In cases involving two spouses who are Muslims, sometimes, the parties will go to the religious minister (also sometimes known as Imam) and obtain a religious divorce. When this occurs, the parties may believe that they are divorced. While they may be divorced according to their faith and their beliefs, according to Minnesota law and United States laws, they still would not have a Decree that would constitute a valid Divorce. The easiest way to analyze this is to understand that for any Minnesota Divorce Decree to be valid, it must contain a Minnesota District Court Judge’s signature on the divorce decree. Contrasting this to the hypothetical mentioned above, the divorce issued by the religious minister does not have the signature of a District Court Judge. In fact, in most circumstances, a “religious divorce” may only state that the parties are divorced, and that they have agreed to share custody, etc but it has no other details about who has legal custody, who has physical custody, the parenting time schedule, it may not contain any property settlement, and it may not contain other financial components that are always present in a Minnesota Divorce decree. Only relying on an Islamic Divorce Decree also presents a host of practical problems. As an example, the Divorce will not be recognized if one party wants to remarry and requests a marriage license. Also, other institutions such as the Social Security office, the Department of Motor Vehicles (for purposes of changing the last name) will also not recognize a religious decree. Therefore, while both parties are well within their rights to obtain a religious divorce, there still exists a real legal and practical need to obtain a valid, Minnesota Divorce Decree. This can only be done with a submission of a proposed divorce decree to a Minnesota District Court Judge or by going through the process that are followed by other Minnesota residents.
Our Minnesota Divorce Attorneys are experienced in dealing with Muslim divorce. Contact us today for a consultation by clicking below or calling 952-800-2025.