This resource provides an overview of marriage and divorce among American Muslims for judges, lawyers, advocates, social service providers, imams, community leaders, and community members. The guide explores issues of Islamic and U.S. family laws as they relate to religious and cultural practices of American Muslim couples and families. There is a significant distinction between Islam as a faith and the varied cultures of individual Muslims, yet faith-based marital solemnization is a common practice, much the same as it is for most Americans. Most couples with Islamic marriage contracts intersect with the U.S. legal system when they register for a civil marriage license, and for some, in the event of divorce when they present the contract to an American court for enforcement. As it is at this intersection that potential issues and barriers may arise due to lack of understanding between the court and parties to the contract, this resource aims to smooth the process by bridging the informational gap. Through better understanding, legal practitioners can help to protect the civil rights of Muslims and all Americans, and Muslim communities can support couples by ensuring their marital rights are preserved.

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Sponsored by Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence & Battered Women’s Justice Project

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