A divorcing couple with links to the UK and to Mali should consider carefully how to approach the legal process. The outcome in relation to finances, property and child arrangements could differ markedly depending on which courts determine the case. We are a firm of international divorce solicitors with the ability to represent individuals with connections to Mali who are considering divorce under English law. Perhaps you had a marriage ceremony in Mali for example, or you or your spouse may be from the country originally but now reside in the UK. Here we briefly examine some aspects of Malian family law that could be relevant to your divorce.
Getting Married And Divorced In Mali
Under the Malian Family Code, 2011 women have the same rights as men to enter marriage. Since the adoption of the Code religious marriages are subject to the same formalities when it comes to registration and dissolution as civil unions. That said there is a general acknowledgment that certain aspects of the Family Code do discriminate against women, for example differing minimum ages to legally get married and the ability of men to enter polygamous marriages.
Indeed in 2018 the African Court on Human and People’s Rights found that the Family Code in Mali violated international human rights laws on several fronts, including rights to inheritance and the requirement of consent to marry.
Grounds For Divorce In Mali
Grounds for divorce in Mali include:
- Mutual consent (after six months of marriage and only after there has been an attempt at mediation)
- Breakdown in marital relations if there has been three years’ separation or one spouse is unable to perform his or her conjugal duties’
- The fault of a spouse
Reasons to divorce on the basis of fault include:
- Verbal or physical abuse that makes marital life impossible
- Imprisonment of one spouse
- Alcoholism or drug addiction
A wife may also petition for divorce if her husband has failed to provide her with ‘essential needs’. It’s also worth pointing out that following a divorce, the woman can’t remarry for at least three months. No such restriction applies to divorced men in Mali.
Property Division And Child Custody In Mali
On divorce, wives have a right to alimony or maintenance to compensate for the emotional and/or financial loss that results from the end of the marriage. As for custody of children, this is normally granted to the spouse who obtains the divorce unless it is in the child’s interests to grant custody to someone else. Parents will continue to have equal rights and obligations for the education and well-being of children depending on their income. They will normally benefit from equal visitation rights irrespective of which parent has custody of children following the divorce.
At Brookman we work with individuals going through English divorce who are based in, or have connections to, locations throughout the world. Some aspects of Malian family law mean a settlement decided by the courts is likely to differ significantly compared to a settlement ordered by a judge in the UK for example. Given our decades of experience in international family law and our familiarity with a range of legal systems we are well-placed to provide you with practical legal advice – even if we have not directly handled divorce with a Malian angle previously.
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