World’s Easiest Divorce
Critics of no fault divorce in the United States frequently complain that the absence of a requirement to prove a fault or wrong-doing in a marriage in order to obtain a divorce not only makes it too easy to complete, but also actually serves to encourage divorce. The claim may be strengthened somewhat by the fact that the statistics do show that the incidence of divorce rose in almost every jurisdiction that no fault divorce laws were adopted in. However, to be fair, one could also point out that the population increased at the same time in those same areas as well, and more people always equals more divorce in any given population.
New York was the lone hold-out state and with the recent adoption of no fault divorce laws there, all 50 states now allow no fault divorce in this country. Some of the most vocal naysayer’s have predicted that our society will self-destruct and the traditional American family will soon be a thing of the past due to the extreme ease of getting a divorce. Not only is it easier to obtain a divorce today, it is also a lot less expensive than it used to be. Without the need to prove wrong-doing in court many couples today are choosing to split through mutual agreement in an uncontested divorce without using the services of an attorney at all. Thanks to the prevalence of affordable do-it-yourself divorce documents services and standardized online divorce packages, it is now possible to get legally unmarried without having to spend a small fortune in the process.
The availability of low cost, no fault divorces may or may not actually encourage divorce, and no matter how simple a divorce is today, there are still legal notification requirements, mandatory document filings as well as timetables and deadlines that must all be met in order for a divorce to be considered legal in this country. Whether or not those requirements are enough to slow down the rising tide of divorce may become apparent later, but they are not even in the same league as the utter simplicity and lack of any preparation, agreement or notification that the fatwa department of the leading Sunni Islamic seminary in India says constitutes legal divorce for Muslim men in that country.
The fatwa given by Darul-Ifta says simply that “talaq” uttered three times by a man is considered a valid divorce. Talaq is the Islamic word for divorce and Shia and Sunni Muslims have different rules for performing a talaq and Sunni practice requires no witnesses, and allows a husband to end his marriage simply by saying talaq three times. Non-Muslims have long pointed out the inherent unfair situation the triple talaq represents for Muslim women who do not have the same rights. However, a few recent additions to the Muslim fatwa now go so far as to cross the line of total absurdity.
The recent Darul-Ifta ruling says the triple utterance is still a valid divorce even if the wife doesn’t hear the words at all. The cleric added that Muslim men can even divorce their wives this way over the phone and will be considered valid even if the wife is unable to hear it due to network and other problems. This cell phone ruling is added to the seminary ruling that saying talaq three times even as a joke or on a humorous note is valid according to Sharia Law and a marriage is nullified regardless of circumstance. Women’s rights advocates and other people who may feel it’s too easy to get a divorce in the United States might want to consider the state of international divorce laws before they get too worked up about the situation here. There really is no comparison.