Divorcing in Saudi Arabia

Hello everyone,

Reaching the decision to seek divorce can be hard. Filing the papers as an expat in Saudi Arabia can be as taxing since a good grasp of legislations is needed and the process can prove to be tedious.

Where and how do you apply for a divorce in Saudi Arabia? How long does it take for the process to be completed?

If the couple has children, which measures can be taken in order to protect their interests?

Which procedures should be completed so that the divorce is legally recognized in the country of origin?

How is divorce viewed in Saudi Arabia?

Being away from one's home country and loved ones, what advice do have for staying strong emotionally and mentally in this situation?

Thanks for sharing your experience.


as i know , you can go direct to the Shari'a courts you and your husband with two Witnesses
and make the divorce then you have to go to ur embassy
you must transfer your iqama if u r in ur husband iqama
kids under 18 will stay with u

Divorce is painful and lengthy process here, just like any other country i think.
Divorce case is filed in court by husband or wife. There are special courts in each city who listen to it. Such cases can also be registered online through the portal.
Couple are asked to visit court and both parties are heard and then transferred to "compromise department". there they are both asked to sit again and staff tries to reach an agreement between them. If anyone doesnt speaks arabic, court provides a translator.
If there are children, they are kept with mother by law. Father gets the visiting rights and must provide for the monthly expense of the family. Father's income is taken into consideration.

Dear Diksha

Sorry i not really sure how the divorce application process works in saudi arabia.

But for sure VFS global can help you with this.


Divorce is difficult and expensive and exhausting everywhere. But in KSA it’s especially difficult especially if you are a woman. If u are expat married to expat my best advice to women is be patient and get divorce in your own country because you will be at high risk to lose your children, you are not eligible for alamony and if you get kids...your maximum child support is SR 2,000/mo per child with absolutely no social services nextwork to help you. In past it’s taken eight years for some of my female friends to get their divorce and custody suit settlement.
While under new rulers women’s right to children and child support has been significantly better, it really depends on how much of a jerk your ex wants to be.
In many cases expat and Saudi women lose custody of their children even when spouse is avisive or drug addicted. In these cases kids can be awarded to mother in law.
Also please note minors under 21 can not leave country without fathers permission no matter who has custody. ( this is a very recent and very major improvement to old system where girls were never allowed to leave country without permission from their father)
Best Advice...Tread carefully, quietly and best not marry Saudi or divorce in Saudi. But above all realize no matter where you are, divorce is actually hell!!! Do your best to love your spouse and communicate lovingly with your spouse. We all face same trials at some point in marriage: infidelity, money issues, betrayal, abuse, loss of intamacy, lack of love or effection. But marriage is about getting through it, asking for help from professionals before issues build up and finding new ways to love each other. But it take two and it will not always be 50/50, but it’s about pulling through these trials to find true 💗 best of luck

Hi Diksha,

The last question is of particular interest to me because I am in the process of finalizing my divorce and will be moving to SA next month. I have three young adult children who I am leaving behind here in the US. I've never been apart from them before and I don't know anyone in SA.

Sorry I have no experience regarding it

That's nonsense,
I don't know why someone would lie and deceive others for no reason.

Have you been through divorce in KSA??? Because I have and unfortunately half the ladies in my compound have been and this is our experience. It’s getting better, but reality is what it is!

First of all, my deepest sympathies for your situation. As a male, I cannot begin to know how difficult it is for a woman in Saudi Arabia who wants to make decisions. And I'm sure it is even harder when you are an expatriate. If you are at all able to, I would suggest talking to a lawyer who is well-versed in Saudi marriage laws. I don't know much Saudi marriage laws, but some expatriates have told me that Saudi males can almost walk away from an unwanted spouse. My advice is, don't trust anything that anyone tells you, if that person is not a legal expert! Talk to a legal adviser.
  For staying strong mentally and emotionally, I can certainly say from personal experience that established hobbies make for the best cathexis. Don't think of divorce as a failure; instead, treat it as the first step in moving forward with your life. Continue to engage in all of the things you do in life (including hobbies), and continue to be the person who makes positive changes in her life.

As many friends wrote that takes divorce in Saudi Arabia is difficult to get.
But the way is available through government rules.
And Will take 2 years maximum.
There are 3 talaqs
Each talaq need 6 to 8 months
If client has prove against husband.

For applying to get divorced go to court which located on thumama road riyadh

First of all, you are sponsored by your husband or another? if you are sponsored by your husband Government will send on exit.

if you are sponsored by another, just go to your Embassy and register the divorce there and split from your husband in another place to live.

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