Islamic Divorce in New York State

Muslims residing in the State of New York are in a dual situation when it comes to the implementation of family law. On one hand, they are governed by the religious law of Islam, known as Islamic sharia, and on the other hand, the secular family law of the state of New York. To Muslims, the family law of Islam mandates that marriage and divorce among Muslims should be done in accordance with the Islamic sharia, regardless of whether they live in an Islamic or secular country. Civil divorce decrees obtained by secular courts are not recognized by Islamic sharia.

Under Islamic law, a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, whereas a Muslim woman is prohibited from marrying non-Muslim man. Under these rules, a non-Muslim woman marrying a Muslim man in compliance with Islamic sharia is subject to the rules of Islam in the areas of divorce, child custody and inheritance. In other words, a non-Muslim woman who gets married to a Muslim man in accordance with Islamic sharia, loses custody of her children in case of divorce, or in case the husband dies. Consequently, a non-Muslim woman marrying to a Muslim man is forced, under the rules of Islamic sharia, to surrender custody of her son when he reaches the age of seven, and her daughter at the age of nine. She also prohibited from inheritance. These rules are applied throughout Muslim countries with a system of sharia-based family law in place.

Marriage Contracts in Islamic Sharia
Under the rules of Islamic sharia, the marriage contract should include: (1) names and addresses of the couple; (2) name of the guardian of the bride; (3) names and addresses of two male witnesses; and (4) the amount of mahr, or a promise of money or its equivalent to be given by the husband to the bride. Like any other civil contracts, Islamic marriage contract should be in the form of offer and acceptance by the parties.

Contrary to the popular notion that mahr is dowry; it is not. A dowry is what the wife contributes to her marriage while mahr is an obligation on the husband to pay his future bride. Others call it a gift; it is not a gift either, because mahr is an obligation on the husband and is mandated by the Quran. The Quran calls it sadaq (Quran 4:4). If no stipulation of mahr is provided in the marriage contract, the marriage remains legal and in effect; in such a situation, the “qadi” (judge) will determine the amount of mahr, which remains a property of the wife alone. The amount of mahr can be paid partially: up-front (Arabic, muqaddam), and deferred until divorce or death of the husband (Arabic, muakhar), or it may be prepaid in full before the consummation of the marriage.

Legal Status of the Mahr Provision in Islamic Law
The most important feature of the mahr provision is that one party makes an offer and the other can accept or refuse to accept. It is a financial settlement between the couple in case a divorce occurs or the husband dies. Although, Muslim women do not personally bargain for the mahr agreements, and, in almost all of the divorce cases that I have seen so far, in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, Islamic marriage agreements involving mahr are negotiated by the representative (Arabic Wali) of the bride.

In the State of New York, an Islamic marriage contract involving mahr may be considered premarital agreement for a divorce settlement. In legal terms, this is called a concurrence of wills or meeting of the minds of the future husband and his future wife. This also means that each party from an objective perspective engaged in conduct manifesting their acceptance, and a contract was formed when both parties met such a requirement.

The basic rule is that a premarital contract will be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the law of the state in which it was entered into. Thus an Islamic marriage contract signed in Egypt according to the Egyptian law for example, must be interpreted according to the law of Egypt. The Restatement of the Law Second Conflict of Laws 3d, Chapter 8, Contracts, is clear about the law for the state chosen by the parties to a contract. The text of the Restatement reads: “(1) The law of the state chosen by the parties to govern their contractual rights and duties will be applied if the particular issues is one which the parties could have resolved by an explicit provision in their agreement directed to that issue.”

Looking at both academic and case studies in this area of law, this article points the reader in the direction of the current trends in the treatment of mahr in New York State and to address Islamic family law issues relevant to New York State law and the working of its legal system. The mahr provision in an Islamic marriage contract has been interpreted differently in other states. For more information on treatment of mahr in other states, the individual should seek legal advice.

Interpretation of the Mahr in New York State
Muslim men and women assert their Islamic legal rights in American family courts; as a result, Islamic sharia governing their marriages and divorces becomes an important and complicated part of the American legal landscape. This leads to a discussion of court cases involving Muslim marriage and divorce litigations in the State of New York, as well as whether New York courts will enforce the terms of Muslim marriage contracts, mainly the mahr provision.

New York courts have jurisdiction over divorce cases within its territory, with specific focus on premarital contract structured in accordance with foreign laws. And, various state courts have found no public policy prohibition in enforcing such agreements. In New York, a mahr agreement may be interpreted within the context of a contractual obligation.

In Aziz v. Aziz, the couple entered into a mahr agreement which required the payment of $5,032, with $32 advanced and $5,000 deferred until divorce. The New York court ruled that the contract conformed to New Yorks contract requirements, and that “its secular terms are enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.” (See Aziz v. Aziz, N.Y.S.2d at 124).

In this case, the husband argued that the mahr agreement provided in the Islamic marriage contract could not be enforced because it was a religious document and was not enforceable as a contract. The wife responded by stating that although the mahr is a religious stipulation; its secular terms can be properly enforced by the court. The court agreed with the wife and ordered the husband to pay the deferred mahr. The court found that the mahr agreement complied with the necessary statutory requirements to be recognized and enforceable as a premarital agreement and held that the secular terms of the mahr agreement were “enforceable as a contractual obligation, notwithstanding that it was entered into as part of a religious ceremony.” The court stated that the mahr agreed to by the couple constituted a secular debt of $5,000 and ordered the husband to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

The case was based entirely on another New York of Appeals case of Avitzur v. Avitzur involving a Jewish Ketubah in which a Jewish woman sued for specific performance to force her ex-husband to appear before a Beth Din (Jewish Court). Under Jewish Law, only a man can grant a divorce, or “Get”. Until he does, the woman cannot remarry within the Jewish faith to anybody. Her children will then be considered illegitimate. In order that a “Get” may be obtained, both husband and wife have to appear before the Beth Din. The husband refused to appear, leaving the woman in a state of marital limbo, making her an “agunah.” The New York Court of Appeals found that the Jewish ketubah constituted a valid premarital agreement that could be enforced despite the religious underpinnings of the agreement.

Conclusion
As the second largest religion, and with the number of Muslims immigrating to the United State on the rise, American courts are more frequently looking into Islamic divorce litigations between Muslim couples. Out of respect to Islamic law and culture, American courts attempt to apply certain provisions from Islamic sharia, such as the mahr contract in divorce cases involving Muslim couples. By doing so, American courts risk involving their arguments with gender and economic inequalities between Muslim men and women, leaving Muslim women destitute. The application of mahr agreements in Islamic divorce in the United States prevents women from exercising their rights to equitable distribution of marital assets upon divorce. If the courts need to extend their respect to Islamic law in divorce situations, they should look into whether the wife had a choice in signing the mahr agreement. Muslim women do not personally bargain for the mahr agreements, and, in almost all of the divorce cases that I have seen so far, in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, the Islamic marriage agreements involving mahr are negotiated by the representative (Arabic Wali) of the bride. Other states do not regard the mahr to be a premarital contract. Individuals seeking information on the treatment of mahr by other states should seek legal advice from a competent attorney.

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 of this article is hereby granted by the author.

When You Should Hire A Houston Criminal Law Attorney

The legal system in the United States is very confusing to the average person because of the way codes are written and the particular language that is used. This is usually the reason why you should hire a Houston Criminal Attorney if you are involved in certain types of legal matters in the state of Texas. Of course, if you don’t know anything about the law, how will you know when you should seek the services of a qualified lawyer? The truth is, there are some basic things that are easy to learn about the legal system that help you determine if you need legal counsel and which type of professional to acquire.

First of all, you need to know that the criminal justice system is based on two things: actus reus and mens rae. Actus reus is the committing of an act of guilt while mens rae is the state of mind when committing the act. This defines a crime as an act of guilt (that breaks a law) committed by a person with the intention of said act. Thus, if you are accused of committing a crime it is because it has been determined that you had the intention of participating in an illegal activity and then committed to the activity. A Houston Criminal Law Attorney can help you better understand the terms.

Secondly, you should know that there are two types of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are crimes that can be punishable by imprisonment for under a year. Misdemeanors include things like:
*Petty theft and larceny
*Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (without incident)
*Minor in possession of alcohol
*Reckless driving
*Trespassing
*Disorderly conduct

Felonies, then, are crimes that can be punishable by imprisonment of more than a year. Felonies include things like:
*Murder
*Assault
*Rape
*Kidnapping
*Robbery
A qualified Houston Criminal Attorney can help you determine what action you should take based on which category of crime in which your case falls.

Determining if a crime has been committed is only part of the criminal law process. It is important to have a Criminal Law Attorney because the other side of criminal law is sentencing, or punishment. Every crime has a set type of punishment that has been determined to be suitable. This punishment can be jail time, fines, community service, or a combination of these. Your attorney can often negotiate these limitations based on your personal employment, financial, and family responsibilities, which is another reason they are a worthy investment.

The bottom line is that if you are considering hiring a professional Houston Criminal Law Attorney then you should at least see if you can get a free consultation. Many lawyers offer this service to help educate potential clients on the complexities of the legal system and to help ease their mind. In fact, the peace of mind you can get from knowing that a qualified professional is handling your case for you is usually worth what they charge.

How Can Reputable Immigration Lawyers in Philadelphia Help You

Many cities in the United States have a history with immigrants: New York and San Francisco are particularly the most famous in this regard. Manayunk, a neighborhood in Philadelphia, is well-known for the 19th century influx of Italian, Irish, Polish, and German immigrants after the city became a major industrial center. Immigration continues to be a hot issue in the country to this day, which is why many immigration lawyers in Philadelphia still have their hands full.

One of the most important benefits of working with an immigration attorney is the knowledge he or she has of the country’s immigration laws. These laws can be very complex, which is why some people just bypass them and enter the county as illegal immigrants. Below are some of the services that an immigration lawyer typically offers: :

Citizenship Application

One of the most common reasons for working with an immigration attorney in Philadelphia is to gain full-citizenship in the US (also known as naturalization), which can take a long time without the proper legal assistance. He or she ensures that the client submits the proper documents on time to the relevant authorities and that the process itself adheres to relevant federal laws like the Patriot Act of 2001. Hiring an immigration attorney is also a must if a business owner wants to move his or her company to the US.

Asylum Application

Refugees and expatriates need to work with immigration lawyers before they can be granted asylum in the country. However, this process may take a long time because immigration authorities also need to consider the international implications of providing refuge to, say, dissidents and activists from countries with strong ties to the US. Applications can be filed before or after the person reaches American soil.

Temporary Residency

This is specific to foreign workers and students who wish to reside in the country for a short time. However, this can also apply to Americans who wish to work or study in another country, especially if that country’s immigration laws are very different from the US. The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act of 2002 strictly requires schools and companies to report foreigners who are under their care.

For more about immigration lawyers, visit: wisegeek.com/what-is-an-immigration-lawyer.htm and attorneys.com/immigration/what-does-an-immigration-lawyer-do. For a brief look at the US immigration and visa policies, visit: travel.state.gov/visa/questions/policy/policy_4433.html.

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Personal Injury Attorney-What Do They Do

This branch of law covers personal injuries and the person who handles these types of cases is called a personal injury attorney. They are the legal person that represents the injured person in the civil law system. If you have been injured by a person or company you are entitled to sue those who you believe caused the injury no matter how serious the injury is. In the United States if you have been injured by intentional or negligent actions you can sue them under a body of common law referred to as the tort law system. Civil law and tort law systems are designed specifically to put the injured person back into the same position they would have been in if they had not been injured. One example is if a person has been injured and is experiencing pain and suffering, has incurred medical expenses, and damages they can sue who caused this injury to recover money to pay for the expenses.

When you have been injured you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer who will take down all the information about the injury, what expenses are occurring now and if any will be occurring in the future, any pain and suffering now and in the future, loss wages if any, etc. Once the personal injury attorney has all the information they will file the papers that are required with the court to institute the impending lawsuit. Many times it is common for both parties to settle out of court during the litigation. If both parties cannot reach an agreeable settlement the case would go to trial.

Before the case gets to the personal injury litigation phase the attorney will help you, referred to as the plaintiff, prove how you were injured and how the person you are suing is responsible whether it was through intentional wrong or negligence on their part. Most attorneys in the United States and Canada work on a contingent fee basis which basically means that the attorney will only get paid if you win your case. When you win the personal injury lawyer will receive a percentage of the settlement you won. Personal injury attorneys may represent you if you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, a slip-and-fall incident, car accident, or assault and battery. Once you have hired a personal injury lawyer they will take care of all the paperwork, any doctor visits they need you to go to, and any witness statements in regards to the injury.

Are you looking for a professional and experienced personal injury attorney? Hamilton & McInnis L.L.P. are among the leading lawyers San Diego and your case will be handled by an experienced partner in the firm. With extensive knowledge across a broad spectrum of practice areas.

Understanding Some Basics On Criminal Law

Criminal laws consist of prosecution by the government of someone for an action that has been grouped as a crime. Civil cases, to the contrary, involve individuals and organizations seeking to deal with legal disagreements. In a criminal case, the state, through a prosecutor, triggers the suit, while in a civil case the victim brings the suit. Persons convicted of a crime may be imprisoned, ticketed, or both. However, people deemed accountable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money damages, but are not jailed.

A “crime” is any act or failure to act in violation of a public law outlawing or commanding it. Even though there are various common law crimes, nearly all criminal offenses in the United States are implemented by local, state, and federal governing bodies. Criminal laws range significantly from state to state. There is, nonetheless, a Model Penal Code (MPC) which acts as a good beginning position to obtain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.

Criminal offenses include both felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are ordinarily violations punishable by imprisonment of a year or more, while misdemeanors are violations punishable by less than a year. However, no conduct is a crime if it has not been previously confirmed as such either by statute or common law. Recently, the list of Federal criminal offenses dealing with activities stretching out further than state borders or having special impact on federal operations, has developed.

All statutes describing criminal behavior can be broken down into their various elements. Most criminal offenses (with the exception of strict-liability offenses) include two elements: an act, or “actus reus,” and a mental state, or “mens rea”. Prosecutors have got to prove each and every element of the criminal offense to yield a conviction. Additionally, the prosecutor has to persuade the jury or judge “beyond a reasonable doubt” of every fact required to constitute the criminal offense charged. In civil cases, the plaintiff has to show a defendant is at fault only by a “preponderance of the evidence,” or more than 50%.

The heighten burden required in a criminal case reflects the serious consequences of a criminal conviction.

Are Fully Free Divorce Forms Helpful

Divorce is not a joke and it has been found through various surveys that more than 40% marriage cases ends up in divorce out here in United States. This is not a small percentage and it has been found that majority of these cases ends up through violence. A single marriage might cost around $28000. However, a single divorce also needs expenses equal to buying the car. This is certainly not a small amount. Thus, divorce is not a cheap process. However, it is a necessity and most of the people want to have it as they find out that it is the only solution.

There are many kinds of divorce forms and all of them have some specific job to complete. There are separation forms, divorce decree form, uncontested divorce forms and many more. They are available in court, market, and they are available online as well. The free divorce forms however, are available online only and you cannot get them free anywhere else.

It is important to know the divorce laws in detail; otherwise, it is hard to search for the divorce forms. There are generally two kinds of divorce possible. The first one is the adversarial and the second one is done through mediation. Mediation can be cheaper but the adversarial cases are always costly. Generally, in these kinds of cases, more money is required and hence most of the couples try to find the cheaper method for divorce. It is definitely true that majority of divorce cases in United States are headed by the violence.

However, these are due to relationship and personally both of the spouses wants to break the relationship through easy process. This is the main reason why the divorce forms are now being made available online and many firms are now in this business. These forms can be bought free of cost through many sites. However, there are many pitfalls of the online forms as well. It is hard to find out that these free forms are original or fake. This is the most important problem with the divorce papers and thus there are some facts, which need to be kept in mind.

There is much kind of forms available. The first one is the complete step by step instruction set, original answer forms, affidavit for inability to pay, waiver of citation, affidavit for citation by posting, final divorce decree, certificate of last known address, testimony for divorce and many more. Some of the other forms like marriage settlement forms are also quite popular.

Each product is quite useful and has its own importance. However, sometimes it is better to pay some amount and not buy them free of cost. There might be some virus affecting your computer through free products. Some sites however, can be trusted and free divorce forms can definitely be bought. Through this process, the total cost will be only around 250 to 300 dollars. The adversarial cases cost around 28000 dollars and hence there is no doubt at all the online divorce forms is advantageous.

What Are The Fees Of A Personal Injury Attorney Las Vegas

Personal injury law is one of the most important branches of law in the United States. Every city in every state has a number of lawyers who practice in this particular branch of law. Victims who have been injured by the fault or carelessness of another can go to court in order to claim for a compensation for their injuries. The offending party, if proven guilty, must pay for all medical expenses along with any added amount that the court sees fit. Sometimes, victims of accidents are injured to such an extent that they cannot continue with their work until they have fully recovered. If the sole bread earner of the family is injured, then the entire family has to suffer financially. This law is there to support the people who have been wronged. However, it is important to remember that personal injury laws differ in every state. A personal injury attorney Las Vegas practitioner, who knows the local law, will be able to help you out in the best way possible.

What are the various reasons that make people hesitate before retaining a lawyer?

A lot of people who have been injured in an accident feel that they can carry the entire case forward without any legal representative. It is important to remember that personal injury claims require a lot of in-depth knowledge of the law. There is a lot of complicating paperwork to be dealt with and an investigative team is also required to prove the claim of the wronged party. A citizen who has no legal experience cannot do this all by himself and therefore it is advisable to retain a lawyer. Many others feel that they will not be able to afford the fees of the lawyers. There is no sure shot of winning a claim and having to pay a lawyer after a loss is a risk that most people do not wish to take. However, all lawyers now work on a contingency basis.

What is contingency fee system?

All cases include compensation if the case is won. A personal injury attorney Las Vegas takes a percentage from the compensation received by the wronged party. If the lawyer doesnt win the case, no fees have to be paid. The percentage depends completely on the amount of compensation received by the wrong party. The fee system is such that benefits the clients and the lawyers. The lawyers try their level best to get maximum possible compensation as they will also be gaining more from it.

About the author:-

This article is written by James Stew. His knowledge and experience in law has helped him to write this informative article on Las Vegas car accident attorney. Whenever you are looking for some valuable information, you can actually go through his articles and get the necessary information.

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New York Immigration Marriage Law

United States is through a lawful marriage to a U.S. citizen. As a result, the Immigration Service saw many sham or business marriages. To protect the agency and the country from fraudulent applications and marriages, Congress passed Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986.

Marriage Residence status

Marriage now results in conditional residence status unless it is more than two years old at the time of granting the immigrant status. Two year period is measured from the time residency is granted. Conditional residence status may be terminated if before the second anniversary of the grant of conditional residence, the new york Immigration Service determines:

1) marriage was judicially terminated, such as a divorce
2) marriage was entered into to gain an immigration benefit
3) the couple failed to petition (Form I-751)

The Immigration Service to remove conditions within 90 days prior to second anniversary of conditional residence or the couple failed to attend their interview, unless the noncitizen has filed Form I-751 seeking a waiver of the joint filing requirement. Conditional residence becomes permanent residence after second anniversary of status if it is not terminated for any of the above reasons.

Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments Act covers spouses

If the new york Immigration Service suspects that an alien has entered into a sham marriage, that alien is subject to removal from the United States. For that to happen, the marriage must be fraudulent at its inception or from the very beginning.

To determine whether the marriage was fraudulent at inception, the Immigration Service looks at several factors. The question that becomes relevant is: did the bride and groom intend to establish a life together? The government looks at the subjective state of mind. However objective factors are also considered. The conduct of parties before and after the marriage is relevant. To prove validity of the marriage, the couple must present evidence which may include, but is not limited to, insurance policies, property, leases, income tax, bank accounts, etc. Additionally, the couple must be consistent in its answers to the immigration officer.