(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia permitted divorced mothers in the country to retain custody of their children without filing lawsuits, provided there are no disputes between the parents, The National reported.
Sheikh Walid Al Samaani, Minister of Justice and President of the Higher Council of the Judiciary, released a circular to the courts officially announcing the new process, said the Ministry of Culture and Information on Monday.
"The Higher Council of the Judiciary has studied the matter and decided that a mother may submit a probate application to the competent court for certifying her custody of her children, provided she signs an acknowledgement of no existing disputes," said a statement.
"For granting custody to a mother, the judicial panel considers her capacity for custody and then determines her application in accordance with Shariah and legal requirements, without the need for initiating a lawsuit, as is the case with all probate certifications indicated in Chapter 13 of the Law of Civil Procedure."
Sheikh Walid said the mother will have the right to do all formalities pertaining to her children at government offices, embassies and education institutions.
Although she will be able to apply for and collect her children's passports, she will not be able to leave Saudi Arabia with her children without the permission of a judge.
This move comes as part of Vision 2030, put forth by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who rocketed to the heights of power from near obscurity after his father became king following the death of King Abdullah in 2015 and is pushing big economic and social reforms.