Saudi courts to notify women of divorce by phone message

Saudi women have only just been allowed to get behind the wheel. Image AAP

Saudi women have only just been allowed to get behind the wheel. Image AAP

Many young Saudis regard his ascent to power as proof that their generation is finally getting a share of control over a country whose patriarchal traditions have for decades made power the province of old men.

The new regulations could help mitigate the problem of so-called "secret divorces", a phrase used to describe the phenomenon of men ending their marriage without informing their wives.

The lawyer said the regulation will ensure women are, firstly, aware of their marital status, and able to protect their rights to alimony, or financial support.

"The new measure ensures women get their [alimony] rights when they're divorced", Saudi lawyer Nisreen al-Ghamdi told Bloomberg.

"This is a very excellent service because previously there have been many cases in which women are divorced without knowing their status", Saudi lawyer Bayan Zahran told a local television channel, the Financial Times reported.

It follows an historic end to the country's decades-old ban on female drivers previous year, and is said to be part of a transformation spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Also, her testimony before a divorce court will only be worth half that of her husband's.

Multiple intelligence agencies have agreed the killing could not have been carried out without the Crown Prince's knowledge and consent, although he has denied any ties to the crime.

The crown prince has lost the worldwide community's esteem since October, when Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by a hit squad closely tied to Mohammad in the Istanbul consulate.

For example, permission to marry must be granted by a guardian otherwise it won't be recognised by a Saudi court.

Other recent reforms in the kingdom include women being allowed to attend football matches and work in jobs traditionally reserved for men.

The office of the Grand Mufti approved 6,163 divorces during the same year, which is an increase of 846 cases compared to 2016.

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