Apart from civil divorce proceedings there exists religious laws which require their adherents to abide by certain protocols before their divorce can be recognized as valid within the context of their religion and religious community. For many religious adherents, obtaining a valid religious divorce is just as important as obtaining their civil divorce. However, in some instances, the requisite protocols are ignored by one or both parties to the marriage and this can cause serious emotional and spiritual suffering.
One of the most common examples of this breakdown in religious law concerns the Orthodox practice of Jewish divorce whereby a husband submits a written form, known as a “Get”, to his wife as proof of their divorce. When the husband refuses to give his wife a Get, she cannot remarry under Jewish law, nor can she have any religiously legitimate children until her previous marriage is dissolved according to Jewish tradition. In such circumstances, the wife is left in a religious limbo where she is unable to move on with her life. And because courts have held it unconstitutional to compel individuals to perform religious acts (re: Lowy v. Lowy), excepting in cases where they have agreed to such, there seems to be little legal recourse for individuals who find themselves unable to obtain a valid religious divorce due to their partner’s intransigence. An Orthodox Jewish divorce is somewhat complicated to obtain in the United States, and yet very much sought after. A Jewish divorce becomes a necessary assertion for many women seeking to remarry not only under US wedding officiates, but also her religious tradition. Jewish divorce lawyers can assist in creating the ideal set of circumstance from which your religious divorce can occur, by working with not only the US court system, but also your community religious leadership.
In an Islamic divorce much the same conditions apply. Muslims have a strong religious belief as to where the sovereignty of God or “Allah” applies and therefore marriage is not always considered the provenance of the state. Many times Islamic marriages are performed by Imams and not through or under the auspice of a state official. In order to dissolve these marriage and divide assets legally, a Muslim divorce lawyer must work with both the couple’s Imam and find ways within the current system to see an equitable distribution of property and affairs resolved.
If you are in need of advice or legal representation for your religious divorce please speak to our Jewish divorce lawyers and Muslim divorce lawyers today to see how we may help you through this trying situation.
Christian Divorce Advice
A “Christian divorce” can be many things. All major Christian religions have feelings about the concept of divorce, citing the 19th Chapter of the Book of Matthew as a prohibition against divorce. While most protestant faiths do allow for remarriage after divorce, a Catholic divorce makes remarriage within the church impossible. This is why many a Catholic divorce also requires a religious annulment. Many Catholic divorces end up as annulments, in that it is easier to get a religious annulment if a couple also ends up annulling their marriage instead of divorcing. A Christian divorce attorney from our New York divorce law firm has to work with the couple and understand their long term goals and desires. Sometimes, even to suggest that they not divorce but work through the situation. Christian divorce lawyers must be able to understand the religious background of their clients and to ascertain the various elements required to procure either a divorce or annulment through both the courts and the Church.
Divorce is always difficult, but it becomes moreso with the feelings and emotions that go hand in hand with religious faith. Our Christian divorce lawyers are well aware of this and try their best to deal with your individual circumstance in a way that puts you at east and at peace with your decision. It is the duty of a Christian divorce attorney to provide you with not only the best in legal representation, but also to be respectful of your feelings and beliefs.
As a consequence of these problems, some religious leaders are advising their congregations to obtain prenuptial agreements which specify exactly what will happen in the event of a divorce so as to avoid any undue stress or delay. Individuals wishing to avoid such problems, therefore, are strongly advised to obtain legal counsel prior to marriage. It is important that they not only consider the civil implications of divorce, but the religious implications as well. By bringing these concerns to a qualified attorney, individuals can insure that their prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable should they require both a civil and religious divorce. However, it is important to remember that prenuptial agreements cannot supersede civil considerations of equity and law, and any prenuptial agreement that does not conform to the guiding principles of civil law is likely to be unenforceable. This is why it is so important that individuals obtain legal counsel before drafting a prenuptial agreement.
A qualified attorney will help insure that not only is your prenuptial agreement valid within the context of your religious beliefs and practices, but valid within the context of civil law.