2018: IRMO Summer and Robert Turfe [23 Cal.app.5th 1118]
No annulment of marriage for misinterpretation of dowry.
Fact: After 12 years of marriage and 2 children, Wife filed a petition for marital dissolution and Husband responded. Two years later Husband amended the Response and sought an annulment of the marriage based on Wife’s fraud. Husband asserted that wife fraudulently induced him to enter into the marriage by promising to be bound by the “mahr agreement” accordance with Islamic law, which limited property right of Wife to a copy of the Quran in the event of a divorce.
Hold: Because the parties entered into the mahr agreement without discussing their understandings of its impact in the event of a divorce, and because the expert testimony showed that religious scholars disagree as to whether the consideration specified in the mahr agreement is the sum total of what wife may recover in the event of divorce, substantial evidence supports the trial court’s determination that wife did not deceive husband with respect to her intentions in entering into the mahr agreement. The trial court properly concluded that the parties simply had different understandings with respect to the interpretation of the mahr agreement, and that husband made the assumption that wife shared his interpretation. At 1125