An Islamic divorce is known as a “Talaq”.
A simple Islamic marriage whereby a party enters into a “Nikah” in the United Kingdom is not a valid legal marriage under the laws of England and Wales. In such circumstances, in order to make the marriage valid, it must be registered with a Registry Office.
If a party enters into an Islamic marriage in a country where an Islamic marriage is a legally valid, i.e., Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, then they do not need to register the marriage in England with the Civil Registry as it will already be recognised as valid.
A Talaq is where the husband in an Islamic marriage seeks to divorce his wife and this is a relatively straightforward process. If a man in England performs a Talaq in England, this brings the marriage to an end only under Islamic law. The marriage still subsists under English law and he must still petition for a divorce under English legal principles.
Where a husband pronounces Talaq he must also make payment on the “Haq Mehr”, which is a sum of money he has agreed to give to his wife in the event of divorce. The Haq Mehr may be taken into account for ancillary relief (i.e. financial) proceedings. However, the payment of a Haq Mehr does not mean that ancillary relief proceedings in English courts cannot go ahead.
A Muslim woman may also apply for an Islamic divorce by way of “Khalah”. The provisions regarding its eligibility under English law are the same as for a Talaq.
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