10,000 cases a year…Khal` is the curse of men in Algeria?

In recent years, Algeria has seen a significant increase in the divorce rate, which reaches 10,000 divorces per year, under the pressure of a group of factors that lead to the breakdown of the family bond.

Official statistics, released by Algerian Justice Minister Abd al-Rashid Tabi, revealed that 44,000 cases of dislocation and divorce occurred in the first half of this year, an average of 240 cases per day, and 10 cases per hour. , after being in the range of 100,000 in 2020 and 2021, before reaching 68,000 in 2019.

The Algerian minister said, during his answer to oral questions in the National Assembly, that statistics on high divorce rates and the possibility of revising the laws governing the issue show different rates of divorce cases compared to cases of divorce by mutual consent or divorce of the spouses, noting that any restriction will to make divorce decisions a divorce, and called on experts to study the reasons behind the widespread phenomenon of divorce in general at a time when divorce cases were being linked. with modern marriages.

What are the reasons that force Algerian women to end their married life, and they are the ones who most often seek psychological and family stability?

Khula in Islam

From a legal perspective, khula’ can be defined as a woman’s voluntary dissolution of marriage, in accordance with Article 54 of the Family Law as amended by Regulation 05/02, and in accordance with Article 54 in the implementation of the principle of equality between men and women.

Article 54 of the Family Law states: “A woman can divorce him without his consent with monetary compensation.” This article gives the wife the personal right to unilaterally terminate the marital relationship through divorce without the need for the husband’s consent or even without considering the reasons.

Islamic law gave a man the right to divorce as a solution to which he could resort if he saw that marriage did not achieve the meaning of peace, mercy and affection, based on evidence from the Holy Qur’an: “Divorce is twice, then grasping with kindness or letting go with kindness, and it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them until they fear that they will not live.” The boundaries of God, and if you are afraid that they will not uphold the boundaries of God, then they are not to blame for what she redeemed him with.” In return, God allowed the Muslim woman to divorce, giving her husband what she took from him, or more or less, so that he divorces her. .. If you are afraid that they will not keep God’s boundaries, then do not blame them for what she bought.”

Reasons and factors

Reaching 10,000 divorce cases a year raises several questions, first of all: What are the reasons that force women to end their married life, when they usually seek psychological and family stability despite all the surrounding circumstances?

There is no doubt that motives for khula’ differ from one woman to another, according to many reasons, including religious and moral motives and financial situation.

Samia, in her thirties, from Algeria, was forced to divorce her husband, 10 years after marrying him without children, due to a health problem that her ex-husband suffers from and requires medical attention. She told Raseef22 about this experience: “We got married after a love story brought us together. In short, right after I graduated and started working.”

“After a short marriage, I was surprised by the change in his behavior. He knew how to hurt me with his words, curse and swear when he was angry, and when I tried to defend my rights, he would hit me. Each time, he began to develop and each time he simply apologized, but whenever I was alone, I remembered and cried a lot because my dignity was violated and I feel disgusted with myself.”

Samia recalls: “These circumstances prompted her to consider separating from her husband, because she could no longer bear the reality she was living in, especially after he tried to force her to stop working, which she completely refused, so she decided shorten court proceedings and recourse to divorce.”

Rima, one of the women who found no other way to break free than to resort to divorce after her husband refused to divorce her.

Rima told Raseef22: “She initially filed for divorce after realizing the impossibility of married life, but was rejected because she did not give clear and convincing reasons for the divorce, so she resorted to filing a court petition for divorce. The equivalent of $1,000 she pays her husband for your freedom.”

Simplicity of procedures

“There are several factors behind the spread of the divorce phenomenon in Algerian society, including the ease of divorce proceedings compared to divorce proceedings.”

This is how lawyer Farida Si Abdullah began her speech to Raseef22, and added: “Divorce requires only four sessions, and the first session is usually devoted to reconciliation, and if the wife refuses to change her attitude, the decision is made in the second or third session, especially if agreement on the amount to be paid.” it will pay off for the husband.”

In case of disagreement, the lawyer calls for “the intervention of the judge who will rule in a certain amount depending on the dowry paid to the wife. As for divorce, the period of litigation is extended and in some cases reaches several months. The Algerian legislator obliged the judge to try to reconcile in to the family law as amended in article (49), which stipulates that divorce is not determined except by a judgment after several attempts at reconciliation by a judge, without exceeding a period of three months starting from the date of filing the lawsuit, as regulated by the Civil and Administrative Procedure Act in Articles (431) and (439) to (448), however, jurisprudence and the judiciary differed on the scope of their obligations, as well as the effect of the judge’s omission or failure to undertake this procedure leading to the invalidity of the decree of divorce, divorce, divorce or consensual divorce , and between those who see the opposite and that the attempt at reconciliation is not considered a fundamental procedure and does not lead to the annulment of the divorce judgment there are marriages.

“There are several factors behind the spread of the divorce phenomenon in Algerian society, the most important of which is the simplicity of divorce proceedings compared to divorce proceedings.”

Family law on the dock

Others put the Algerian family law in the dock, and lawyer Farida Si Abdullah says: “The increase in the phenomenon of husband divorce is a disaster that has been greatly contributed to by the family law that made divorce happen without the husband’s consent.” , so a woman has an advantage over a man from a legal point of view.” One of the main reasons for the expansion of the phenomenon.

“What is written in Article 54 of the Family Law has given women great strength and confidence, and it is worth noting that many cases referred to the courts are not based on serious reasons.”

What is currently needed, according to lawyer and human rights activist Farida Si Abdullah, is to identify cases that prove the impossibility of continuing the marriage relationship, and at that moment the woman can resort to dissolution of the marriage relationship.

This is a proposal made by former parliamentarian, Fatima Saeedi, during the 2017/2021 parliamentary term. (eighth legislative term), since she proposed the addition of a new article related to Article 54 bis, which states the following: “If the judge finds out about the wife’s abuse in seeking a divorce, he can order the divorced man to pay compensation for the damage suffered in the case of a Decision.”

The aim of this proposal, former parliamentarian Fatima Saeedi told Raseef22: is to limit the arbitrary practice in the exercise of the right to divorce by giving the right to compensation to the spouse affected by this procedure, provided that this amendment is accompanied by another amendment that includes the creation of a “Family Reconciliation Commission”, and it will be managed by an imam, a specialist in psychology and a specialist in sociology, while providing what this means requires in terms of providing time and space conditions that prepare an atmosphere of reconciliation, which can only be achieved in an appropriate place outside the corridors of justice, and before resorting to filing a lawsuit , with the condition of reconciliation. As a necessary and preventive condition for the acceptance of any lawsuit for the dissolution of the marriage union, bearing in mind that the establishment of this body requires the adoption of its own law, which includes the manner of its establishment, its work and regional jurisdiction.

What is needed today?

This opinion is supported by the legal researcher of Algerian law, Siddik Bounaama, who suggests “assigning the task of judging family cases in general, and especially in cases of divorce and divorce, to judges with the establishment of a group consisting of assistants with extensive knowledge of jurisprudence and Islamic legislation who have advisory voice and judge’s assistants in legal matters.

As for the legal researcher in Algerian law, Siddik Bounaama, the first observation and statistically inductive reading, we find that the phenomenon of khula was not known in its current quantitative size, before the issuance of the Algerian Family Law issued in 2005, which amends the Algerian Family Law issued in 1984.

Regarding the reasons behind the increase in divorce cases, Bounaama told Raseef22: “What the Algerian judiciary has decided with its decisions is that judges automatically and without any discretionary powers respond to divorce petitions regarding the wife’s right to divorce or not, given that the nature of law is voluntary law.” As for marriages, and as for the role of judges, they should automatically examine applications for khul’, without diligence on their part.”

“This matter indicates that the inclusion of khul’ on the basis of Article 54 of the Family Law as a voluntary right, according to the judicial assessment of the Supreme Court adopted by the Algerian legislator, is one of the reasons that triggered the adoption of this solution by a woman without any legal controls – and especially in light of not requiring the husband’s consent – denies the consensual nature of divorce between the two parties contrary to what has been established according to the opinion of the majority of scholars.

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