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Court divorce

Fatwaa ID: 1588

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Beloved Ulama, if a man gives his wife a court divorce does that count as a shar’i divorce? If it does, then how many divorces will it count as? If it doesn’t, then is there any way the court divorce COULD count as a shar’i divorce?

جزاك الله خيرا احسن الجزاء

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

In principle, a court or civil divorce does not constitute an Islamic divorce (talaaq). The judge presides over the rulings and implications of a civil divorce. He does not have jurisdiction over a Shar’ee divorce (talaaq) and neither is that his mandate. If the husband signed the civil divorce documents and also intended a Shar’ee talaaq, then only will talaaq take place. If he did not intend talaaq while signing the documents or did not utter any words of talaaq, then talaaq will not take place even if the husband initiated the divorce proceedings. The nikaah will remain valid despite the legal divorce decree. For talaaq to be effective, the husband must issue a talaaq to his wife, verbally or in writing. In the enquired situation, the nikaah is still valid unless the husband signed the court documents with the intention of talaaq or he issued her a talaaq.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

01/19/1445 AH – 08/06/2023 CE | 518

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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