Religious divorce

For some couples who have had both a civil wedding ceremony and a religious one, a civil divorce through the courts here in England and Wales is not enough to end their marriage.

While the civil divorce legally brings the marriage to an end, the couple remain married under religious laws and need a religious divorce too.

The two religions where this is very important to consider are:

Jewish marriages and divorce

Judaism  - for Jewish marriages, alongside a divorce, the husband must also provide his wife with a Get. A Get is a legal document which validates a Jewish divorce.Without a Get, neither can remarry in the Jewish faith and there are consequences for the wife starting a new relationship or having a child with a new partner if she remains religiously married.

Islamic marriages and divorce

Islam - for Muslim marriages, alongside a divorce, the husband must also pronounce Talaq or the wife can initiate Khula, Faskh or Tafreeq. A talaq is the most common, and refers to the husband’s right to finalise an Islamic divorce.Without the religious divorce, entering into a new marriage contract may be difficult and there are consequences for the wife in some Muslim countries where, for example, she will need her ex-husband’s consent to travel out of that country.

The need for both a civil divorce and a religious divorce is an important but complicated issue to understand. For example, if you are a Jewish or Muslim couple living in the UK and you only get a religious divorce in this country and not a civil one then, as far as the law in England and Wales is concerned, you are still married. However, if you get a religious divorce in another country, you may find that that divorce is recognised as a valid divorce in the UK.

Our experience

Our lawyers understand the importance of taking into account the spiritual as well as the legal.  We have a wealth of practical experience gained from advising clients as far a field as Pakistan, Israel, Turkey, the USA, the Gulf and Iran (as well as those closer to home) including: 

  • advising Jewish clients on the correct time to apply for a Get and a divorce
  • supporting clients needing both a religious and civil divorce within mediation
  • successfully resolving disputes over dowries

Whatever your religion – and whatever your circumstances – we are here to help make the religious divorce process easier. Talk to us for support and advice today.  

Mills & Reeve Sites navigation
A tabbed collection of Mills & Reeve sites.