8-year-old denied divorce

A Saudi court upholds a girl's arranged marriage to a 58-year-old man.

By Tracy Clark-Flory
December 23, 2008 1:00AM (UTC)
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A Saudi court has rejected a plea to divorce an 8-year-old girl from her 58-year-old husband. The plea was filed by the girl's mother shortly after her ex-husband, the girl's father, signed the business marriage contract to solve his own money troubles. He made a verbal agreement that the consummation would be delayed until his daughter turns 18 -- and the husband is nearly 70 -- but went ahead and finalized the marriage so that he could receive an $8,000 advance on the dowry. Daughters, they're like an instant line of credit!

The girl still lives with her mother and has no clue that she's married. But here's the most maddening part: The court rejected the divorce plea on the grounds that the decision can't be made until she hits puberty. Follow that? She's too young to decide to divorce, but old enough to marry — because the decision to wed isn't hers in the first place.

Tracy Clark-Flory

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