A divorce practice which is banned in Pakistan, may shortly be outlawed in India, but is believed to be very common among Muslims in the UK, has recently prompted concern amongst Islamic scholars.
It remains the wide-spread belief of many Muslims that a husband has the right to end an Islamic marriage by simply repeating the words “Talaq” three times to his wife. Unfortunately, women cannot use the same formula, known as the “Triple Talaq”.
It should be emphasised Islamic Marriages are not acknowledged or indeed recognised under Civil Law in Britain. However, there is potentially a very significant risk that, an Islamic Marriage could potentially take place in the UK without the parties having the protection of a valid marriage ceremony.
It is therefore vital that Muslim women ensure their religious marriages are registered under civil law in the UK to provide legal protection. Otherwise these women could be left with little power to escape an unhappy or abusive relationship or indeed to defend their financial interest in court when, their relationship breaks down.
It is understood at the present time, that significant numbers of Muslims in Britain still do not register their marriage or indeed go through an appropriate civil ceremony and as a consequence, can then face homelessness, loss of assets and indeed, traumatic experiences where their children are involved.
Supreme Court Judges in India are examining whether “Triple Talaq” is a cultural rather than a religious practice which might lead to it being outlawed. Whereas Islamic law would suggest that “Talaq” should initially be uttered just once, and only spoken a second and third time after a cooling off period of at least 3 months, the most common scenario appears to be when the husband screams “Talaq” in a fit of anger and then regrets it.
It is meanwhile generally recognised that, if a marriage is properly registered under English Law that, the “Talaq” will not have much significance as of course, the courts will have all their usual powers.
Meanwhile, it is believes that Mosques are actively attempting to discourage the use of the Triple Talaq and emphasising that all faiths should formally register their religious ceremonies.
If you have any concerns in relation to any aspect of your marriage and need help contact Jane Williams or a member of the Family team in Cardiff on 02920 388398 or contact Sue Keppe in our London offices.