In yet another tale from the "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" files, comes a report from Saudi Arabia that a groom has divorced his wife on their wedding night after discovering intimate pictures sent by her former lover. Apparently the couple were celebrating their nuptials at a hotel when the groom discovered that he had received a memory stick from his wife's "ex" containing revealing photos of her. In a plot that is akin to that in a TV soap opera, the rejected "ex" allegedly blackmailed the woman, threatening to leak the photos if she refused to be in a relationship with him. When she declined, he was seemingly unable to take the rejection and sent the groom a bunch of flowers and a letter telling him to look at the photos on the memory stick. Well, they do say that revenge is a dish best served cold!!
Under Sharia law, a man can divorce his wife simply by saying "I divorce you" three times. He can, however, rescind the divorce if this was done in the heat of the moment, but only if the wife agrees (and only on three occasions). It does not appear that this occurred in this particular instance as, apparently, the husband received the shock of his life and he could not bear the scandal.
Of course, such a divorce could not occur here in Australia because you cannot apply for a divorce until you have been separated for a period of at least 12 months. In addition, if you apply for a divorce and you have been married for less than two years, there is a requirement for the parties to have considered reconciliation with the assistance of an approved counsellor. A certificate signed by the counsellor needs to be filed with the Application.
Even in the UK, where a party can generally apply for a divorce the day after separating, based on the other party's 'unreasonable behaviour' or adultery (yes, they still have that over there!), a divorce application cannot be filed within 12 months of the date of marriage.
In the event you require advice with respect to the requirements for a divorce in Australia, please do not hesitate to contact one of our family law team who will be only too willing to assist.