By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Monday, April 11, 2016.

Ever heard of the Triple Talaq? It allows Muslim men in India to leave their wives instantaneously by saying “talaq,” meaning divorce, three times. Would it work here?

The Wall Street Journal has an article about India’s Supreme Court, which is considering petitions that challenge Muslim laws governing marriage on the grounds that they discriminate against women, a charged issue that risks angering the country’s orthodox Muslims.

Among the petitioners calling for change is a Muslim woman whose husband, after 13 years of marriage, divorced her by saying “divorce” three times.

The Indian constitution protects gender equality, but on issues of marriage, divorce and inheritance, different religious communities are governed by their own so-called personal laws. Whether a person is subject to those laws is usually determined by their religion at birth.

I’ve written about the interplay between religion and family law in Florida before. Florida passed Senate Bill SB 386, which was approved by the Governor in May. Specifically, the bill prohibits courts in Florida from:

– Basing a decision on a foreign law that does not grant the parties to litigation the same rights guaranteed by the Florida or U.S. Constitutions.

– Enforcing a ‘choice of law’ clause in a contract which requires a dispute to be resolved under a foreign law that does not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by the Florida or U.S. Constitutions.

– Enforcing a ‘forum selection’ clause in a contract which requires a dispute to be resolved in a forum in which a party would be denied his or her fundamental rights guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United States Constitution.

There are now 32 states which have considered some limits on the application of foreign law, either through legislation or ballot initiative.

Muslim women’s rights groups argue that the practice of Triple Talaq misinterprets the Quran and is protected by orthodox Muslim men to perpetuate patriarchy.

“Muslim women have their hands tied while the guillotine of divorce dangles, perpetually ready to drop at the whims of their husbands who enjoy undisputed power,” the petition reads, alleging that women have been divorced over Skype, Facebook and through text messages.

The validity of personal laws rooted in religious beliefs – and the judiciary’s right to intervene – has long been a contentious issue in India . . . and Florida too.

The Wall Street Journal article is here.

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