Studies indicate that there has been an increase in divorce rates in Jordan, more so during the period the comprehensive ban was imposed due to the corona pandemic, but also that there are many cases when the family conciliation judge was able to reconcile the spouses.
The family conciliation offices at the Supreme Judge Department have 23,885 reconciliation cases, of which in 9,128 cases reconciliation was not possible; this huge number of offices shows the great and important role they play in attempting to reconcile spouses, to convince them not to divorce but return to normal marital life.
The Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) commends Jordan’s efforts to open a branch of the Family Conciliation Office in the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees, which contributes to resolving disputes and bringing about marital reconciliation, thus maintaining family stability.
In this context, ARDD notes that “civil society organizations do not see divorce as a solution to disputes; rather, the goal is to bring about reconciliation between spouses, in the best interest of children and the family in general, especially at the beginning of married life, which is more difficult and requires compromise and guidance”.
According to the analysis of the Legal Aid Unit at ARDD, 70% of the cases withdrew their divorce files and attempted to reach conciliation, with a success rate of 80%. 85% of those who attempted to reach conciliation succeeded in the conciliation continuation and back to normal marriage life.
“Women are more prone to withdrawing the suits they brought to the courts if they feel the husband is sincere in his desire to reach a solution and reconciliation, and agree amicably to end disputes and not proceed with the suit(s) in the courts,” according to ARDD’s Legal Aid Unit
The percentage of failure of conciliation attempts reaches 20; in this case, spouses are unable to resolve their disputes, so they re-file the suit(s) they withdrew in order to obtain a divorce.
ARDD said it has been 90% successful in convincing couples not to file divorce suits, but to file alimony suits; the purpose of such a move is to make the husband understand that his wife and children have the right to be paid alimony , and that they should seek reconciliation with too keep the family intact before the disputes grow and the wives file for divorce.
Article 4 of the Family Reconciliation Offices regulations for the year 2013 stipulates that “a family reconciliation office shall be established, as needed, in every Sharia court, with the aim of ending family disputes by amicable means, raising awareness and educating them about marital rights and duties, and providing family guidance”.
An appropriate environment must be secured for resolving family disputes by amicable means, by raising awareness, education and family guidance, to preserve the family, and reduce the economic, psychological and health burdens on its members. At the same time, women, in particular, needs to be made aware of the existence of family reconciliation offices, which would contribute to solving family problems and disputes, maintaining the family unit and protecting children, knowing that cohesive families are at the basis of a strong society.