Fatwa ID: 05387
Answered by: Mufti Maruf Ahmed
Husband said talaq 3 times in wife’s presence but not to the wife. He clearly remembers this as straight after he said it he clarified to his wife he didn’t say it to her. He told her he only said the words in her presence but not to her or for her but just to see what her reaction is.
I know I have heard divorce uttered is still divorce even if in jest. However, he didn’t say it to his wife. He just said the words in her presence and then clearly told her he didn’t say them to her.
If the husband said it 3 times but not to the wife only in her presence and told her it wasn’t for her then is it divorce?
I understand if he had said divorce to her without intention or in jest it would be divorce as he said it to her.
But here he didn’t say it to her or meant for her. He just said the words in her presence and clearly told her they were not for her.
In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Although you have written in the question above that the husband did not say or issue the three talaqs/divorces to the wife you have also written:
“He told her he only said the words in her presence but not to her or for her but just to see what her reaction is.”
This implies that it was in fact directed at the wife to take a reaction out of her.
Here it is important to note that it is not necessary to explicitly attribute the talaqs to the wife when it is directed to her.
Please refer to the link below for further detail:
Therefore the 3 talaqs will take effect.
When the husband issues his wife three explicit talaqs, whether it be on three separate occasions or in one go, their marriage will terminate immediately and it will not be permissible for the couple to reconcile the marriage or remarry until the wife after completing her waiting period marries a second person and consummates the marriage with him; thereafter the second husband either divorces her or dies. Then only after completing her waiting period (from the second husband), the wife is allowed to re-marry the first husband. This process is termed halalah. 
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Maruf Ahmed
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Raddul Muhtar, Volume 4, Page 458, Darul Kutubul Ilmiyyah
Fatawa Mahmoodiyyah, Volume 12, Page 194 & 195, Jamiah Faruqiyyah Karachi
 Al-Lubab Fi Sharhil Kitab, Page 457, Al-Maktabatul Umariyyah