How a Religious Divorce Affects a Civil Divorce

For some couples who choose to have both a civil wedding ceremony and a religious one, a civil divorce through the courts is not enough. While the civil divorce means that the marriage has officially ended, under religious laws, the couple remains married until they have a religious divorce. Keep reading below to find out all about religious divorces and how they can affect a civil divorce:

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The Two Religions Where a Religious Divorce is Important

The two main religions where a religious divorce is important to consider are:

  • Islam – for Muslim divorces, the wife much initiate Khula or the husband must pronounce Talaq, Faskh or Tafreeq. Muslims who don’t have a religious divorce may find they’re unable to remarry in the future. In some countries, it can also have consequences for the wife e.g. she may require her husband’s permission to travel out of the country.
  • Judaism – for Jewish divorces, the husband must give his wife a Get. Without this, neither the husband nor wife is allowed to re-marry in the Jewish faith. There are also a number of other consequences for the wife if she chooses to start a new relationship or have a child with someone else.

Why is Religious Divorce Important?

People of devout faith are rightly concerned about making sure their marriages don’t impact their standing in their religion. The majority of religions have strict guidelines and requirements on who may marry, who can conduct the wedding ceremony, and what happens during the occasion.

Likewise, most religions also dictate how and whether a divorce can be procured. They also dictate the consequences for the couple who choose to divorce.

How Religious Divorce Can Affect Civil Divorce

Religious divorces can have a huge impact on the outcome of a civil divorce. Likewise, a civil divorce can also have an impact on the outcome of a religious divorce.

Here are two examples:

  • In the Jewish religion, the husband must deliver the Get. This gives him significant bargaining power over his wife in civil divorce negotiations. He may be able to get more favorable settlements relating to property divisions and child visitation or custody. Jewish women who want to follow their religion are far more likely to agree to unreasonable conditions of a civil divorce in order to follow their faith.
  • Similarly, in the Jewish religion, if the husband wants to remarry, but needs a religious divorce, the wife has much more bargaining power if she refuses to accept the Get.

Another reason why religious divorces can affect civil divorce proceedings is that the evidence that’s provided in a religious or a civil divorce process can now be used in the other proceeding. This can result in huge consequences too.

How to Remain Religious During a Divorce

The relationship between divorce and religion is varied and complicated. Different religions have different ideas about divorce. Some religions see it as a fact of life, while others treat it as a sin. However, divorce can happen to us all. If you want to continue to follow your faith during your divorce, then here are some of our top tips to help you:

  • Talk to others – communicate with other people who follow the same religion as you
  • Practice your faith at home – why not create a space in your home where you can continue practicing your faith. You could purchase some votive candles to make the space feel more sacred. You could also consider purchasing a religious pendant or charm that you can keep with you at all times.
  • Ask for advice from religious leaders – if you’re struggling to cope with your divorce, then it might be a good idea to ask for some advice from your religious leader. They will be able to help you through the process.

As well as civil divorce proceedings, there are religious laws that require individuals to follow certain instructions before their divorce can be recognized within the context of their religion. For many religious individuals, obtaining a valid religious divorce is as important as getting a civil divorce. If you’re considering a religious divorce, then it’s important to understand how your divorce proceeding can affect a civil divorce.