Dallas Child Support Attorneys

Divorce in Texas – taking care of the kids.

Divorce is never easy. It is an admission on one or both spouse’s parts that they did not manage to sustain a marital relationship. Often there is a lot of bitterness with one or both parties invoking blame and retribution on the other. This is particularly exacerbated where there are children involved. It is important for one’s interests to be represented by a skilled attorney well versed in Texas family law in divorce cases where there are minor children.

The whole area of family law to do with Child support, custody, visitation rights is a major area of practice for Dallas Family Law Attorneys.

In Texas “conservatorship” is the name given to define what rights and duties the parents have after the finalization of divorce. Despite what bitterness there may exist between the spouses the interests of the children are actually paramount. Thus in the vast majority of divorce settlements there will be parental rights and duties awarded to both parties. This is known as “Joint managing conservatorship”.

The actual residence of the children is also usually awarded to one parent and usually the mother. Nevertheless the other spouse will still have visiting rights and the right to be regarded as the parent. It is only in cases where the one parent is shown to be irresponsible or impaired as a parent, such as being an abuser of alcohol, drugs or being physically violent that this is overturned.

This visitation and parenting is an area of great potential conflict. Bitterness and anger plus fear and insecurity are some of the emotions that have to be dealt with. Nevertheless it is in the children’s interest that these matters be agreed and adhered to as amicably and as fairly as possible. Family Law attorneys will all deal with issues such as this often. It is strongly advisable that their counsel be followed to help the children cope with the trauma of their parents separation.

Conservatorship is but one aspect of family law, the next of course is the financial support. It should be emphasized that support may equally be sought for a child born out of wedlock. There are many cases of mothers pursuing, and winning child support from fathers of children resulting from extra marital encounters. In these cases paternity must be shown in Texas law.

There is a set “Tariff” or rate for child support laid down in Texas law. If the party has children from one marriage that has ended child support will be determined as a percentage of their “Net resources” in other words everything they might have which has value as an income. 20% for 1 child up to 40% for 5 or more. If there are children from other relationships the calculation is more difficult.

Child support ends when the child reaches the end of secondary education or the 18th birthday whichever is the latter. In all matter of child support knowledge of both parents rights and the amount due for the care and upbringing of the children is crucial. For this reason it is advisable that a firm of Family Law attorneys be appointed to represent the client and look after their interests.

Collaborative Divorce — breaking up doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank

The collaborative process, started by Minneapolis family lawyer Stuart Webb in 1990, provides alternative dispute resolution using a team of professionals working jointly for the couple, rather than in adversarial roles. It is just now hitting the radar screen in Illinois, where practitioners estimate that about 300 divorces have been handled this way in the last several years. The state averages about 35,000 divorces a year, records show.

Both parties agree not to enter litigation. Couples often hire attorneys trained in collaborative law and bring in shared accountants, financial planners, business valuation experts, child psychologists and even life coaches to help the couple. Unlike impartial mediators, the attorneys can advise their clients as advocates.

Proponents say it dramatically cuts the tension–and the costs–involved in traditional contested divorces.

There are skeptics, however. Among the critics are those who say the peacefulness of the process encourages divorce and attorneys who say the best representation for any divorcing spouse is a vigorous offense.

Participants in a collaborative divorce sign documents promising to disclose all assets, and their attorneys agree to walk away from the case if the parties end up going to trial.

An average contested divorce can run about $30,000, but it’s not uncommon for some to reach six figures, attorneys say.

Collaborative costs vary widely, depending on the number of professionals involved and the number of meetings it takes for spouses to agree on a settlement. Collaborative attorneys estimate that most of these cases settle for half to a third of what their bill would have been with a court battle. Settlements must be reviewed and approved by a judge.

Costs ranged from $5,000 to $21,000, representing as high as 15 percent of annual household income.

Even friendly divorces come with costs that reach beyond the courtroom, however, and women especially tend to feel the strain. Divorce Magazine reported the drop in standard of living for women after divorce was 45 percent in 2000. About 20 percent of people filing personal bankruptcy had been recently divorced, according to Harvard University law professor Elizabeth Warren, who has studied families in dire financial straits since 1986 and who is considered one of the leading national authorities on bankruptcies.

Your staff: In addition to consulting attorneys, divorcing couples are turning to specialized financial planners to run living cost estimates, decide the value of family businesses and prepare investment return projections on proposed settlements.

Typically these are accountants, certified financial planners or other financial advisers who offer a specialized divorce practice. Someone who has a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst designation has also taken a self-study course and completed four exams related to divorce finances, but be sure to inquire what other credentials he or she has. Training is done through the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts in Southfield, Mich. (800-875-1760).

If you’ll need help valuing assets or a business, or suspect your future ex may be hiding money you also may need to contact a forensic accountant.

If you are the primary breadwinner but are considering a lower-paying job as you go through the divorce transition years, tread carefully. Some judges will require you to maintain your family’s previous standard of living. A judge may rule you’re more than capable of a high earning power and decide to award less alimony.

Your portfolio: If you think you’ll have to draw down some retirement money to cover expenses in the first few years of divorce, do it sooner rather than later, this way you can take a distribution at the time of divorce without a penalty,

Your tax return: Be sure to consider the tax consequences of your divorce settlement. The more money a primary breadwinner doles out as alimony instead of child support, the more he or she can deduct from income, experts say. The spouse receiving the alimony will have to pay income taxes on the money, but usually it will be at a lower tax bracket. Child support, on the other hand, isn’t deductible from income.

How to Come Out Of Your Divorce With the Best Overall Outcome

The proceedings can be a very difficult time in the lives of individuals that are going through it. Whether you are a man or woman, there many things that need to be taken into account as you are looking at all of the different things that you need to take into consideration. Divorce is never a fun time for anyone, and you need to make sure that you are properly handling the entire ordeal to the best of your ability. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration in order to help you to come out of the situation with a positive outcome, hopefully for both individuals, although there may be some conflicting interests that keep this from happening. A do other things that you can do in order to influence a positive outcome from your divorce proceedings include;

Lawyers For Legal Representation

The first thing that you need to do if you are going through a divorce, is to find lawyers that are going to be able to help you with your legal representation. There many things that need to be taken into account throughout the ordeal, and lawyers that are specially trained in this field, and knows how to handle a variety of situations that normally would be problematic for individuals to handle on their own. There are many things that you need to take into consideration when searching for a Dallas divorce lawyer, which is also encompassed by Dallas Business Lawyer firms as well. You need to make sure that your lawyers know what your goals are in the divorce, what you would like to keep, and what you are willing to part with if there is a settlement. The last thing that you want is for this to go to court, so reaching a settlement can definitely be something that will be in your best interests in the long run.

Compromise

Any divorce proceeding is going to require a little bit of compromise on your end. You need to make sure that you are not being greedy, and are willing to part with the possessions that are rightfully your spouses. Although the laws say that each divorce should be around 50-50 in terms of assets being split, you also need to take into consideration what was yours prior to the marriage, and what was theirs prior to it. Some marriages start with a prenuptial agreement as far as who keeps what assets in the likelihood of a divorce, and what assets are going to be off-limits to each individual. Some prenuptial agreements will have clauses in there that state if infidelity is a part of the divorce, that there are going to be a number of different things that they need to look at.

It it is important that you go into every divorce proceeding with a good idea what you are looking to get out of it, as well as what you are willing to part with. By being able to compromise, and having the appropriate legal representation, you are my going to have a much higher likelihood that you come out of it with a positive outcome.

How To Find The Best Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer

The end of a marriage can be painful, frustrating and emotionally taxing and is seldom a good experience. In such tough times, however, it is all the more important to make sure the process doesn’t produce any more bitter moments and that the separation goes off as smoothly as possible.

Because people are not really in the right frame of mind, they make decisions that can adversely affect them in the long term and the consequences can be quite bitter. This is why it is very important to find a good divorce lawyer. This guide will help you find the right Philadelphia divorce lawyer for your case, so that you can leave the tough decisions during the divorce to the professionals and let them handle your case, instead of you taxing yourself even more.

Divorce is not only painful but it can be incredibly complex with a host of issues coming up during the separation, right from children to finances and property distribution. There can be many complications involved in each of these. Therefore, you should let the best Philadelphia divorce lawyers handle your case so that you don’t need to stress more and your case can proceed smoothly. Taking the time off to research and find the best Philadelphia lawyers will greatly help your cause and will surely be worth the time and effort spent in trying to find one.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR?

So the simple question is, how do you find the best Philadelphia divorce lawyers to fight your case? There are several things that you will need to look at while choosing the right lawyer.

*Experience: Experience is important for a divorce lawyer because there is a lot of learning from the practical cases and not just books. Divorce can take unexpected turns during the case. If your lawyer has enough experience in the field, then he will be ready for anything the other party throws at you, and thus be able to protect you and serve your interests better.

Make sure that your lawyer is well experienced not just in terms of the number of years he has been practicing law but also the number of divorce cases he has handled over his career. Experience in this particular field is important.
Another important thing to note is that different states can have very different divorce laws and a lawyer who has been practicing in one state for a long time might find it difficult if he suddenly takes up a case in a new state. You would ideally like your lawyer to have worked and have the experience in your state.

*Specialization: It is best to entrust the complex issues of divorce to an expert who specializes in this field. It is thus important to find a lawyer who specializes in divorce and family law. Experience can be important in divorce because a lot of potential complexities might arise during the case. Thus it is best to entrust your case to someone who really knows about this in depth.

This might seem to be obvious and straightforward, but unfortunately it is not – the process of finding a specialized lawyer is also complex! This is mainly because there is no standardized legal definition of a ‘specialist’ and thus any lawyer can claim that he is a divorce specialist.

However, you would want the best Philadelphia divorce lawyer who is actually an expert in this field. This can be accomplished in several ways. One way is to talk to your potential lawyer directly about your concerns and he should understand. Then, he should be able to substantiate his claims of being a specialist divorce lawyer. Another way is to approach law firms that specialize in divorce. This way you can be sure you have the right lawyer working for you who understands your situation and your pain and can help you out throughout the process.

*Secondary Skills: Secondary skills are important in certain cases of divorce when there is much at stake apart from the usual. For example, many divorces can get financially messy and it can take a lot of time and effort to sort them out. In fact, financial considerations are very important during any divorce and if you have sizable investments tied up, then you should make sure that you have not only the best Philadelphia divorce lawyer but also someone who is well versed in financial troubles of a divorce.

The secondary skills that a lawyer will require will depend on your particular case and is usually hard to generalize. However, you will need to decide what other problems your divorce might be facing and then choose your lawyer accordingly.

*Flexibility: Flexibility for a divorce lawyer is very important because of the uniqueness that each case presents. The way you and your ex separated has a lot of bearing on the case. No one likes court cases and lengthy legal proceedings unless absolutely needed. If possible, it is best to reach a settlement out of court and the best Philadelphia divorce lawyers understand this.

Of course, at the same time, your lawyer should be ready to get tough if your interests are threatened and need to be protected. Therefore the right mix of mediation and aggressiveness is required in a divorce lawyer and he should be able to change his advice and strategy according to your particular case.

WHAT TO ASK

It is very important that you get the best Philadelphia divorce lawyers working on your case and for this you will need to question them on various aspects that relate to your case at hand. This should greatly help you narrow down your choices and ultimately choose the right lawyer for your case.

Asking questions is important before the initial consultation for several reasons. Firstly, you should be able to select just the right lawyer for your case who not only has all the qualities that have been outlined above but who is also a good fit for your case, who shares your own vision, direction and approach for your case. This will ensure compatibility during the case and you can work together instead of working against each other. There are many cases when people want to change lawyers in the middle of the case, which can be quite a problem. Therefore it is important to select the right lawyer from the start.

Secondly, lawyers charge initial consultation fees so you should be able to gather all the relevant information before this so that you can make up your mind. When you ask these questions, it is always advisable to write down the answers because it will be easier to compare with other lawyers.
It is good to meet with a few lawyers before deciding upon the final one for your case, to select the best fit. When you question all the lawyers that you meet, you will know their strengths and weaknesses as relating to your case, and then you can weigh them to finally decide which lawyer will be best suited to handle your case.

*Expertise: As mentioned earlier, it is important for a lawyer to be an expert in divorce cases and not just overall experience. Thus inquire about what percentage of the cases handled by that lawyer were related to divorce and family law. Also inquire about how many years he has been working in this specific area and also whether he is practicing in the state or out of state.
It also helps to look at the educational or other qualifications. Certainly a Harvard law graduate is more likely than not to be a great lawyer. Look for any certification or training or other kinds of specializations that are in the family law and divorce area.

Also ask about recent cases and let him tell you about a case that was similar to yours, so that you can have the confidence that this person will be able to handle your case. Also, look for any other kinds of requirements like financial cases, etc. that may be relevant to you.

*Availability: Availability is an important issue to look for in any lawyer. It is not just good enough if the best Philadelphia lawyer is working on your case but is unable to really concentrate and spend time on your case. Therefore you should inquire about the lawyer’s current caseload and whether he will be able to take on your divorce case.

At this stage, it is also important to make sure that it is really the lawyer that you are talking to who is ultimately responsible and who takes up your case. There are various people at a law firm that will also work on your case and you should ask about them as well, etc. paralegal staff, associate staff, interns, etc. Make sure that your lawyer is the one ultimately responsible for everything.

Also, you should inquire about how often you can meet him and how long he estimates the case to take. Also, make sure that you are able to meet with not only his associates but also him as and when required. It is good to meet and interact with everyone working on your case, but when needed, you should be able to talk to your lawyer directly.

Finally, ask about how you can contact him – through phone or email and stick to it. Many lawyers might find email to be more convenient than a phone call unless it is an emergency, but you should be equally comfortable with that particular mode of communication.

*Fees: This is a very important part of deciding on your lawyer because you do not want to be spending a fortune. You should be able to get an estimate of what it will cost, overall. To all the lawyers that you meet, you should firstly ask about their hourly rate and also how it is charged. Some lawyers keep track of the exact time while others sell their time in chunks of 10 or 15 minutes. This may not seem significant but can make a sizable difference to your bill.

Then you should ask about all the additional people you will need to pay, like secretaries, accountants, etc. that directly or indirectly work on your case. This can form a significant part of your bill, so make sure this issue is cleared up in advance. Also ask for any additional professionals that you may require on the case who will also need to be paid, like psychologists or detectives.

Ask the lawyer to keep the fee structure straightforward and tell you all the expenses that you will need to incur. Do you have to pay for the photocopies? Do you have to pay for any additional services during the case? How are the fees handled if the case goes to trial? All these need to be cleared up before you can decide on one particular lawyer.

If you follow all the above advice, you will be able to have a great lawyer working on your case so that your divorce process can be as smooth as possible, mitigating any other possible sources of stress that you might have to face. The best Philadelphia divorce lawyers are ready to work for you, so you should make the most of their skills and expertise.

How Can They Help You

A Dallas family lawyer has the responsibility of handling cases regarding family issues. Qualified Dallas Family Lawyers who practice family law in the state of Texas can take on clients’ cases regarding the following:
* Marriage
* Prenuptial (pre-nup) agreements
* Divorce
* Separation
* Equitable division of the assets accumulated during the period of marriage
* Child custody
* Alimony negotiation
* Adoption
* Kidnapping
* Adjudication
* Juvenile
* Emancipation
* Parental rights
* Child support
* Paternity
* Domestic violence
* Child abduction

Dallas family lawyers can also handle cases other than the aforementioned. These lawyers can also handle cases that are very closely connected to the following: probation law, cases regarding property laws, trusts, criminal laws and so on.

But it is also important that you know that the cases usually handled by Dallas family lawyers are; prenuptial agreements, legal separation, divorces, child custody and domestic abuse cases. There are a whole lot of details that will need to be put into consideration when handling family law cases. For instance; a highly experienced Texas Divorce Lawyer knows all of the legalities of the state’s divorce laws. It is also important that you understand that Dallas family lawyers who practice specific areas of family law and have a reputation of performing brilliantly are the ones with a great deal of experience. You should not be fooled into believing that a family law attorney will only perform excellently based on his or her qualifications alone ??” it simply does not work that way!

As a client who is in dire need of legal representation in the area of family law, you need to realize that there is a whole a lot of “negotiation” or “bargaining” as some would call it and documentation involved when handling cases that are related to family law. For instance, a good Texas divorce lawyer is not cocky and insensitive like the movies will have you believe. A real life Texas divorce lawyer will genuinely support his or her client professionally, morally and even emotionally – an average Texas divorce lawyer is not vindictive or cold hearted at all.

You might also be thinking that the cost of hiring the services of Dallas family lawyers will be colossal but most lawyers who practice family law will usually charge their clients based on the type of case that is presented to them. For instance, when the case before a Dallas family law attorney is a divorce case, the charges for legal representation may actually vary, because this will really depend on whether the couple who plan to go their separate ways have a few unsorted issues between them like property division, child custody, alimony, child support and so on.

There are a lot of Dallas family lawyers that are known to charge by the hour; while there are family lawyers in the same state who simply charge a flat fee. Please also be informed that it is a common practice for a family lawyer in the state of Texas to charge a retainer.

Checking the Divorce List Twice

Divorcing isnt easy. Handling the various details required for marriage dissolution in California is enough to send a person into panic.

Going for marriage dissolution is a tough decision, made even more difficult if there are children involved. Its a time for second guessing, worrying about the welfare of the kids, and about the future. Then there are all the details that need to be attended to in order to get marriage dissolution in California. The stress levels couldnt be higher. In situations like this, discuss your fears with your Orange County divorce attorney. Thats what they are there for; to guide you through the labyrinth of confusion that arises when divorce proceedings take over what was once a normal life.

In order to get a handle on some of the stress, one of the better ways to get mentally organized is to make a checklist; a divorce checklist. While this might sound like the last thing on earth you would want to do with the roof falling in on your head, it offers you the chance to clearly focus on what needs to be done, what is done and what is pending, as well as puts into focus what documents or information you will need to round up.

The other positive thing gained by using a divorce checklist is that it tends to prevent any surprises further down the road if both of the spouses are on the same page during their dissolution proceedings. While this may be a very upsetting thing to do, it will pay off in the long run when all the sticky issues that need to be taken care of are out in the open and ready to be discussed with some degree of equanimity.

A divorce checklist should also have an asset and debt inventory section that covers various items that need to be shown to the court. That usually includes marital debts for the couple and an accurate record of all marital property. The property may include bank loans, bank accounts, student loans, pension plans and retirement plans, IRAs, bonds, stocks, sporting goods, the marital home, jewelry, and the vehicles both spouses drive. If there are any questions on how to classify property or divide your debts, speak to your Orange County divorce attorney for clarification.

One of the hardest things to sort out for a divorce proceeding is the value of assets, and in most instances, a reasonable guess will suffice keeping in mind that you may also need to be able to prove the actual value of the asset at a later date. The value of the asset should also include details about when the item was purchased and which person will take possession of it. Splitting the debts should also be done in a similar manner. In other words, who incurred the debt, how much is owed and who is going to take the responsibility to repay it.

There are other questions that will need to be dealt with over the course of the dissolution proceedings, and if you stay in constant contact with your Orange County divorce attorney, the journey to divorce wont be quite as devastating or confusing.

How does Legal Separation differ from Divorce

Legal separation is where a married couple legally separate without getting divorced. During this legal process decisions regarding children (such as custody, visitation rights and maintenance payments) and financial issues (such as debt, mortgages and assets) are decided upon. It is really an official separation, going further than simply living apart but not as far as getting a divorce. After a legal separation a couple are still legally married but live separate lives. They are formally living apart and the courts may be used if there are any disputes.

In some ways a legal separation is like a divorce, with the most obvious reason being that the couple are not living together. If a couple have children similar arrangements need to be made as they would were they divorcing, either through agreement or through the courts. Where each spouse lives and who pays for it needs to be established as does who has access to shared funds or assets.

So, why do couples choose legal separation instead of just getting divorced? Some opt for this because they dont like the idea of getting divorced, possibly for religious reasons or they dont want the stigma of being divorced. Often couples use legal separation as a trial to see if they would like to stay together or divorce. It gives them time and space to make a decision. They may find that living apart makes them realise they miss each other and want things to return to the way they were, or they may want to be separated permanently. Sometimes legal separation leads to divorce, sometimes it leads to reconciliation and sometimes they remain separated without getting divorced.

Although some couples remain separated for good without divorcing, this is fairly rare. If they are not going to remain together as a couple most will prefer to cut their ties with each other. Another important consideration is that while still married, they are unable to marry anyone else.

So, is legal separation necessary or can couples simply live separately without the legal process? Well, they can if they wish, but it is not always that simple. Whether that is preferable depends on an individual couples situation and preferences. Legal separation can be more complex in some ways due to the legal processes that must be gone through. But, on the other hand, it can also simplify things as they will both know where they stand on certain issues.

Beatrice Sareen (c)

Best Tampa Divorce Lawyer – Best Divorce Attorney in Tampa

Tampa Divorce Lawyers and Divorce Attorneys- Free Guide

Today’s Question: Can you file for a divorce without a lawyer?
Divorce is an expensive, life altering experience. Hiring a lawyer is VERY expensive. While we don’t recommend it, it is possible for you to do it yourself. If you have no assets or children this may be an avenue you want to explore.

1. A good place to start is by visiting your local clerk of court website. Search by the name of your city and state and clerk of court. Their website will be able to tell you what forms need to be filed out in most instances.
2. Fill out all the paper work. Have your spouse served with the divorce papers.
3. Your Sheriff’s office will do this for a fee.
4. File the paperwork with the court
Don’t let the 4 steps fool you. This is a huge task and should be taken very seriously.

Some things to think about before you decide to file your own divorce:
-Does your spouse have a lawyer or attorney?
-Are there substantial financial assets involved?
-Are children involved?
-Are you concerned about your safety?
-Was your divorce due to some form of abuse?
-Is your Ex vindictive?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then it is recommended you hire an experienced attorney to ensure that your interest, if not your children’s, is protected.

If I can give you one piece of advice: You and your spouse may be on good terms right now, but please make sure you understand from a legal perspective everything you are doing and signing. Their good humor could always change in the future and you want to make sure nothing can come back to hurt you. Simply trusting your spouse or ex-spouse to do right thing can often cause you a lot of heartache.

Our free guide will help you choose the best family law attorney in Tampa, FL or anywhere else.

Make sure you get The Best Divorce Lawyer Available and avoid a traumatic and overly-expensive divorce by making an informed decision.

Get more information NOW! Go to:

This guide should not substitute for legal advice from a law professional.

Are you lonely and bewildered about a relationship breakup and want help to get your ex back

You already know how grueling it is to just wake up and roll out of bed in the morning. You leave your radio off on your way to your job because every song is a painful reminder of him. You can’t even bear to eat at the same restaurants you took her to. And if that isn’t bad enough, you have to deal with the loss of friends and family that are on “their side”. But here’s some good news… Most relationships CAN be salvaged! You may find it difficult to believe that almost every break up for whatever reasonbetrayal, plain old lost passion, loss of interest, a stolen heart and worse…even the worst situations you could conceivelike men serving prison terms have salvaged their relationships. Yes, even Ex-convicts have reunited with girlfriends and wives after being away for years! It doesn’t matter if you were the one that got left or did the leaving your pain is real and can be healed. Find out everything you need to know to feel better within twenty-four hours. It’s true you could be feeling significantly better one day from today. The Magic of Making Up System can… Show you how to take COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE BREAK UP and make your ex become extremely attracted to you and want to have sex with you every day of the week! Yes it is realistic with “The Instant Reconnect Technique” (my favorite technique). You can use these secrets right now to make your ex Come CRAWLING BACK TO YOU on their knees while they are begging you to take them back! However, I must STRONGLY CAUTION YOUthe advice and techniques are VERY unconventional. Relationship counselors get REALLY ANGRY because they are charging a lot of money (sometimes for months and even years) and you could do just one of the procedures in the book And next thing you know… youre back together with your ex. I just don’t believe that any amount of sitting in a classroom can make up for the REAL WORLD experience that you will learn. Human psychology plays a big part in the approach to getting back with an ex. Unconventional techniques and relational psychology is a large part of the Magic of Making Up. It will lead you toward a recovery just like thousands of other separated people have experienced. Your pain could be gone, faster than you can begin to imagine, forever, if youre willing to follow the system. How would it feel to wash away your pain, to remove the knot eating you up from the inside? “Do you want all the magical behavior controlling advice to get your ex back?”

The Khul’ Divorce in Egypt

Under the rules of divorce in Islamic sharia, a husband has the prerogative right to divorce his wife any time, any place, with or without any reason. Under certain conditions, the wife may request from the religious judge a judicial divorce in case of harm or maltreatment (darar), as stated by the Maliki School of jurisprudence.

Based on the wide interpretation of the Maliki School, the wife may seek divorce if she can convince the judge that she is suffering a harm from her husband, a provision that is not allowed by the Islamic Hanafi School of law.

In general terms, Islamic sharia allows the wife to seek divorce under the following conditions: (1) impotency; if the husband is unable to consummate the marriage; (2) his apostasy from Islam; (3) his imprisonment for a long period of time; and (4) if he contracts an incurable skin disease.

The additional harm as a cause for divorce in Maliki interpretation of sharia, allows the wife to bring evidence to the judge showing that the husband used systematic maltreatment, and is unable to provide maintenance to her.

Such provisions in Islamic sharia created hardship for thousands of women who were seeking divorce, but unable to prove the harm factor to the satisfaction of the judge. Women were unable to get out of their un-happy marriages because their husbands refused to consent to the divorce, and the judges were not persuaded with the evidence presented by the women. To remedy this situation, the Egyptian government enacted a law allowing judges to approve the divorce through a process known as Khul, or repudiation, without the consent of the husband.

Khul was practiced in early Islamic period; it allows the wife to obtain a final divorce by means of a financial settlement paid by her to the husband in compensation, without having to prove of harm or maltreatment. Frequently, under the terms of Khul, the wife is required to pay back all or part of the “mahr”, which is the amount of money or objects of value that the husband gave his wife when the marriage contract was signed. Also, she has to relinquish her right to the amount of “mahr” he promised to give her in the future. In addition, the husband must agree to the Khul. In other words, should the husband refuse to consent to the Khul, the wife will be unable to get divorce. Faced with that difficulty, the legislators in Egypt enacted a law in which the judge was given authority to separate the married couple based on Khul without the approval of the husband and without having to prove maltreatment.

On January 2000, former President, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, issued in the Official Gazette [al-Jaridah al-Rassmiyyah] Law No.1, of 2000, granting women the right to file for a “no-fault” divorce (Khul) on the basis of “incompatibility,” without having to provide evidence of harm. Under the provisions of the new law, the wife may obtain a definitive judicial separation from her husband if she desires so; the only condition she has to satisfy is to forfeit her rights to alimony and her deferred “mahr” (muakhar) as well as repay her advanced “mahr” (muqaddam).

First section of Article 20 of the new law provides the following: “A married couple may mutually agree to separation (al-Khul); however, if they do not agree and the wife sues demanding it [i.e., the separation], and separates herself from her husband (khalaat zawjaha) by forfeiting all her financial legal rights, and restores to him the “mahr he gave to her, then the court is to divorce her from him (tatliqiha alayhi).”

Before the judge rules on Khul, he has to order the couple to undergo a process of reconciliation, and after asking two mediators [hukkam] to pursue conciliation efforts between them for a period that may not exceed three months; and after the wife decides explicitly [tuqarrir sarahatan] that she abhors living with her husband and there is no way to continue married life between them, and that she is afraid to transgress Gods limits of this abhorrence.

It is important to note here that while a woman is required to submit to burdensome and time-consuming court-ordered conciliation, men seeking divorce, on the other hand, are never required to make any efforts at reconciliation. The reconciliation process is rooted in the biased notion that women are not capable of making rational decisions on issues related to divorce. According to one prosecutor in Cairo, mediation was necessary because “a woman may be hasty in filing for a divorce and may not have a strong keenness in keeping the family together. The court has to play this role and intervene. Men are more wise and rationale than women. A womans emotions can overcome her rationality”. (See Divorced from Justice: womans unequal access to divorce in Egypt, Google eBook, p.28).

Section 3 of Article 20 states that the separation order of the judge is “an irrevocable divorce [talaq bain]”; and the courts decision is not subject to any form of appeal. Article 20 of the Egyptian law of 2000 does not accord legal weight to the husbands consent to the terms of Khul divorce. This is based on the Sunnah literature, embodied in the Islamic canonical collections of the sayings and deeds of the Prophet of Islam, and especially the collection of Sahih al-Bukhari, which contain an authenticated version of Muhammads handling of the Habiba separation case in which he ruled to separate her from her husband without asking the husbands permission.

Although Article 20 of the Egyptian Personal Status Law, which grants women the right of Khul is considered a significant accomplishment by womens rights activists, it is harmful to womens financial rights because the wife is forced to give up her mahr, alimony and other gifts provided by the husband during their marriage. Poor women, particularly in rural areas, suffer most of this financial loss.

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