Plus, new powers for women lawyers in the Kingdom.
Divorced mothers in Saudi Arabia have just gained a number of rights regarding the care of their children.
Previously, women would need to file a law suit to gain custody of their children following the end of their marriage. Now, they only need to submit a request to their local court, Arab News reported.
The changes were circulated to courts by the Kingdom’s justice minister, Sheikh Walid Al-Samaani.
Al-Samaani also said divorced mothers were entitled to deal with government offices, schools, child support and passport control regarding their children.
Women were still not able to travel outside the country with their children without a court’s permission, Arab News said.
Majed Garoub, a prominent laywer in Jeddah, told the site that the changes would reduce stress and expense on families.
“Protracted litigation over custody was hard for the mother, and there were litigation expenses too… now it is radically different,” he said.
“The priority of custody of children goes automatically to the mother.”
The news comes as it was announced that female lawyers in Saudi Arabia will now be able to act as public notaries.
“Women and men are equal under Saudi law. Granting women various licenses is a matter of equality,” Garoub told Arab News.
Recently, the kingdom has seen many changes under Vision 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious post-oil economic plan which aims to make Saudi a more modern, tourist-friendly destination.
Last September, a royal decree revealed women will be able to secure driving licences from June 2018, with the news widely celebrated around the globe.
As part of the initiative, the government also aims to increase the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 23 per cent to 28 per cent by 2020.
Additionally, more Saudi females have been appointed to top jobs, a royal directive allowed women to use certain government services without a male guardian’s consent, and recent approval was issued for the go-ahead of women’s gyms.