8 yr. old Saudi child bride granted divorce

Cairo, April 30: An eight-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia who was secretly married off by her father to a man several times her senior was granted a divorce after years of legal haranguing, according to local press reports Thursday.

The prince of Qassim province, where the girl’s hometown of Unaizah is located, interfered to divorce the girl after a judge refused her mother’s second appeal for a divorce ruling that the child-bride would have to wait until puberty to do so.

Prince Faisal bin Bandar hosted the husband in his palace earlier this week in hopes of convincing him to end the marriage, a judicial source told the Saudi edition of al-Hayat newspaper Thursday.

The 47-year-old husband agreed to forgo his original demand that he receive repayment of the 30,000 riyals ($8000) dowry he paid for the girl.

The husband, who had been given the girl in marriage by her father in return for forgiving a debt, finalized the divorce in the Unaizah court without the girl’s presence.