Religious-Only Marriages and Cohabitation; Deciphering Differences
Unregistered religious-only marriages are being problematized in mainstream political discourse, and treated as a separate and special issue to be resolved by targeted legal reforms deterring such ceremonies. The underlying assumption is that reform is necessary in order to tackle the problem faced by disadvantaged Muslim women who may be left homeless and penniless on relationship breakdown. However, research conducted on this area reveals a plethora of underlying motivations for entering such relationships and the lack of any archetype. Nor are Muslim ceremonies the only ones that do not adhere to state marriage formalities. This paper therefore argues that any law reform must be more generic and cover all families within informal cohabiting relationships. While Muslim couples may not view themselves as cohabitants, the law will treat them as such and in England and Wales, this means very limited family law protections are available.
Citation : Akhtar, R.C. (2020) Religious-Only Marriages and Cohabitation; Deciphering Differences. In: Akhtar, R.C., Nash, P., and Probert, R., Cohabitation and Religious Marriage: Status, Similarities and Solutions, Bristol University Press: Shorts Research
ISBN : 9781529210859
Research Institute : Institute for Evidence-Based Law Reform (IELR)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Department of Law