Divorce Law Needs Expert Knowledge

Divorce law can be a convoluted process for everyone involved, especially if the couple seeking a divorce was married for an extensive period of time. Each state and country has their own system and laws in place for divorce proceedings, and the individuals involved have to be aware of every law before reaching an agreement. Finding a lawyer is just the first step in a lengthy and sometimes harrowing experience.

Divorce law involves the process of dissolving a marriage between two people who are are unable live together anymore. Laws will differ depending on the state or country you live in, so it is important to understand your legal limitations before taking any action. After contacting your lawyer, the next step in divorce proceedings is a legal separation.

Because some states don’t recognize this, you may not have the choice available to you. If separation is allowed, one of the spouses is expected to leave the home. Then the courts will issue a separation agreement which will protect all parties involved, including children, ensuring that everyone fulfills their legal responsibilities.

After a separation, divorce law proceeds to the filing of a petition to the county clerk. This is usually called the “Original Petition for Divorce.” The party filing for a divorce, called the “petitioner,” must state in the letter their reasons for filing. This letter will also include the names of both parties involved in the proceedings as well as any children involved.

The petition is then given to the “respondent,” or the other party involved. They have thirty days to seek their own attorney and give their consent to the petition. When children are involved in a divorce settlement, the petition must be recognized by both parties before either one is allowed to request legal orders to assist with child support guidelines.

Divorce law allows the collection of information on both spouses involved. This is called “discovery,” and normally consists of five steps, depending on the state where the case is handled. The first is a disclosure, where both the petitioner and the respondent list what they feel is rightfully theirs. This includes property, child custody rights, and personal assets.

The disclosures are handed out must be evaluated within thirty days. Interrogatories are a list of questions drafted by attorneys to be asked to both parties. These are handed out and must also be answered within thirty days. Some states have limitations on the amount of questions asked by attorneys. Admissions of facts are another part of the “discovery” process.

Either both or one spouse will direct claims to the other party which must be denied or accepted within the allotted time, usually thirty days. Income and personal properties are collected in the next phase, which is referred to as a request for production. The spouse that is served with a request must comply within thirty days.

Because this process involves personal information, it is usually here that divorce proceedings slow down considerably. Finally, depositions are needed to fulfill the “discovery” mechanism. Depositions are sworn testimonies of the opposing party and they usually involve witnesses and are often used in court during the divorce proceedings.

Once all the information is gathered, a mediation or trial is scheduled. Mediations are when both spouses meet with their attorneys to discuss the divorce and attempt to reach a settlement without going to court.
If a settlement can not be arranged during this time, then a trial is set so both parties can argue their case in front of a judge.

Once the judge makes his or her decision, the papers are signed and a divorce is finalized. As with any court proceeding, appeals can be made if one of the parties involved feels the judges ruling was unjust.

When going through the rigors of a divorce settlement, it becomes necessary to fully understand your state’s divorce law. This is especially true when child custody and visitation rights are at stake.

Finding a lawyer you can rely on will help guide you through the legal proceedings and hopefully assist with expediting the entire process. Then the chances of you having a lengthy proceeding that matches many of the celebrity divorces you see in the news decreases.

Islamic Women Divorce Laws of Egypt

Under the rules of Islamic sharia, the husband can end his marriage unilaterally by simply announcing the words “I divorce my wife” or “I divorce you” three times. He does not need to justify his decision, nor explain any reason for his divorce and never need to enter a courtroom to end his marriage. Egyptian Muslim women however are denied equal right to divorce. They are trapped in unwanted marriages or left begging for a divorce that can take years to obtain and leave them destitute.

Egypt’s Islamic family law of divorce is established in five legislations: (1) the law of 1920; (2) the law of 1929; the law of 1979; (4) the law of 1985; and (5) the law of 2000.

The Divorce Laws of 1920 & 1929
The 1920 law deals with divorce and financial support under which a woman might be eligible to seek a divorce from her husband, The law restricted woman’s right to divorce to lack of husband’s economic support, such as desertion, disappearance, and imprisonment. Article 1 of the Law of 1920 provides that maintenance was a cumulative debt owed by the husband to his wife, it starts from the first time the husband failed to support his wife. Article 2 decreed the wife’s maintenance debt should be computed from the date of her divorce. Articles 4 and 5 included the husband’s failure to provide maintenance as sufficient grounds for divorce.

The law of 1920 provided that if the husband is absent or imprisoned and if he does not own a property from which the wife’s maintenance can be extracted, the wife is then entitled to a divorce on the grounds of non-support. And, if the husband lives in a distant place, or his location is unknown, the wife is granted a divorce at once. Article 6 provides the husband a further period to pay the maintenance, the waiting period of the menstrual cycle (iddah). A divorce obtained from the religious court in nonsupport cases is irrevocable, however, payment of the current maintenance is a sign of good will and sufficient to reverse the divorce.

The 1920 law provides that a wife may seek judicial divorce if the husband suffered from an irreversible illness such as madness, leprosy, or impotence, whether or not the illness was developed before or after the marriage. According to the law of 1920, women were not allowed to divorce if the husband claims poverty. In all these cases, women had to file for divorce in front of a male judge. At the same time, the law allowed men to exercise their divorce according to Islamic sharia by uttering the formula of divorce anywhere they choose.

The law of 1929 granted women right to seek judicial divorce according to Maliki School of jurisprudence in case the husband was absent for an extended period of time. This particular cause for divorce is not included in the Hanafi doctrine. According to the Maliki School, the judge may issue a divorce decree when the husband abandons his wife for more than one year without the knowledge of his wife.

The law of 1929 stipulates that a woman whose husband had been sentenced to more than three years may seek divorce after a separation of at least one year. This complies with the Maliki doctrine.

In view of the maltreatment inflicted on by men on their wives, the Egyptian government deemed it necessary to adopt the doctrines of the Maliki School of jurisprudence to make it easy for women to get out of their dysfunctional marriages associated with maltreatment and sufferings, a doctrine which is absent from the Hanafi School. The 1929 legislation allowed judges dealing with Islamic divorce to refer to Maliki School instead of Hanafi in order to grant a woman the right to divorce her husband in case of maltreatment.

Furthermore, the Law of 1929 grants the wife the right to seek judicial divorce in case the husband suffers from serious and incurable disease, if such a cause makes life harmful to women.

Article 6 of the law decreed that where a wife’s allegation of maltreatment detrimental to the continuation of marital relationship is substantiated and reconciliation becomes impossible, the judge (qadi) shall grant the wife an irrevocable divorce. To prove the harm and bad treatment inflicted by the husband, the wife must present two witnesses, whose testimonies will be subject to the unconstrained assessment of the judge who evaluates the evidence.

If the judge rejects the wife’s petition for divorce, twice, the law mandates that he appoints two arbitrators for the couple in accordance with the Quran injunction: “And if you fear a breach between the two, then send forth an arbiter, one from his family, another from hers” (Q. 4:35). Article 7 stipulates that if this is not possible, men acquainted with the circumstances of the case should be appointed. These men should conduct thorough investigation of the causes for the married couple and submit recommendations to the court for reconciliation if that becomes possible.

Article 10 provides that should the arbitrators indicate a deadlock, the judge is to order them to make a new attempt. If the new attempt fails, then other arbitrators are to be appointed. Article 11 stipulates that the final judgment of divorce is made after the newer attempts were fruitless and the prospect for reconciliation reached a deadlock.

The Divorce Laws of 1979 and 1985
Under Islamic sharia, a Muslim husband is entitled to marry up to four wives at a time. In 1979 President Anwar Sadat issued Decree-Law No.44 to amend the previous laws of 1920 and 1929, mainly in the area of polygamous marriages. A new provision was added requiring that the husband’s remarrying without the first wife’s (or first wives’) consent be considered harmful and that if the husband remarries a second wife, his first wife is granted a judicial divorce upon her request provided that she became aware of his second marriage within a year from the day she got to know of his remarriage. The ground for such a divorce is based on the notion of harm inflicted on the wife. This law was criticized and challenged on the basis of restriction to polygamy which is considered legal and religiously legitimate in Islam.

In 1985, the Decree-Law No.44/1979 was declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it was passed by presidential decree and presented to the Egyptian Assembly as a done-deal. Later in the same year the Law No. 100/1985 was passed again with some revisions. It states that polygamy may be considered a possible source of harm, according to which a woman may seek judicial divorce. Under such circumstances, the wife presents the court with evidence showing the harm. The judge evaluates the evidence and issues his ruling. The law of 1985 does not prohibit the husband from having a polygamous marriage; it only offers a remedy to the first wife who would can seek divorce for damage resulting from her husband’s second marriage. A wife seeking divorce on this ground has to bring two witnesses to testify for the damage incurred. Such a procedure is lengthy and costly for the wife.

Although the law allows women to divorce for polygamy, in many instances, judges refuse to apply this provision, which they consider to be contrary to Islamic sharia and to the Constitution of Egypt. Article 2 of the Constitution of 1980 affirms that Islamic sharia is “The main source of legislation”. Accordingly, judges who opposed the new provisions in the divorce law brought up the “unconstitutionality” issue.

The Law of 2000
In 2000, a new legislation was introduced in Egypt allowing women to seek judicial divorce in a procedure called Khul’, according to which, a married woman can request a judicial divorce in exchange for monetary compensation. This procedure is well known in Islamic sharia, but Egyptian judges did not intervene in such a divorce. Islamic sharia requires that the husband consent to this type of divorce without judiciary interference. The new law grants the wife right to seek a judicial divorce through khul’ without the consent of the husband. Under such divorce, the wife declares that she detests life with her husband, that the marital status between the couple has become impossible to continue, and that she fears she will not be able to maintain the “Limits of God” due the deteriorating relationship with her husband.

As a compensation for the husband, she has to forfeit her maintenance (nafaqah), her compensation of “mahr” and agrees to return to him the amount of “mahr” that he paid her at the marriage and she must renounce the amount of the “deferred mahr” (mu’akhar). The law of 2000 made it possible for a wife to get a “no fault divorce” from the judge after a lengthy process of reconciliation. For more on the khul’ divorce in Egypt, see our piece on this topic titled: “The Khul’ Divorce in Egypt”.

Anti-Women Sentiments in the Egyptian Law
It is extremely important to note that this discussion covering the Egyptian Personal Status Laws (or family law for the Muslim community) is derived from Islamic sharia and codified by the Egyptian government.

Furthermore, Muslim women seeking divorce in Egypt are denied equal access; they are at a distinct disadvantage for no reason other than they are women. Muslim women seeking divorce in Egypt must resort to the notoriously backlogged, inefficient court system and face procedural and evidentiary hurdles that are inherently discriminatory and may take several years to get a divorce.

When men initiate divorce, they do not have to go through reconciliation process. In fact a husband can divorce his wife in as little as one hour with the local marriage registrar. The wife does not have to be informed.

When women seek divorce, including those of domestic violence, they must submit to compulsory mediation in the name of family preservation and the biased notion that women are unable to make rational decisions about family issues. Many Egyptian Muslim women, including those in abusive relationships, refrain from ever attempting to seek divorce for fear of violence and potentially life-threatening marriages.

In all other court cases in Egypt, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man. Therefore a woman living with a violent husband would need testimonies from two men, four women, or one man and two women to prove her case.

The khul’ law of 2000 failed to address the discriminatory aspects of the divorce system. Its introduction has spared women the need to specify grounds for divorce, but forced them to give up critical financial rights in exchange for divorce, such as returning any cash or property provided by her husband under their marriage contract. This option is limited only to women with significant resource or those who are desperate for a divorce.

Recognition of Egyptian Divorce in USA
In the United States, state courts decide on divorce cases. A divorce judgment issued in Egypt is generally recognized in the United States on the basis of “comity”, provided that both parties to the divorce receive adequate notice, such as services of process and at least one of them is domiciled in Egypt at the time of the divorce.

Egyptian women citizens of the U.S. must obtain divorce decrees from Egypt as proof of divorce. The documents must be authenticated by the relevant authorities in Egypt and the U.S. This is important to women who could not remarry without presenting proof that they are free to remarry. Egyptian Muslim women who remarry without obtaining a divorce decree from Egypt, their second marriage may be considered illegal. In Islamic countries, women who remarry without divorce documents, may be labeled as adulterous, and in some countries like Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan may be subject to the death penalty by stoning under strict interpretations of Islamic sharia.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Republishing this article is permitted.

Maryland Divorce Law: An Overview

Under Maryland Law, you have the right to represent yourself in all legal cases, including divorce. The legal term for representing yourself is “pro se”, which is Latin for “on your own behalf.” However, representing the case by one own self is not a good idea for everyone. It is important to understand that by representing yourself, you may not be able to defend important rights. For instance, it is very important for you to find out if your spouse has a pension, retirement account, insurance or other significant property before you decide whether to file your own divorce. If you miss these things while filling for your divorce, you may give them up forever.

Before you file for divorce on your own, you need to talk to your spouse, if possible, and find out how he/she feels about the divorce and about the issues mentioned above. This will give you an indication whether you and your spouse are on the same ground and ready to face a complex scenario. Or you need to hire an experienced lawyer that will conduct the process in a much professional way sort out things for the betterment of both of you. Thus, discussion regarding divorce and property will let you know how exactly to proceed with the divorce case.

Property and Debt Division in a Maryland Divorce [http://www.bwgmarylandlawyers.com/Maryland-Divorce.asp]

Maryland is an “equitable property” state. This means that all marital property acquired during the marriage should be divided equally. The “marital” property, consisting of any other property acquired by either spouse during the marriage, will be divided equally, unless the court finds that equal division would be unjust. Any property possessed by either spouse during the marriage is presumed to be marital property unless it can be shown that the property is actually separate property. A court can determine the rights of the spouses in any pension or retirement plan or their rights under any insurance policy.

How is property divided in divorce condition?

It is common for a divorcing couple to decide about dividing their property. Apart from property, the debts that the couple has, also needs to be divided amongst them. It is better to solve this matter in person rather than leaving it to the judge or to the court. But, if a couple cannot reach a point of consent, they can submit their property details and dispute to the court, which will use state law to divide the property.

Division of property does not necessarily mean a physical division. Rather, the court awards each spouse a percentage of the total value of the property. Each spouse gets items whose worth adds up to his or her percentage. That is why; it is illegal for either spouse to hide assets in order to shield them from property division.

Understanding Chicago Divorce Law Can Help

Ask any attorney with a fair amount of experience and they’ll tell you that they’ve had a client who was bullied by somebody who made false claims about the law. This happens a lot in cases that have to do with divorce, child custody, alimony and other issues. Understanding Chicago divorce law can help you to avoid spending time worrying about threats that simply do not exist. A law firm that practices divorce law in Chicago is the best place to turn when you’re not sure what you should do.

No One Is Above the Law

Sometimes, making false claims about the law will take the form of psychological abuse on the part of one of the spouses. For example, it’s not uncommon for people involved in divorces to threaten to make their spouse look like they were crazy in court, like they never contributed anything or to do something else to disparage the reputation. Chicago divorce law is based on being fair. Being fair means being rational. If you’re working with a good firm that practices divorce law in Chicago, you don’t have to worry about somebody being able to game the system so that they can intimidate you out of getting what’s rightfully yours.

In the worst cases, vindictive spouses will threaten to take away somebody’s children by making false claims about them, by accusing them of crimes or through other nefarious means. They may not understand Chicago divorce law, but such individuals do understand manipulation. You’ll want to have a firm that practices divorce law in Chicago and that is knowledgeable enough about the law and how it can be exploited to head off these types of attacks. Understand that, if you’re in this situation, you’re not the first person to be in it by any means. Any experienced law firm will have had clients that have been in this exact same situation before, probably many.

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Divorce law in Chicago is not designed to punish one spouse for being inadequate to the advantage of another. Chicago divorce law is also not designed to serve as a venue for someone to vent their anger at the spouse that they are divorcing. Chicago divorce law exists so that people can petition for the dissolution of their marriage and can be assured that the courts will try to be fair in how they divide property, arrange for child custody and for all of the other aspects of divorce.

Contact a law firm and talk to an attorney, especially if you’re worried about somebody using the law against you unfairly. The last thing you want to do is try to learn about Chicago divorce by yourself and to defend yourself against false accusations or a spouse with a very aggressive attorney on their side. You need your own aggressive attorney. You’ll likely be amazed at how quickly these situations diffuse once attorneys are brought in and people can no longer make false claims about what the law allows them to do or about the rights of the spouse that they are divorcing.

What You Should Know About Florida Divorce Laws

Facing a divorce is indeed a terrible feeling. AS every couple enters marriage, they only have one fear in their life and that is divorce. However, no matter how much you love your spouse at the beginning, but you never just go along in the middle due to some factors, this is why the couple jump into the decision of getting a divorce instead. Every place has different system or divorce laws. The same with Florida- there is what we call unique divorce laws. The laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida may be different from the other divorce laws in some other countries. There are many factors that you need to consider in laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida. Check on the following below:

Florida Divorce laws- What are the grounds for divorce?
The laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida do not accept no fault ground divorce. When we say no fault divorce, this simply means that either of the parties can file for a divorce in Florida without stating that the other party was to blame or at fault. The laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida only accept divorce when either of the following situations happened:

€ The laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida will grant a divorce if there is an irretrievable damage in the marriage
€ The laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida will grant a divorce if either of the couples is having a mental incapacity

Before filing a divorce in Florida, the Florida divorce laws require the applicant to the Florida residency requirement. It is also required by the Florida laws that the couples should be living separately for at least one year before applying for a divorce in Florida.

The Florida divorce Laws- Florida Residency requirements
The Law of Divorce in Florida will only accept application for divorce in Florida only if the couples have lived in the state of Florida for at least six months. There is also a need to show some important documents proving that you have really stayed in the state of Florida for at least six months. The laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida encourage the applicant to get good lawyers to explain the legal details of divorce in Florida.

The Florida divorce laws- Child custody
The laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida require the parents who apply for a divorce in Florida to get a court- approved parenting plan. The Florida divorce laws require this parenting plan most especially to those couples who have minor children. The parenting plan should involve the agreements of both parents when it comes to the share of responsibility and the upbringing of their child which covers the health care- school issues and many more. The laws in nullifying the marriage in Florida will always look after on the interest of the child.

The Florida divorce laws- Florida property division
The divorce laws would usually make use of equitable distribution when it comes to property division. The divorce law in Florida emphasizes that each party will receive the equal share of the total property.

The Florida divorce laws- Child support
When filing for the nullification of the marriage in Florida, the Florida courts may order either of the parties to pay for the child support. The Florida child support is usually calculated and estimated from the total income that the family have earned when they have stayed together. The income is proportionally and approximately divided according to the earning of both parents.

Indeed, filing for nullification of the marriage in Florida is never that easy. There are many things that you have to consider and sacrifice. It is also important that you do not only protect your personal interests when filing a divorce, but it is also important to consider the interest of your children.