Ties that do not bind

March 08, 2014 - 3:52:52 am

Qatari spouses with no blood ties account for 65 percent of the divorces among the country’s citizens, while first degree relatives are involved in 21 percent of the divorces and second degree relatives in 14 percent.

Qatari spouses in the age group of 20-29 account for 37 percent of the divorces, while those in the 30-39 age group account for 34.4 percent. Those in the below-20 age group account for just 0.4 percent of the divorces due to the small number of spouses in this age group.

As for non-Qatari spouses, those in the age group of 30-39 account for the largest number of divorces — 47.2 percent.

Among Qatari wives, 49.4 percent of the divorces involve those in the 20-29 age group, while in 28.8 percent of the cases those in the 30-39 age group are involved. As for non-Qatari wives, those aged 20-29 account for 40.8 percent of the divorces. 

The figures are from the latest report on ‘Qatar’s Marriages & Divorces’ released by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics with support from the Supreme Judiciary Council.

Sixty percent of the divorces in 2011 occurred during the first five years of marriage and before consummation. Those married for more than 20 years had the lowest number of divorces. Among those married for five to nine years, there was a 0.7 percent increase in this figure in 2011, to 17.8 percent, compared to 2010.

Figures for divorces according to the number of wives under a marriage bond show that 93.8 percent of the divorce cases among Qatari husbands in 2011 involved men who had no other wives under a marriage bond. Those who had another wife accounted for 5.4 percent of the cases. This ratio was the same for non-Qatari husbands.

The data further indicate that 48.1 percent of the divorces that occurred before consummation were minor irrevocable divorces, whereas revocable divorce constituted 23.2 percent and divorces against compensation 28.8 percent of the total.

By age group, Qatari wives aged 20 to 24 accounted for the highest percentage of divorce cases before consummation, while among non-Qatari wives those in the 20-29 age group were involved in most of the cases. Among Qatari and non-Qatari husbands, those in the 25-29 age group were involved in the largest number of divorce cases before consummation. 

As for divorce during the first four years of marriage, Qatari men and Qatari and non-Qatari women aged 25 to 29 accounted for the largest number of cases, while among non-Qatari men this was true for those aged 30 to 34.

In 2011, the majority of divorce cases occurred between spouses who did not have children (69.1 percent of total divorces by the number of children), followed by spouses with one child (nine percent), and spouses with two children (7.2 percent). 

On the educational status of Qatari divorcees, the report says high school graduates — 260 men and 318 women — accounted for most of the cases.

The divorce rate fell among Qatari nationals during the period 2002-2005. It dropped from 9.8 per 1,000 nationals in 2002 to 7.4 in 2005 for women, before climbing to 8.7 in 2011.

Among men, the divorce rate dropped from 11.2 per 1,000 in 2002 to 8.5 in 2005, later increasing to 10.0 in 2011.

With regard to divorce according to the husband’s nationality and place of residence, the data show that most Qatari divorces occur in Al Rayyan municipality (44.3 percent), followed by Umm Salal (5.4 percent), Al Wakra (5.1 percent) and the municipalities of Al Khor, Al Shamal and Al Daayen (all with 3.2 percent).

Of the Qatari women’s divorce registered in Qatar, 50.8 percent occur in Al Rayyan, followed by Doha (31.7 percent), Umm Salal (six percent), al Al Wakra (4.7 percent).

Divorce among non-Qataris mostly occurred in Doha municipality (54.8 percent), followed by Al Rayyan (28.5 percent) and Al Wakra (4.2 percent).

The study shows a rise in cases of “revocable” divorce, in which the husband may cancel the divorce and return to his wife without a new contract, by 48.7 percent and minor irrevocable divorce (when the first and second divorce is accomplished) by 42.5 percent.

The results show a decrease in the number of major irrevocable divorces (the third divorce, which is irrevocable except the ex-wife is legitimately married to another one and divorces) by 2.9 percent and in divorce against compensation (divorce occurs at the wife’s request in return for an amount of money) by 5.9 percent.

On marriages, the ministry’s report says the marriage rate for Qataris aged 15 and above increase during the period 2002-2006. It rose from 32.2 per 1,000 nationals in 2002 to 34.8 in 2006 among Qatari men, and among Qatari women it climbed from 29.8 per 1,000 in 2002 to 34.0 in 2006. It then fell to 24.3 for men and 23.5 for women in 2010 before climbing slightly to 25.1 for men and 24.1 for women in 2011. The overall decline can be attributed to the high level of women’s education and their strong access to the labour market, in addition to the high cost of marriage.

First-time marriages account for 84.2 percent of all the marriages. Widows and divorced women are involved in 15.8 percent of the marriages. The percentage of Qatari wives who had not married before amounted to 84.2 percent, whereas the figure was 15.4 percent for divorced women and 0.4 percent for widows. Non-Qatari wives who had never married before accounted for 89 percent of the marriages, whereas 10.6 percent of the marriages involved divorced women and 0.4 percent involved widows.

There was an increase in the percentage of marriage contracts of husbands who did not have another wife (93.5 percent) compared to the marriage contracts of husbands who had one or more wives (6.5 percent). The proportion of those who had only one wife was 93.6 percent among Qataris and 93.4 percent among non-Qataris.

Six percent of Qataris and 6.5 percent of non-Qataris had another wife. Fewer than 0.4 percent of Qataris and 0.1 percent of non-Qataris had two or three wives.

Al Rayyan municipality accounted for 44.4 percent of the marriages in Qatar. Doha municipality accounted for 32 percent, followed by Umm Salal (7.6 percent), Al Wakra (six percent) and the municipalities of Al Khor, Al Shamal, and Al Daayen (4.2 percent).

As for marriages according to the nationality and place of residence of the husband, most Qatari marriages occurred in Al Rayyan municipality (53.1 percent), followed by Doha municipality (nine percent), and Al Wakra municipality (5.6 percent).

As for marriages among non-Qataris, 39.4 percent were registered in Doha municipality, followed by Al Rayyan (32.5 percent).

THE PENINSULA

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