Woman granted divorce after discovering Libyan husband had another wife, children

The couple married in 2002 but the woman filed for separation in 2007, after the man disappeared following her discovery of another family in Libya

A Maltese woman has been granted a divorce from her Libyan husband, after she found out that he had another wife – and four children - in Libya.

Magistrate Abigail Lofaro, presiding the family court, heard how the couple had married in July 2002 and moved in with her parents. The couple's marital bliss was however short-lived and problems soon arose due to religious differences, compounded by the wife's discovery, that September, that the man had previously established another family in Libya.

The man, who was absent during these proceedings and was represented by court-appointed curators, had left the marital home after the wife confronted him with her discovery. He did not tell her where he would be residing. On the few occasions where the couple encountered each other since the confrontation, the woman had suggested separation, but the Libyan had dismissed her suggestion.

She had filed for separation anyway in 2007 and after signing the requisite paperwork, the man disappeared.

The woman, who now lives with a different partner, had four children predating her marriage to the Libyan and had given birth to another four since his disappearance. Self-sufficient and gainfully employed, she filed for divorce on the grounds that married life had become impossible due to adultery, threats and insults as well as because the man had abandoned his Maltese family only weeks after contracting the marriage.

The court upheld the woman's request for a divorce on the grounds that the couple had been legally separated for over four years and that there were no apparent prospects of reconciliation.

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