Cultural Competency: Mahr Not Acknowledged and Not Enforceable

In Summary Judgment, a Trial Court in NY ruled that a Mahr agreement entered in New York could not be upheld due to the lack of an acknowledgment. The Court noticed that “language, history, and subsequent New York statutory law of DRL 236(B)(3), have clearly created no exception to the acknowledgment requirement.” The Court differentiated the Mahr agreements predated DRL 236(B)(3), or enforced under comity. View 2021 Khan v. Hasan

In speaking of jurisdictions in which courts found the enforcement of Mahr agreements to be against public policy by “facilitate divorce” the court recalled California’s IRMO Dajani, 204 Cal.App.3d 1387 (4th Dist. 1988)). It noticed that this concern fails to take into account the purpose of the Mahr— to protect the wife’s financial interests in case of divorce or her husband’s death and to “discourage divorce by limiting a husband’s otherwise unlimited right to divorce at will” within the Islamic culture. (Citation).