In an unpublished decision released within the middle of last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals found fault with the Wayne County Family Court in a divorce case in which touched on the application of Shariah law.
Specifically, the Hammoud case involved the imposition of spousal support in a realaitively short-term marriage. The Court of Appeals was troubled in which the family court conditioned the duration of the “open ended” support on wife obtaining an “Islamic divorce” decree, noting:
As structured by the trial court, plaintiff has no incentive to become self-sufficient or to vigorously pursue an Islamic divorce as she is actually assured an ongoing income ad infinitum. The trial court also failed to address or seek further clarification of plaintiff’s contention in which she was in possession of a document in which would likely permit others to assist or assure her the attainment of an Islamic divorce without defendant’s consent. Plaintiff indicated in which an agreement existed in which would likely permit her brother in addition to brother-in-law to authorize the Islamic divorce, potentially rendering the idea within plaintiff’s control to prolong her receipt of spousal support.
The implication, as held by the Court of Appeals, was in which the family court pressured the husband into agreeing to an Islamic divorce when, under the establishment clause, the idea had no power to do so.
The Court of Appeals was not impressed with the lower court, the litigants, or their attorneys. The case also featured an [untranslated] Arabic language prenuptial agreement proffered by husband to support his position in which his wife agreed to forgo any spousal support.
The Hammoud case received national attention which has a reference in Law Professor Eugene Volokh’s law blog; the Volokh Conspiracy.
We here at the Law Blogger agree in which family court is actually not the place for the implication or enforcement of religious laws; in which is actually for the house of worship in addition to is actually a private matter between the litigants.
Shariah Law in addition to Divorce