Lawyers are taught not to share emotions or to avoid getting emotional with their clients, but how can lawyers efficiently do this when knowing how a client feels? Or the client’s needs may be vital to a case, and of course caring about a client is also very important as well. One thing I find very difficult as a lawyer is to work with families. Think about it – parting ways with a lifelong partner can be one of the most difficult decisions a person can make, and being a lawyer in this situation can be very difficult. No one wants to see a family split up or argue – it is a horrible sight – but I can only imagine how much harder it is for family members to find a lawyer and understand the actions and consequences.
I am not a professional in family law, but there is an increasing concern as divorce cases rise in Kuwait. I have been getting a lot of enquires, and therefore I decided to put together the most common basic concerns and answer them from a practical point of view and not necessary theoretical. As always, I have carefully chosen simpler words that are not necessary diplomatic or legal, but are understood by the general layman and therefore the most number of readers can benefit from this article.
Question: I have heard that divorce generally takes a very long time – is this true? What should I expect?
Fajer: It really depends on the circumstances – if there was any physical abuse, if there are kids involved, which court were you married in, if the husband and wife are agreeing to disagree or not, and so on.
Something to keep in mind though is that the judge will not look into the divorce without referring you to a marriage counselor first. There is a team of experienced professional counselors who seek to make both parties work on the marriage. Sometimes a partner doesn’t want to cooperate, or both parties agree not to go for counseling. If this is the case, then a paper is signed by both parties and is taken back to the court, where the proceedings will start. I know quite a few married couples who were determined to obtain a divorce, but came out of the marriage counseling program to reevaluate their marriage.
Question: I want to file for a divorce but I am not sure how safe is it to go to a police station alone as a woman. I am hearing mixed responses and I know you wrote about it, but I have to go, because my husband is abusing and mistreating me. I am also afraid that the investigators/police officers will not understand as they are men, and I need to discuss issues that I am only comfortable discussing around woman.
Fajer: To be completely honest with you, I had to think twice about using your question. I want my articles to be honest, because I believe that honesty can bring about change, but I also do not want to write negative things about my country that I love so much and I want to see it change to the better.
I am sure that there are a lot of police officers in the country who are working day and night to keep us safe. I feel very grateful for all their hard work and commitment, and it’s not an easy job. I really appreciate them, but this does not mean that the stories that we have heard do not have some truth behind them. With that said, I think you will be perfectly safe going to a police station – just dress respectably and be aware of what is going on.
Most police stations in residential areas now have multiple female investigators working morning and night shifts, and there are female police officers too. Regardless, I think if you go to the police station in the mornings on a weekday in your residential area, you should find friendly woman investigators working there who are very helpful.
Divorce in Kuwait
Question: I am an American married to an Indian and seeking a divorce. We were married in Morocco, but it is not working out. Can we get a divorce here in Kuwait? And what law would be applicable?
Fajer: This is a very common question in Kuwait, especially with how diverse the people here are. You can get a divorce in Kuwait if you reside in Kuwait regardless where you are from and where you were married. With that said, the applicable law will depend on your religion and what was stated in your marriage certificate. Some divorces can take longer than expected as international laws need to be translated and submitted to court.
Should you have any questions or concerns, or you require a consultation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Attorney Fajer Ahmed