Tag: Muslim Religious Divorce Contracts

The Divorce Pandemic hits Saudi Arabia

The divorce pandemic hits Saudi Arabia after first starting in China, South Korea, and the United States – which have reported increases in divorce filings following the easing of some quarantine restrictions.

Saudi Divorce

Dry Statistics

According to Al-Amri, the number of divorce cases handled by courts across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reached 53,675 in 2017 or 149 cases each day.

But new reports show that divorce rates in Saudi Arabia have increased by 30% during the lockdown period enforced by the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, reported the Dubai-based English language newspaper Gulf News quoting Saudi Justice Ministry.

The paper said the rate of divorce has increased compared to the same period last year.

However, during the lockdown period, 13,000 people also tied nuptial knots an increase of 5% compared to the same period in the previous year.

The ministry also informed that as many as 7,482 requests of divorce and Khula – a procedure in Islam which allows a woman to divorce her husband – were lodged.

According to the newspaper, some Saudi working women including doctors, citied secret marriages of their spouses as reasons for seeking a divorce.

Apparently, the preventive measures taken to stem the spread of the coronavirus including imposing lockdown – contributed to helping women to uncover the secret marriage of their husbands.

The high rate of divorce has become a destabilizing factor in Saudi society and it obstructs the Kingdom’s march to greater progress. Social consultant and researcher Salman Bin Mohammed Al-Amri has expressed his deep concern over the repercussions of the high incidence of divorce in society.

The office of the Grand Mufti approved 6,163 divorces during the same year, which is an increase of 846 cases compared to 2016.

“We should know that there are hundreds of divorces not recorded by the courts, so the actual figure could be much higher than what is officially reported”

The total number of divorces could be 40 to 45 percent of the total number of marriages, which was put at 159,386, in the same year. “This shows that we have to take drastic measures to bring down this huge number of divorce cases in the country,” Al-Amri told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

Florida Divorce

I’ve written about the divorce statistics before. Forced together due to a shelter-in-place order may be the reason for your divorce, but legally you don’t need one. That’s because Florida is a no-fault divorce state.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or annoying behavior in a government enforced quarantine.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

What do you do if you are trapped in quarantine with someone you want to separate from?

To avoid problems during a quarantine, you may have to force yourself to work together – however difficult that may be.

Couples who are separating or separated already, and are parents, are being forced to work as a team and talk through problems that are making forced quarantine impossible. Reassure each other that you will make it through and work together.

The key if you’re living together is to strike the right balance between having quality intimate time together, or if you’re at the brink of your relationship, giving each other some space.

Shifting Sands

Measures must be taken to control divorces to reduce its social impact as it causes untold problems to the children of divorced couple. Men and women who have separated after years of living together also face psychological, economic and social problems.

“We have to conduct a detailed study on the increasing number of divorce cases in Saudi society to find a viable solution.”

Injustice, lack of honesty and trust, and confusion are the hallmarks of divorce cases across the Kingdom. It destabilizes families, the foundation of society.

Saudi and Gulf societies have changed considerably in recent years as a result of foreign influences and other factors, largely affecting social, cultural and economic norms.

“Our families have been influenced by the new urban culture and modern information technology. Education and employment of women and the Kingdom’s openness to foreign cultures were other factors that increased the divorce rate.”

Many parents have failed to prepare their sons to get married by training them to take responsibility. Some men fail to fulfill their Shariah duties toward their wives while those having more than one wife fail to treat all of them fairly and equally.

There are many other reasons including bad temper, infidelity, drug and liquor habits, miserly attitude and high dowry, in addition to psychological, health and social reasons.

Al-Amri said women are the most affected in case of divorce due to society’s negative attitude toward them. A divorcee loses economic support and financial security provided by her husband and this brings down her living standard, in addition to making her a burden on the family.

“As a result of this situation, such women will be forced to seek financial help from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and charitable organizations. This will lead to depression and push them to commit suicide,” he explained.

Most divorced Arab women are unlikely to get married for a second time because of the tough attitude of society toward them.

The situation of divorced men is not very different as they too face a lot of difficulties and mental pressure. They may be forced to pay to child support. Many divorced men are afraid of marrying another woman due to the failure of the first marriage.

Children are the worst hit by divorce as they will lose the sense of security and will not be able to concentrate on their studies. The father will try to take custody of his children and keep them away from their mother. “This will create a horrible family atmosphere for children,” said Al-Amri.

Instead of becoming leaders of progress and prosperity, separated men and women would become depressed individuals unable to make any contributions to the country’s growth. It will increase financial burden on the state, charities and civil societies as the divorcees and their children will require financial support.

The Al Arabiya article is here.

 

Mixing Religion and Divorce

Afreen Rehman, a woman living in India, was recovering from an accident when her husband sent her family a letter with the word “talaq” written three times. Their marriage was over under an Islamic practice which India just banned. Rehman’s case proves mixing religion and divorce has its detractors . . . and its fans.

religion and divorce

Your Fast, Low-Cost Divorce

Rehman’s husband relied on an Islamic law that allows a husband to annul a marriage by uttering the word talaq—Arabic for “divorce”—three times. The practice is commonly known as “triple talaq,” or instant divorce.

India’s Parliament passed a bill to criminalize the triple talaq. A man who imposes an instant divorce on his wife faces up to three years in prison. Not surprisingly, women’s-rights activists, Islamic groups, and different political parties are divided on the issue.

Many Muslim women’s groups have demanded the change, saying that the tradition of instant divorce is detrimental to them. But conservative Islamic organizations say the government has no business getting involved in a religious practice. Others acknowledge the change is needed, but say that it comes at a time when Hindu nationalism is the dominant political movement in India.

Instant divorce is not mentioned in the Koran, which says that a couple chooses separation once they have made all possible efforts to resolve their differences. The custom is attributed to the hadith – the record of the traditions and sayings of Prophet Muhammad – which is held in high regard by Muslims.

After the bill’s passage, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Parliament abolishes Triple Talaq and corrects a historic wrong done to Muslim women.”

Florida Mixing Religion and Divorce

I’ve written about the intersection of religion and divorce before. Religion, religious beliefs, and religious practices are not specific statutory factors in determining parental responsibility.

Nor are religion and religious practices areas in which a parent may be granted ultimate responsibility. Instead, the weight religion plays in custody disputes incubated over time in various cases.

For purposes of establishing or modifying parental responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration.

In Florida, a determination of the best interests of the child is made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the particular minor child and the circumstances of that family.

Clear as Tikka Masala

Rehmen’s case is not unique. There have been reported cases of Muslim men, such as Rehman’s husband, carrying out instant divorce through letters, text messages, emails, and WhatsApp messages — without providing alimony or financial support.

The government maintains that Muslim women are vulnerable both socially and financially because of an absence of reforms in the Muslim community. There is no official data on the prevalence of instant divorce in India.

But the passage of the Indian law also raises questions about whether the government should involve itself in what is essentially Muslim personal law. At issue is mixing religion and divorce. To account for a diverse population of different faiths, India’s constitution allows every religious group to formulate personal laws.

A Hindu would be allowed to follow Hindu rules for marriage; same for Christians, and a Muslim’s divorce comes under the purview of Muslim personal law.

The number of separated and abandoned women in India, at 2.3mm, is twice the number of divorced women. If the government were serious about women’s rights, some argue, it would introduce reforms across communities, rather than focusing on one religious practice pertaining to Muslims.

Opposition parties, as well as human-rights advocates, have condemned the practice of instant divorce, but say the ban feeds into the perceived marginalization of Muslims who feel threatened by recent attacks by Hindu vigilantes.

Some believe the legislation is a step toward replacing personal laws with a uniform civil code that would encompass all Indian citizens, irrespective of faith and also claim:

The bill takes away a chance at any reconciliation. Any man jailed because of the wife’s complaint will never opt for reconciliation. The bill leaves women penniless, children practically orphaned. If the man [is] imprisoned, how will he provide maintenance to his wife? The bill amounts to a state coercion.

The Atlantic article is here.

 

This is your Religious Prenup

A Detroit-area man must pay his former wife $50,000 under the terms of their Islamic prenup. Not only are prenuptial agreements on the rise among all engaged couples, they are also becoming very popular for religious couples. But is a religious prenup enforceable in the U.S.?

muslim prenup

Mehr Agreements

A Michigan man argued that a family court judge exceeded her authority by trying to resolve a religious issue in a divorce. In 2012, the husband approached Mohammed Ali and asked permission to marry Mr. Ali’s daughter.

They negotiated the terms of the arranged marriage. Mr. Ali proposed that defendant could marry his daughter if defendant paid her $51,000, a payment the parties referred to as Mehr, a traditional component of Islamic marriages.

He agreed to the payment proposed by Mr. Ali. The Wife considered the offer of marriage, on the financial terms negotiated by her father, for approximately one year and ultimately decided to accept the marriage proposal and the parties married in 2013.

Florida Prenups

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements and even about a religious prenup. Prenuptial agreements are about more than just resolving uncertainty in a marriage.

Any couple who brings any personal or business assets to the union can benefit from one. They are also important to have in place before a couple starts investing in businesses, properties and other investments.

A prenuptial agreement (or “prenup” for short) is a contract between people intending to marry. A prenup determines spousal rights when the marriage ends by death or divorce. This can be especially important in second marriages.

If you divorce without a prenup, your property rights are determined under state law, and a spouse may have a claim to alimony while the suit for divorce is pending and after entry of a judgment.

Without a prenup, if your spouse dies, you will have statutory rights under state law to a share of your deceased spouse’s estate and may also have a right to lump sum death benefits, or a survivor annuity under a retirement plan.

That’s where prenups come in. Prospective spouses may limit or expand these rights by an agreement. Prenups are also used to protect the interests of children from a prior marriage, and to avoid a contested divorce. Prenups can be very worthwhile provided they’re done right.”

The most basic of prenups should list an inventory of premarital assets that would stay with the original owner in case of a divorce. Florida has both case law and a statute to help lawyers, judges and the parties determine if a prenuptial agreement is enforceable.

Religious Prenup

Back in the Michigan case, it was uncontested that the Husband and Wife had only a verbal agreement for payment of $51,000, in consideration of marriage, until the day of their marriage ceremony.

During that ceremony, the parties signed a document that placed the contract to marry in writing. The one-page document signed by the parties was titled “Marriage Certificate” which is the basis for the religious prenup dispute.

The document stated that the Groom solemnly proposes to marry the bride and take her as my wife and agree to pay Mehr of $51,000 Later. Furthermore, the document stated that the Bride solemnly accepted the proposal.

During the course of the marriage, the Husband made several payments, totaling $3,900, toward the $51,000 mehr. In 2016, the Wife filed an action for separate maintenance and the Husband filed a counterclaim for divorce.

During the divorce trial, plaintiff asked the trial court to enforce the contract to marry and award her $47,100, the unpaid amount of the mehr.

The trial court concluded that the parties executed a valid, simple contract and entered a judgment in plaintiff’s favor in the amount of $47,100. In addition, the trial court granted the parties a judgment of divorce, denied the request for spousal support, and divided the parties’ marital assets.

Does Shariah Law Apply?

The Husband actually argued that the contract states on its face that it was made under Shariah law and that it was not made under any state law. But did the Mehr merely provide for a religious obligation or was it an enforceable contractual obligation under Michigan law?

The trial court clearly stated that it was not applying Shariah law, but was applying Michigan law to the parties’ contract:

“We are not interpreting or applying the contract between the parties under Shariah law, but are applying Michigan law to the review of the parties’ contract and the judgment of divorce entered by the trial court.”

In this case, neither the trial court nor this Court is required to resolve ecclesiastical questions. The trial court did not claim any power to grant the parties a divorce under Islamic law, but only the power to grant the parties a civil divorce under Michigan law.

The trial court did not decide the parties’ respective religious obligations under the tenets of their faith tradition, but only decided the parties’ respective obligations under long-established principles of Michigan contract law. Because this case does not require the resolution of any ecclesiastical questions, we conclude that defendant’s argument is without merit.

U.S. courts don’t enforce religious laws, be they Christian, Jewish or Muslim. U.S. courts enforce American law. As long as a religious agreement can be enforced without resolving theological questions it may be enforceable.

The U.S. News article is here.

 

Getting a Religious Divorce

Just in time for the holidays is the problem of religious divorce. Many women are stuck in their former marriages because their secular divorce was not enough to allow them to remarry in their religion. This post looks at the problems and solutions for getting a religious divorce.

The Religious Problem

I’ve written about the issue of religious divorce many times. The religious nature of divorces for many couples, particularly for Muslim and Jewish women, complicates settlement.

That’s because religious courts have no enforcement authority in the United States, and the First Amendment of the Constitution prevents secular courts from intervening in purely religious disputes.

Also, religious authorities are very critical about the secular enforcement of divorce as it can contravene religious law. Among religious people, there’s also a reluctance on using secular courts against their coreligionists, which discourages people from getting help in state court.

Islamic Divorce

The Economist recently reported on Shirin Musa, and her bitter religious divorce experience which ultimately inspired her to help women caught between legal and cultural worlds.

A resident in the Netherlands, Shirin was unhappily married to a man from her native Pakistan. In 2009 a Dutch judge divorced them, but her husband would not grant an Islamic divorce.

Although she lived in secular Europe, her husband’s refusal to grant a religious divorce mattered. If she remarried without a religious divorce, she could be considered an adulteress under Islamic law. She also risked religious punishment if she ever tried to return to Pakistan.

So, Shirin sued her former spouse through the Dutch secular courts. In 2010 she received a landmark judgment: her ex-husband would be fined $295 a day, up to a maximum of $11,795 as long as he refused to cooperate.

The sanction had the desired effect on her ex-husband She then persuaded the Dutch parliament to make holding women in such “marital captivity” a criminal offence, in theory punishable by jail.

Jewish Divorce

Jewish women share a similar problem to Muslim women. Under the strict interpretations of Jewish law, only the husband can grant a divorce document, called a “get.” Without a get, the woman is still religiously married, regardless of how long it’s been since the civil divorce.

Without a get, a Jewish woman can’t remarry and have more children, lest she be declared an adulterer and her children from the second marriage shunned by the community.

Women in this situation can be trapped for years as their childbearing years fade away. In Hebrew, many call them agunot, or “chained women.”

Solutions

First, you may want to secure a religious divorce before even filing a secular divorce. This prevents the husband from using the religious divorce as a bargaining chip.

Securing a religious divorce before filing a civil divorce also prevents another common problem: imams and rabbis stepping in to negotiate large cash payments in exchange for a religious divorce.

Another civil legal remedy is a prenuptial agreement. Under a prenuptial agreement, the spouses could agree to arbitrate the marital dispute, and the husband agrees to pay the wife a set amount per day until he grants a religious divorce.

The Economist article is available here.

 

Triple Talaq Divorce Ban

The Triple Talaq allows Muslim men to leave their wives instantaneously by saying “talaq,” meaning divorce, three times. The thousand-year-old custom was just banned by the Indian Supreme Court.

Triple Divorce

I wrote about India’s controversial Islamic custom, and how the Indian Supreme Court was 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.

Florida Divorce and Religion

In a Florida divorce, the court’s powers are found in the Florida Statutes.

Florida passed Senate Bill SB 386, which was approved by the Governor. 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 over 30 states which have considered some limits on the application of foreign law, either through legislation or ballot initiative.

 India’s Supreme Court Ruling

India’s Supreme Court banned the controversial Islamic divorce practice known as “triple talaq” in a landmark ruling last week. The practice, that stretches back over a thousand years, allows a husband to divorce his wife by simply saying the Arabic word for divorce, talaq, three times.

The five-judge bench did not unanimously ban the practice, which Balaji Srinivasan, one of the lawyers on the case, called “disappointing.”

Instead, three judges ruled that it was unconstitutional, while the remaining two judged that it should be up to the country’s parliament to pass legislation officially banning the practice.

“The majority decision is that triple talaq is banned in law,” said Srinivasan. “From now on in India, the law is that there is no practice of triple talaq which is held to be valid.”

The judge in the majority ruling concluded, on the basis of an act in 1937 that enshrined Muslim legal beliefs and traditions into law, anything that was “anti-Quranic” was therefore banned and didn’t deserve constitutional protection.

“triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and consequently, it violates Shariat … What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has publicly advocated for a ban, added his voice to those celebrating the ruling. In a tweet on his official account, the prime minister called the court’s decision “historic,” adding that it “grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment.”

The CNN article is here.

 

Divorce & Halala Marriages

For Muslim women who divorce, a number of online sites are charging thousands to have “halala” marriages where you pay to marry, have sex with, and then divorce a stranger, to reconcile with your first husband.

Triple Talaq Divorce

As the BBC reports, Farah – despite an abusive marriage, hoped things would change. Her husband’s behavior worsened – leading to him “divorcing” her via text message.

“I was at home with the children and he was at work. During a heated discussion he sent me a text saying, ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’.”

“Triple talaq” – where a man says “talaq”, or divorce, to his wife three times in a row – is a practice which some Muslims believe ends an Islamic marriage instantly. It is banned in most Muslim countries but still happens.

Farah says she was “absolutely distraught”, but willing to return to her ex-husband because he was “the love of my life”. She says her ex-husband also regretted divorcing her.

This led Farah to seek the controversial practice known as halala, which is accepted by a small minority of Muslims who subscribe to the concept of a triple talaq.

Halala involves the woman marrying someone else, consummating the marriage and then getting a divorce – after which she is able to remarry her first husband. But in some cases, women who seek halala services are at risk of being financially exploited, blackmailed and even sexually abused.

One man, advertising halala services on Facebook, told an undercover BBC reporter posing as a divorced Muslim woman that she would need to pay £2,500 and have sex with him in order for the marriage to be “complete” – at which point he would divorce her.

Florida Divorce Reconciliations

I’ve written about the intersection of religion and divorce before. In Florida, there is no law or restriction on reconciliation with your former spouse after a dissolution of the marriage. In fact, many people have re-married their former spouse after the divorce.

During a divorce, courts can issue orders to promote a reconciliation of the parties. For example, when there are children involved in a divorce, or when someone denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court can order you to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, religious leader, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the parties.

The court can also continue the proceedings to enable you to effect a reconciliation; or take other actions in the best interest of the parties and the children.

Criticism of the Nikah Halala

There is a lot of criticism about the Nikah Halala marriage. For example, the BBC reports the Islamic Sharia Council in East London – which regularly advises women on issues around divorce – strongly condemns halala marriages.

“This is a sham marriage, it is about making money and abusing vulnerable people,” says Khola Hasan from the organization. “It’s haram, it’s forbidden. There’s no stronger word I can use. There are other options, like getting help or counselling. We would not allow anyone to go through with that. You do not need halala, no matter what,” she adds.

Farah ultimately decided against getting back with her husband – and the risks of going through a halala marriage. But she warns there are other women out there, like her, who are desperate for a solution.

“Unless you’re in that situation where you’re divorced and feeling the pain I felt, no-one’s going to understand the desperation some women feel.

“If you ask me now, in a sane state, I would never do it. I’m not going to sleep with someone to get back with a man. But at that precise time I was desperate to get back with my ex-partner at any means or measure.”

The BBC report can be found here.

Religion: Divorce or Stay Married?

A woman sued her divorce lawyers for negligence, claiming they failed to tell her finalizing her divorce would end her marriage. Crazy, right? It also places the issue of religion and divorce back in the news.

According to the U.K.’s Independent, the divorce malpractice case had already been rejected by the court, but was before a higher British court on appeal.

Jane Mulcahy had argued that the lawyers should have made it clear that a divorce would cause her marriage to be terminated – something which she apparently wanted to avoid.

The lawyers failed to regard her Roman Catholic faith, and should have recommended judicial separation – a step down from full divorce – as an alternative course of action, she said.

I’ve written about religion and divorces before. Each religion has its own requirements for completing a divorce. Although religion is not a factor Florida courts can consider in granting a divorce, for the parties, religion can be extremely important.

Islam has a waiting period. The Catholic Church has the Decree of Invalidity and other remedies so spouses are free to marry again. In Judaism, a husband must give his wife a “Get”.

To avoid problems such as the British woman’s Florida allows people to file for alimony and child support unconnected with dissolution.

In Florida, if a spouse has the ability to contribute to maintain and support the family, but fails to, the other spouse can apply to a court for alimony and for support for the child – without seeking a dissolution of marriage.

Many people are often unaware that there are serious consequences to ending your marriage (loss of health insurance and tax implications for example) and that you can’t simply annul your marriage the way you can divorce.

In the British case, Lord Justice Briggs said:

“The most striking of Mrs Mulcahy’s many allegations of negligence against her solicitors was that, having regard to her Roman Catholic faith, Mrs Boots had failed to give her the advice which was requisite in view of her firmly held belief in the sanctity of marriage…

The Independent article is here.

Muslim Divorce Contracts in Florida

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Religious Divorces on Monday, April 7, 2014.

The Florida legislature re-introduced an anti-Sharia law bill this term. It is an effort to limit the applicability of foreign law in property division proceedings, especially contract provisions. However, some religious contract provisions have been enforced in Florida, and with good reason. This bill may stop that.

Consider the case in Kansas I mentioned before. Pursuant to Islamic customs, the Husband transferred over $116,000 in premarital funds to his bride, culminating in a Muslim marriage contract-signing ceremony. Then they traveled to Kansas, where a judge conducted a separate marriage ceremony.

Less than two years later, the Husband filed for divorce. The parties signed a mahr agreement and the Wife contends that because of the divorce, she gets the roughly $677,000 agreed to in the mahr from the husband.

However, Kansas passed a bill (similar to what Florida is considering) prohibiting courts from applying foreign law, legal codes or systems that violate the public policy of Kansas – a bill viewed as preventing courts from applying Shari’a law (although the bill doesn’t mention Sharia by name).

Similar to Florida, Kansas generally allows premarital agreements unless they violate public policy, or fails to provide adequate disclosure and is unconscionable.

However, the Kansas court decided not to enforce the mahr, and instead imposed as a property settlement that the ex-husband retains his premarital property after conferring the equivalent of $116,000 in gifts on the wife before the marriage.

The problems with the Muslim mahr agreement found by the court:

The provisions in the mahr would function as a penalty based on fault – since the mahr provides for fault-based payment – contrary to no-fault divorce principles.

The high amount of the divorce payout could be viewed as encouraging divorce, contrary to Kansas (and Florida) public policy.

The religious origins of the agreement are problematical. Mahr agreements stem from jurisdictions that do not separate church and state, creating a tension with our Constitution.

Mahr agreements can be short on operative details, definitions, and explicit requests to have their terms represent an entire remedy at law in a civil courtroom.

Mahr agreements might not meet the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act’s definition of a prenup.

Currently, in Florida, the issue of whether a Muslim prenuptial agreement is enforceable depends on whether it complies with Florida’s secular contract law. If so, secular terms may be enforceable as any contractual obligation.

The anti-Sharia bill is a hot-button issue again this year. Religiously motivated agreements should be interpreted as secular documents, if a court can use neutral principles without evaluating religious doctrine.

The Kansas case can be read here.