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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35057
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My partner is a Muslim, of Pakistani origin, and is 41 yrs

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My partner is a Muslim, of Pakistani origin, and is 41 yrs old. I am older than him, and white British. I have known my partner for a year, and he now wishes to 'get married'. This would involve saying a few words in front of an 'Imaam', a religious leader, who would travel down from the Mosque, to my partner's mother's house, to conduct the 'marriage ceremony', in front of two witnesses, who would be my partner's mother and his sister-in-law. It would be a religious ceremony, only. I own two houses and I have three daughters to consisder, and I have no wish to undertake anything remotely legal. I absolutely will not sign a traditional legal marriage certificate, since that would compromise my position enormously. My partner assures me that I would not have to do so. Please could you tell me how much weight, if any, this 'religious' ceremony carries in British law. Would it be alright to mutter a few words for the ceremony, and not affect my strong position in any way? I would be most grateful for your advice. Anne.
Alex Hughes : My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.
Alex Hughes : So the proposed ceremony is simply the nikah and nothing else? Is that correct?

Yes the proposed ceremony is the nikah I believe, and does not involve signing a marriage certificate I believe.

Alex Hughes : The nikah is not a recognised marriage under UK law. Even though the nikah means that you are man and wife under Islamic Law (Shariah) ; you are not legally married unless a civil ceremony takes place (e.g. at a register office). Therefore, if you decide to undertake the nikah you will be treated under UK law as cohabitees rather than husband and wife.
Alex Hughes : And you might know that cohabitees rights are somewhat different to a married couple. It would be advisable to take further advice on the issue regarding your property and children before you decide to cohabit.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does the Muslim religious marriage ceremony hold any weight in British law? Please could you advise me. Anne.

That's a slightly different topic involving issues of cohabitation. I will refer you to my colleague who specialises in Family Law.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Will your husband come to live in your home?
What financial contribution does he make to the property?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes he lives with me quite a bit, yet retains a room in a house that his relatives own a mile away from me. I have two properties in my sole name, and am naturally concerned about the situation. He contributes to some of the bills occasionally. What are the rights of co-habitees? Could he put a 'Home Rights Notice' on my properties? I know he could if we married in a register office. I am most anxious that I do everything to safeguard my properties. I have three adult children, two of whom live with me. He does not own a property in his sole name. His family removed his name off some properties that he had his name, and he had worked hard to pay the mortgage on, on the deeds, to avoid paying his former 'wife' ( a forced marriage and a ' nika ' ceremony again), any money.

I would be most grateful for your help. Anne.

There is no problem with going through the Nikah ceremony - it does not give him the rights that a legal marriage would
If you decide to live together afterwards then he will not acquire any rights on the property unless you allow he to pay the mortgage - or pay for or complete and Structural alterations or improvements to the property.
However if you live together for more than two years then you need to ensure that you make provision for his housing needs in your Will as otherwise he could make a claim against your estate.
However if you wish to be able to relax about your concerns then you shoudl consider a Cohabitation Agreement that sets out the financial arrangements between you that will mean that you can relax about the issue
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35057
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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