Saudi Girl, 8, Can't Divorce Husband, 58: Court

Case must wait until girl hits puberty; she still lives with mother
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2008 2:10 PM CST
The girl's mother brought the case to court.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An 8-year-old Saudi girl will remain married to her 58-year-old husband after a court struck down her mother’s request for a divorce, the Daily Mail reports. The hard-up father, who is divorced from the mother, signed a contract in August and received a dowry of about $7,400. The court ordered that “the plea should be filed by the girl herself when she reaches puberty.”

Relatives said there is a verbal agreement that the relationship would not be consummated until the girl was 18. “She doesn't know yet that she has been married,” a lawyer said of the girl, who still lives with her mother and is attending elementary school. The lawyer said he would appeal to Saudi Arabia’s highest court, which operates under Islamic law. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)