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Mar 13, 2013

No matter your religion, have you considered how your religious beliefs impact your civil divorce? Whether you are Jewish, Muslim, or Christian, you might wonder how a “Get” or “Mahr” might be reflected in your separation agreement. We explore the impact of a religious divorce on a civil divorce.  What does this mean for individuals who have a strong faith base in their religion and want to follow those beliefs into their divorce.  After all, when they got married, they were able to incorporate the customs and traditions into their marriage, but what does this mean for divorce.

Our guest, Fareen Jamal is a lawyer at Bales Beall LLP, practicing in the areas of Matrimonial, Estate and Civil Litigation. And has recently been nominated for the Ontario Bar Association's Heather McArthur Young Lawyer's Award.   Fareen is an opinion leader on religious and cultural issues and divorce. The issues and complexities are far reaching.  With North American increasing diversity, family legal services that have historically been designed to cater to middle-class North-American Caucasian families with a European heritage, must be refined and re-evaluated to better meet the needs of a changing population. Individuals may have very different notions of “family” in this diverse and pluralistic society, which impacts the family law system and its capacity to address family disputes.
Fareen helps us understand how your religious beliefs and customs may be a part of the Separation Agreement. 

We explore:

  • What is a "Get", "Agunah" and "Mamzer "?
  • The meaning of a “Mahr”, “Maher”, “Mohr”, “Mehr”, and “Kafala”
  • The different schools of thought in Islam and their impact on divorce
  • What is the structure of the mahr – how is it enforced?
  • What if the agreement was struck in one country, and the divorce begun in another country?

The issues are controversial and complex. This is further complicated in no-fault divorce jurisdictions. Courts may enforce mahr agreements irrespective of who initiated the divorce, or why, as the mahr agreements typically contain no reference to the different forms of divorce. Or, what happens when the husband doesn’t want to give his wife a get?

Don’t miss out on this important and thought provoking discussion. 
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