when Sharia law meets the law of the land
Dr Zaid Al-Saffar, a hospital consultant in
the Midlands, yesterday had his appeal to overturn a Judgment made
in his divorce proceedings dismissed by the Appeal Court.
The original judgment ordered that he pay his
wife spousal maintenance, however after making payments for only a
few months, he stopped them and decided to contest the order
made. He had retained all of the equity in the matrimonial
home and had felt that his wife should no longer be entitled to the
spousal maintenance payments as she had received inheritance from
her family after the parties had separated. He had also paid
her agreed Mahr (a Muslim bride's dowry) in full.
The Court of Appeal in this case again
confirms that the English law must be applied to every divorce case
dealt with in the UK. However, contrary to Dr Al-Saffar’s
claims, the Courts are also willing to take cultural and religious
considerations into account when deciding what an appropriate
settlement should be. In many cases, husbands refuse to pay a
wife’s Mahr to them assuming that it cannot be enforced. The
Courts are willing to consider that the agreement to pay a Mahr is
in essence a contract between the parties and can incorporate such
payments into any financial orders made if appropriate.
If you have particular cultural or religious aspects to your
separation, please contact Irpreet
Kohli, an associate in Blake Lapthorn's Family
team in our London office on 020
7814 5411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if you would like to talk to someone in a
location near to you, please contact:
Plews, partner in our Oxford office, on 01865 254213
Burge, partner in our Southampton office, on 023 8085
7088 or email@example.com.
Wilson, partner in our London office, on 020 7814
6909 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
or email our general helpdesk on email@example.com.