A Muslim man who wants to divorce his wife in the UK will not only need to divorce his wife in line with Islamic law and potentially pay the mahr. He may also need to finalise the divorce with a decree absolute through the family courts, if the marriage was recognised under English law.
Please note: We are a company based in Manchester, United Kingdom, and can only assist in family law matters to those living in England and Wales.
Is Islamic marriage recognised in the UK?
An Islamic marriage is recognised under UK law if the Nikah took place in a country where this type of marriage is recognised by law, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Iraq.
Your marriage is also recognised by UK law if you underwent a civil as well as your Nikah ceremony.
What is Talaq?
The word ‘Talaq’ is based on the Arabic word ‘ṭalaḳ’, meaning divorce. Talaq is often translated as ‘repudiation’, which means a rejection of a proposal or idea.
There are two main classifications of Talaq – ‘Talaq Al-Sunnah’ and ‘Talaq Al-Bid’ah’.
Talaq Al-Sunnah is a divorce that strictly follows Muhammad’s teachings. Talaq Al-Bid’ah, is an interpretation of Talaq Al-Sunnah. The Arabic word ‘Bid’Ah’ means ‘innovation’ and Talaq Al-Bid’ah is a kind of innovative adaptation of the initial law.
The main practical difference is that the husband does not have to go through a waiting period with Talaq Al-Bid’ah. He can divorce his wife with one statement.
What is Talaq Al-Sunnah?
Talaq Al-Sunnah requires couples who are separating to go through a waiting period of three months. These three months begins as soon as the husband states he wants to divorce.
This waiting period is intended to give couples the chance to reconcile and resume their lives as a married couple. However, if a man has pronounced three divorces on three different occasions, he cannot take back his former wife or remarry her.
During the waiting period you need to refrain from sexual intercourse. If you don’t, it is taken as proof that you wish to withdraw your request for divorce. The divorce will only become final once the waiting period has passed.
Talaq Al-Sunnah can be further divided into ‘Talaq Al-Ahsan’ and ‘Talaq Al-Hasan’. Each one presents a slight deviation on the Talaq Al-Sunnah process and waiting period.
What is Triple Talaq?
Under general sharia law, husbands can divorce their wives by saying the word ‘Talaq’ three times. However, this form of Talaq is not universally accepted. Practice does vary, and other rules often apply, such as specific waiting periods, witnesses and the state of mind of the man at the time.
In the UK, you can apply for divorce from your wife to the sharia council. The process is complex and can become lengthy if it’s not handled efficiently. The full process is highlighted below.
UK law and Divorce
The civil divorce process
If your marriage is legally recognised in the UK you also need to apply for your divorce in civil court. To do this you need to follow the steps below, alongside the sharia law procedures.
In order to file for divorce, you need to be able to prove your marriage has broken down. The grounds you claim for divorce will need to be one of the following:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Separated longer than 2 years and you both agree to a divorce
- Separated for at least 5 years and only you agree to the divorce
The civil divorce procedure can be long, complex and emotional. If you had a civil marriage in the UK or you had your Nikah in a country where the Nikah is recognised by law you will need a civil divorce. This means that as well as obtaining your Talaq, you will also need to follow these steps:
1. Forms and fees
Fill in a divorce petition form, pay the fee and send your forms to your local divorce centre.
2. Agreement or disagreement
If your wife agrees with the divorce petition your divorce will go ahead at this stage. However, if she does not she can decide to start her own divorce proceedings against you later on.
3. Court hearing
If you can’t agree on a divorce and you both file petitions, you’ll need to go to court.
The sharia divorce process
Sharia divorce follows a set four stage procedure. Our Muslim solicitors can guide you throughout, making each step as simple as possible. The steps are:
The first task is to submit your application form to the Sharia Council.
The council will then notify your wife.
The council will then check if all your dower obligations have been met.
You will then be issued with your Islamic divorce certificates.
Tailored support from Islamic solicitors
Our Islamic services
Our team of sympathetic and dedicated solicitors will always work with you to reach a solution that is right for you financially and emotionally. We support our clients throughout the Islamic divorce process, from beginning to end.
We’ll prepare your applications and legal documents and ensure that all documentation is submitted to the sharia council in a timely manner.
Additional mediation and reconciliation services
As well as leading negotiations for any financial disputes, we can support you through mediation and reconciliation meetings, if you feel this could be beneficial .
We can also provide civil divorce services and assistance with children disputes, should you need them.
Talaq fee packages
Our standard fee for our support services for Talaq is £250 + VAT.
If matters proceed to sharia council, then council fees will be charged and will be, depending on the council, between £225 and £250.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
What our clients are saying about us
Very efficient firm. You have handled my case’s impeccably. My advisor, Charlotte, has been 100% professional and efficient.
You were the third solicitor firm who handled my claim. Things were going at a pedantic rate but your file handles Craig Johnson kept me informed and advised me whenever! The claim took over 3 years from start to finish but Craig worked on it in good time.
She saw to every little detail and made sure I was reassured every step of the way. She showed me empathy and always went the extra mile.
Our Promise to You
- Friendly, personal legal services
We promise that our approachable solicitors will provide you with a genuinely personal service that puts your needs first. Our team of experts are always on hand to give you support when you need it.
- Award-winning service in our fields of expertise
We pride ourselves in offering the highest standards of service across each of our legal departments. Regardless of your situation, we promise to provide you with the very best legal advice.
- Advice tailored to your needs
We promise to listen to your needs and offer the right guidance for your situation.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution in any area of the law. Every case requires a tailored approach and you deserve a solicitor who understands this.
- Outstanding customer service and care
Our excellent reputation is built on our exceptional level of client care.
Every case is handled with the highest level of respect and many of our clients go on to recommend us after building an invaluable relationship with our solicitors.
- Transparent fees and processes
Transparency is very important to us. We promise to provide you with total Transparencyrency on fees, so you know exactly what you are paying for. We’ll also make sure you’re kept updated on the progress of your case every step of the way.
Get in touch
Let us know how AWH Solicitors can help you by providing us with your details in the form below.
Please let us know when you want to be contacted so we can get in touch with you at a time that suits you best.