Published On: Mon, Aug 3rd, 2020

Islamic Divorce in the United Kingdom

Getting a divorce can be a complex process, especially if you are married both under Islamic law and UK law, and it has proven that it isn’t always clear to married couples who married under Islamic law if their marriage is actually recognised under UK law. If a marriage is recognised under UK law, you must undergo civil divorce as well as Islamic divorce UK

If you had a Nikah in the UK and you did not also have a civil marriage, your marriage is not recognised by law. This means you do not enjoy the same protections as married couples and if no other legal arrangements are in place this could cause significant problems during a divorce, as you will be treated as an unmarried cohabiting couple. 

If you had a Nikah overseas in a country where it is recognised by law, for example in Saudi Arabia, before moving to the UK then your marriage will be recognised under UK law, as you got legally married in the country that you came from. 

Photo by Gerd Altmann

Muslim couples that get married in the UK who want to enjoy the legal protections marriage bring, must have a civil marriage as well as a Nikah. If that couple then divorces later in life they must go through a civil divorce and Islamic divorce. Division of assets and setting out child-care arrangements can then be agreed upon more easily. 

In the UK, Islamic divorce solicitors can help you to handle all your legal matters in terms of Islamic divorce. They can both apply for civil and Islamic divorce on your behalf and help you set out child arrangements and financial arrangements. If the divorce is less amicable and matters proceed to court then your Islamic divorce solicitor can also represent you during hearings. 

Khula, Faskh & Talaq

The process for getting an Islamic divorce is different for men and women. If a man initiates an Islamic divorce he would do so by asking for a Talaq. If a women initiates the divorce she would do so through either Khula or Faskh. If a man initiates the divorce he can do so either with or without the consent of the wife through Talaq. If a women initiates and she has the consent of her husband she can request a Khula, but if there is no mutual consent she must request a Faskh, or Faskh-e-Nikah. 

Often, during divorce proceedings mediation is offered to see if there is a possibility for the marriage to continue, however, this most often isn’t forced upon the separating partners. Mediation can be accessible through the community, through the sharia council or through your family and divorce solicitor. Mediation can further help couples who do wish to continue with the divorce to make arrangements amicably, especially where there are children involved. 

Most family law solicitors will do what they can to resolve any issues throughout the divorce in an amicable way to avoid having to go to court. If issues proceed to court a judge will decide on your behalf, and this may not always be in your best interest. 

Author: Mahendra

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