Rights of an American Saudi Wife in Saudi Arabia

The following recently appeared on a newsgroup forum and provides valuable information where a lawyer within Saudi Arabia answered some questions which were posed by American women married to Saudis:

A while back ago, a friend and I decided to ask a lawyer these kinds
of questions, just to know where we would stand if something like
thiis ever happened to us. Just so you know…we hated the answers.

You, as an american, can leave any time. Of course kids are another
story. in the event of a husbands death,If you have a son who is 21
(or 18 not sure) he may leave with you. Any son under that age stays
with current muhram. Any daughter no matter what age stays with muhrram.

What if we build a house but put it in my sons name?
If the event of your husbands death happens before the boy is an adult
then the in laws have the right to claim it and
do with it as they please.

What if we build a house in MY name? (i’m half saudi)
The house would belong to you. No one would have any say in it.
However, the in laws could go to court and fight the fact that they do
not want their grandchildren to be raised in a home without a man in
it for reasons such as safety,
men, emergencies, etc. The judge will side with them. They will either
force you to move out, or sell your house and move in with your in
laws (or wherever the inlaws want you to be near them) or keep your
house and your in laws take the kids.

What if my husband wrote a document stating in his death i am allowed
to leave with my kids at any time?
The muhram still has to allow it.

What if my husband dies and I choose to remarry in saudi?
The in laws will keep the kids and you go over and visit.

What if my husband makes a will and signs everything over to me?
The judges here do not look at wills as they go by sharia and still
divide everything equally.

what if I co own some kind of property with my husband who dies?
his share will be distributed as the judge sees fit to his family.

What if my ex saudi husband dies? will I then have custody?
No, his father or brother will.


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