Secret divorces in Saudi Arabia, cases where men end a marriage without telling their wives, have been taking place for many years.

However, as part of the Saudi social and economic reform known as Vision 2030 being promoted by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the government have introduced a new law where women will now be sent a text message to inform of their new marital status.

The message will include the divorce certificate number and the name of the relevant court where the women can pick up the documentation. Women can also inquire about their marital status through a website and view details of any probate certificates.

The Saudi courts started to send such notifications since Sunday 6thJanuary 2019 in “a step aimed at protecting the rights of female clients, and enhancing digital transformation with more services,” the country’s Ministry of Justice said in a statement.

The directive would ensure women are fully aware of their marital status and can protect rights such as alimony. Saudi lawyer Nisreen al-Ghamdi told Bloomberg. “It also ensures that any powers of attorney issued before the divorce are not misused.”

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