manama: Divorce cases were slightly above half of the marriages in Kuwait in the first six months of the year, statistics indicate.

There were 7,138 marriage contracts and 3,751 divorce filings, an alarming ratio of 2:1, the justice ministry said in its semi-annual report.

March topped the months in divorces with 677 cases while January had the lowest figure with 530.

According to the ministry, the major reasons for divorce were the hesitation of the spouses to accept each other and the lack of compassion.

Negligence, the inability to shoulder responsibilities and adultery were also cited among the main causes of divorce in the northern Arabian Gulf state.

The blatant interference of families in the lives of the couples was blamed for the surge in divorce cases, Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas reported on Tuesday.

According to the ministry, a formal end to marriages at a young age should be imposed and massive campaigns to raise awareness about the institution of marriage with its rights and duties should be sustained in the media.

The ministry said society should work on consolidating values and on training young people and women on assuming family responsibilities.

Families should not interfere in the lives of the couples, the ministry suggested as one of the solutions to lower the alarming high figure of divorces.

A commission to reconcile spouses and to bridge gaps between them should be set up, the ministry said.

Kuwait has one of the highest divorce rates in the region.

Several lawyers and sociologists in Kuwait have been calling for rewriting the divorce laws after official figures indicated that the trend in divorces showed an alarming annual increase.

The lawyers said that the Kuwaiti law was a major factor.

“Under the law, a [female] divorcee gets a salary, a house, a car and a maid and at the same time, she is free of all marriage commitments,” the lawyers said. “The phenomenon is widespread mainly among newly-married couples, which denotes that they were not ready for marriage. Their lack of experience and their inability to appreciate the commitments and responsibilities associated with the marriage are the main cause of this phenomenon,” they said.