Marriage in Islam is a contract between two consenting individuals referred to as a nikah. As part of the formalities, a husband is to provide his wife with a sum of money or property known as her mahr (sometimes spelt mehr).
The mahr is either provided to the wife upon marriage or at an agreed time in the future which is usually upon divorce or the husband’s death. The mahr should be recorded in the marriage contract.
We are aware that a significant number of couples in the Muslim community are living together following a religious marriage only that has taken place in this country, and are unaware of the legal consequences that follow. Many are very surprised and often quite disappointed to learn that they were not provided with the correct information as to the status of their religious marriage. This includes them being an un-married couple under the law of this country so that the law applicable to cohabitees is applied when their marriage breaks down.
An invalid marriage means that you cannot organise your financial affairs in a prudent manner. For example, you will not have automatic rights if your partner dies. Of course, this can also have an impact on the financial remedies that are available for the benefit of your children.
We can advise on the validity of your religious marriage, whether it was conducted in this country or abroad. We can advise whether there is still a possibility of making a claim for financial remedies if the ceremony constitutes a void or voidable marriage. We are experienced in nullity proceedings.
If your marriage comes to an end through divorce or an annulment, we will advise you on your financial claims.
For an Islamic divorce, we are able to refer you to shariah councils to assist in ending the marriage or to witness the commencement of the religious divorce process. This can be done whether you have a recognised marriage or not. We understand how difficult it can be if you are a wife and your husband refuses to divorce you religiously, or provide his consent. We will do all that we can to persuade your husband to cooperate with the religious divorce process.
If there is an unpaid Mahr, we will advise on how best to recover this. It can be considered as part of the civil divorce proceedings if appropriate, but a civil claim for breach of contract can also be made.
We will advise on the best course of action to make a claim for financial relief, whether your marriage is recognised or not. In addition, advice will be given about financial claims for the benefit of any children of the family.
Matters involving children and faith can be very delicate and sensitive issues to deal with particularly when the parents of a child are in a disagreement. Parents may hold different beliefs and practices which become more apparent on separation.
We can advise and assist in cases concerning children. This will include what factors the court can consider concerning your child’s upbringing, education, country to be brought up in and their day to day routine arrangements. We will ensure that the focus is on their welfare and this is always kept as the paramount concern.
Under both English and Islamic law, both parties to a marriage must provide their consent. If this is not the case, the marriage is invalid
We can advise on the steps required to bring such a marriage to an end and whether you can apply for financial relief.
If you consider that you have been or are being mistreated or abused whether physical, emotional, verbal, financial or psychological abuse, we can advise on remedies available to you. Court orders can be obtained to prevent you from being abused by your partner, or by someone instructed by him or her. This can cover abuse you might be being subjected to by members of the extended family.