A legal battle between an American woman and her ex-husband resulted into the custody of daughter being placed with her father, initially, as later the decision was reverted in the favour of her mother-in-law. The American media is making headlines out of this story as it is being purported as a negligence of the human rights. Bethany Vierra, the divorced American woman had no idea that she was asking too much from her ex-husband, when she filed a case against him for the possession of her daughter. However, she was surprised and shocked when court decided to give the custody of her daughter to her ex-husband in Saudi Arabia.
The woman wanted a divorce from her husband, she alleged that her husband was abusive; therefore, she wanted separation. She succeeded with the divorce but later she failed to get custody of her daughter. Saudi Court ruled that the daughter had to stay with her father. The woman alleged that she had a video of her husband in which he could be seen abusing substance.
The Saudi law is a little different, under the law the mothers retain the custody of their sons until they turn 9, and in case of daughter until they turn 7, while fathers remain the actual legal guardians. Last year, through reforms, Saudi authorities announced that mother could take custody of their children without filing a law suit if the father is not contesting the guardianship through legal forum.
The Saudi court gave a verdict that the mother was not able to devote her time to the well being of her children as she ran a yoga studio and her own business; therefore, on the pretext that father had more available time, for time being the custody was awarded to the husband. Vierra showed a video to the court, in which her now-ex-husband was using joints.
Vierra had married her husband in 2013 and little is know about how the couple first started to date. Vierra alleged that her husband using his guardianship powers never allowed her to visit her home at Christmas eve. However, certain sources show that Vierra had moved to KSA in 2011 to teach at a women’s university.
In the end, the judge found both parents unfit to raise Zeina; therefore, the court reverted its decision to hand over the daughter to the father, and instead granted the child custody to Ms. Vierra former mother-in-law.
MBS driven reforms in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has amended different laws to bring the status of women at par with the male society. Muhammad Bin Salman has succeeded in bringing reforms for the women. Previously, the women could not drive vehicle but an amendment in law has allowed them to drive their own vehicles. In an interview, MBS was asked if he believed women were equal to men, to which he replied in positive. He said that both the groups are human beings.
Absolutely. We are all human beings and there is no difference.