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Islamic divorce and civil divorce

April 24, 2015

An Islamic ‘religious’ marriage that takes place in the UK is not recognised legally and an islamic couple in England and Wales will not be considered married unless there was also a ‘civil’ marriage. This is because Islamic marriage does not meet the criteria for marriage set out in the laws of England and Wales; this was recently upheld in the case of AG v Akhter v Anor [2020] EWCA Civ 122.

If you have had a ‘civil’ marriage as well as a religious marriage, or were married in a country that legally recognises the religious Islamic ceremony then, if your marriage has come to an end, you need to consider starting the divorce process to gain an Islamic divorce. If you only had a religious marriage in the UK you are not legally recognised as being married so different rules apply.

Our divorce solicitors serve a diverse community and have experience of dealing with divorcing couples who have had both a religious and civil ceremony in the UK or married in a different country where the marriage was legally recognised so the UK recognises the marriage.

When referring to an islamic divorce, our solicitors cannot help you with obtaining a religious divorce, either the Talaq or Khula, as we are not specifically trained but we are experienced in dealing with cultural and religious issues whilst assisting our clients to obtain the civil divorce. 

We also regularly instruct translators for foreign marriage certificates and have contacts in place to try and avoid delays. Our divorce solicitors can help you with your civil divorce, financial settlements and arrangements for children whilst balancing the importance of your faith with ensuring you are advised on the law.

If you did not have a civil marriage in addition to the Islamic marriage then our solicitors can help you in other ways. Financial provision for children can be resolved by making an application under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 to provide a property for the children to live in during their childhood or maintenance above the child maintenance service. 

An application can also be made under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) if a trust has been created in relation to property, usually the family home, and one party has a provable share in the house that is owned by the other.

For any other queries regarding islamic divorce please contact our family law solicitors today.