Today's Family Lawyer Podcast

Religious considerations when couples separate

Never talk about politics or religion… while the latest Today’s Family Lawyer podcast swerves the first, it tackles the second in a fascinating discussion with RWK Goodman’s Clizia Motterle and Farzana Iqbal.

Divorce is a legal process not a religious one; however practitioners should be au fait with the cultural and religious background and diversity that is associated with divorce.

Religious divorce sits alongside civil divorce and will understandably vary depending on the religion in question, and even, says Clitzia, within different denominations. In the Church of England, for example, a civil process is sufficient to be considered divorced; whereas the Catholic Church doesn’t recognise divorce, and instead should someone wish to remarry, they require a decree of annulment, proving the first marriage wasn’t valid in the first place.

Both Clizia and Farzana explain they feel their own faith journey helps them with understanding and empathising with clients; enabling them to ask the right questions and understand the impact of the divorce on the couple and their wider community.

Both also discuss the tricky reconciliation in the inconsistencies between religious doctrine, and the law and how they tackle those; relating them to some of the work being done around out of court dispute resolution; the Islamic faith for example encourages mediation and reconciliation between couples.

Clizia and Farzana navigate a tricky subject expertly, providing insight into civil, cultural and religious considerations when couples separate.

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