I Divorce You, I Divorce You, I Divorce You – Islamic Divorce

Islamic Divorce: Understanding the Talaq Process

Many people misunderstand or oversimplify Islamic divorce, despite its importance and complexity in Muslim communities. Recently, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed, a news article by Jake Reiner grabbed my attention: “High-profile $100 million divorce case plays out in Houston court.” Intrigued, I clicked on the article, only to find myself drawn into a complex world of legal proceedings and personal narratives that shed light on the multifaceted nature of divorce within the Islamic framework.

The case involved a Husband and Wife battling it out in the 312TH Judicial District Court in Harris County, Texas. The case takes a twist as they, being citizens of Pakistan, might already have undergone divorce proceedings under Pakistan law. In Pakistan a Husband can divorce his wife simply by saying “I Divorce You” three times. This practice, known as “Talaq” in Islam, is outlined in the article. In this case while in Pakistan the Husband divorced his wife then they both moved to Houston. His wife then sued him in Houston for divorce.

The relevant question then becomes what impact does a Pakistan divorce have on the current Divorce Proceedings in Houston. Wanting to know more I decided to look up the divorce with the Harris County, District Clerk.

Islamic Divorce: Understanding the Talaq Process

Battle Over Pakistani Divorce Recognition in Harris County Courts

In reviewing the filings on the district clerk website, the Husband had filed to register foreign Pakistan divorce Judgment. That filing had ended up in the 245TH Judicial District Court in Harris, County. The wife’s Divorce action was ongoing the 312Th. In the husband case the husband is asking the Court to recognize the Pakistan Divorce. The wife requested the court to reject the husband’s demands. She also asked to move the case to the 312th court where her case was already underway.

In the wife’s case filed on June 25, 2015 she is asking the 312th District Court for a divorce. Her basis is that she meets the residency requirements. In her divorce documents, she requested to declare the divorce in Pakistan invalid as she didn’t receive proper notice.

The issue regarding the validity of an Islamic divorce from another county reminded me of a case. I attended an Advanced Family Law Seminar in San Antonio in August 2015 where we discussed this case. The case was Ashfaq v Ashfaq, 2015 Tex. App. Lexis 4305 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Distr.] April 28, 2015 (Cause No. 01-14-00329-CV).

The Asfaq case also featured an Islamic Divorce from Pakistan. The husband and wife tied the knot in late 2009. Eight days later the Husband decided to divorce his wife by performing the Talaq. He notified the Union Counsel in Pakistan. He had a decree of divorce delivered to the wife’s brother who acknowledged receipt. The Wife then returned to the United States.

Islamic Divorce: Understanding the Talaq Process

Pakistan Divorce Validity and Property Division

Husband married another women and moved to Fort Worth, Texas and lived with her there. Wife then filed for divorce in in Harris County in October of 2011. The husband responded by requesting the dismissal of the case, citing that the parties had already divorced in Pakistan in 2009. During the trial, expert testimony confirmed that the husband had fulfilled all the requirements for a divorce under Pakistan law. The 246th District Court in Houston ruled that the husband had indeed met all the requirements for divorce, dismissing that portion of the suit. However, the court also ordered the division of the couple’s property, treating it as a post-divorce distribution of assets.

In upholding the ruling of the 246th Judicial District Court, the Court of Appeals emphasized the crucial aspect of proper notice regarding Islamic divorce proceedings, particularly in international contexts like Pakistan. This acknowledgment underscores the significance of procedural fairness and adherence to legal protocols, especially when dealing with cross-border issues. As the case continues in the 312th Judicial District Court, where allegations of improper notice have arisen, it becomes evident that adherence to established legal precedents is paramount.

If the 312th follows the ruling of the 246th, the wife could potentially have a valid claim to post-dissolution property, even if a valid divorce was granted under Pakistan law. This underscores the complex interaction between Islamic divorce principles and the legal systems in which they are applied, emphasizing the need for careful consideration and fairness in handling such issues.

Get Prepared for Divorce with Foreign Decrees: Call Our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers

The Spring, TX divorce Lawyers at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC will help equip you with the information you need so that you are prepared and know what to expect with regard to divorce involving a foreign divorce decree.

For more information regarding a divorce involving a foreign decre in Harris County, Montgomery County, in Spring or Houston Texas Call (281) 810-9760 today for your free consultation.

Book an appointment with Law Office of Bryan Fagan using SetMore


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