In a statement, the Saudi justice ministry said women will now ‘be notified of any changes to their marital status via text message,’ in a move the ministry says is ‘aimed at protecting the rights of female clients.’
The move is part of many reforms being introduced by the justice ministry. Until now women in Saudi could be the last to know they have been divorced, since men often registered divorce deeds at the courts without telling their wives. The new regulation took effect Sunday , and makes it mandatory for a woman to be notified by text message when a court issues her husband’s divorce decree. The move is intended to grant women get their alimony rights when they’re divorced, and means any powers of attorney are issued before the divorce to avoid misuse. Women will be able to confirm their marital status through the ministry's website or at their local court.
The justice ministry circular states that the new service supports their efforts to align with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan for economic and social reforms. As part of these reforms, women have gained more rights, including lifting on the ban on driving and the removal of many restrictions related to gender mixing in the society. Certain restrictions remain, however, including the male guardianship system and travel restrictions.