Hani al-Gamal – Cairo
A marital disputes lawyer in Egypt is promoting a new type of marriage to reduce the number of rising divorces in the country.
Lawyer Ahmed Mahran is suggesting a marriage contract with terms to be met by married couples to prevent the collapse of the marriage, especially during the first years of the marriage.
One of the terms is for each married couple to not consider divorce during the first three years of the marriage. This, he says, will give couples the chance to know each other better. “This period will reduce the chance of divorce during the first three years of marriage”, Mahran told MedyaNews.
Mahran calls this an “experimental marriage”. He says it will be a mechanism that can reduce the large number of divorces taking place in Egypt. There is reportedly a new case of divorce in Egypt almost every two minutes, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Egypt’s national statistics agency.
In the last ten years, there were 1.9 million divorces in Egypt, the agency reported. Divorce has multiple social, economic and security ramifications in the country. It reportedly contributes to an increasing number of homeless children, school drop-outs and crimes.
Before getting married, Mahran signed a contract with his would-be-wife, specifying his and her terms for the marriage. His suggestion has been welcomed by a number of Egyptians who have been discussing it on social media. His suggestion made headlines for several days in several media outlets. It was welcomed amongst many of the state’s specialists who considered it as a practical attempt to bring the divorce-rate down.
Prominent Egyptian psychologist Eman Abdullah describes Mahran’s suggestion as an effective mechanism for reducing divorces. “Divorces have increased by almost 35% in the past few years”, Abdullah said. She noted, however, that those getting married have to receive training in overcoming their differences, without making divorce their first solution.
“Most of the divorces take place during the first three years of marriage”, Abullah observed. “This is what makes the proposed experimental marriage significant”.
Mahran’s proposal also makes it necessary for those getting married to specify a number of terms in the marriage contract. The husbands and the wives have to abide by these terms. Those violating the terms will shoulder the financial burdens of the divorce.
Abdelmonem Dweidar, a senior official of the Egyptian Ministry of Islamic Endowments, however, expressed fears that this type of marriage contract will not have any legal force. “This is why I say it can be torn up by married couples during their first dispute”, Dweidar noted.
Huweida Mohamed, who works for one of the nation’s marital disputes courts, said most marriages collapse because of a lack of wisdom amongst the marriage partners. “Most of the people who get married today are ready to separate from or divorce each other as soon as a problem emerges”, Mohamed stated. “This is why the presence of a mechanism that prevents divorce in the first years of marriage is important”.