Family law: When religious rules favour one parent over another

Shariah law in the Islamic world always favours giving fathers custody of children when a couple is separating. Family law in British Columbia doesn't always see things from that perspective. These Shariah rulings are legal in Middle East countries like Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. Thousands of these people have dual citizenship with Canada, and therein lies the legal conundrum.

Shariah divorce law leans towards giving custody of children to their fathers, whereas in Canada, custody of children is usually given to mothers or shared jointly. Under Islamic law, if the father who has custody dies or disappears, custody then goes to the children's paternal grandfather. Mothers may be allowed to have custody of children up until they're 12 years old.

Divorce and child custody can be incredibly involved and raise a number of questions that only legal counsel could answer. When religious laws of a divorcing couple differ from the laws of the country in which they're living, it is necessary for the couple to speak with a lawyer experienced in family law. He or she will be able to provide the proper guidance for the couple to move forward in the divorce process. 

A British Columbia lawyer with family law experience can provide guidance when negotiating the terms of a complex separation or divorce in which children are involved. He or she can obtain answers to questions that cannot be found without the guidance of legal counsel. A lawyer can help fashion a custody plan that bodes well for the children as well as for each of the parents.

Source: vancouversun.com, "When Shariah favors Canadian fathers having custody of children", Douglas Todd, Accessed on Aug. 25, 2017

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