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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Nikah Divorce Defeat

The Court of Appeal has just scuppered the chance of thousands of Muslim women who have gone through an Islamic faith marriage without a civil ceremony, using the divorce laws of England and Wales to obtain financial remedies such as maintenance, property transfers and pension shares. For the background to the case see http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/Nikah%20ceremonies

In overturning a bold and groundbreaking High Court decision, the appeal court has ruled that the Nikah religious ceremony did not satisfy legal requirements to qualify for recognition as a marriage in the divorce courts of England and Wales.

For those with a Nikah but no civil ceremony whose marriage has broken down, there are the Sharia courts to whom they can go for an Islamic divorce but such financial protection as might be available to them from following this course is likely to be inferior to what would have been available had the High Court decision been upheld. But the law which is available to cohabitees in England and Wales who have never married but have lived with their partners in a property which is in their joint names or solely in the name of the partner will be available. Breaking Law spells out what is legally possible.