Cultural Competency: Islamic Mahr does not deny Support and Equitable Distribution

In Parbeen v. Bari, the 4th District Court of Appeal, Florida, reversed the trial Court judgment which denied spousal support and equitable distribution of marital assets to Wife due to enforcement of Bangladesh marriage Mahr provision. Husband argued that the deferred portion of the Mahr  is maximum that Wife may recover under Sharia law. The Appellate Court disagreed. 

“…[T]he Mahr agreement’s plain meaning does not unambiguously express a desire to waive equitable distribution or temporary support. … The Mahr agreement otherwise contains no reference to distribution of the couple’s past, present, or future property. As a result, the Mahr agreement cannot overcome the strong public policy in favor of equitable distribution and, if circumstances merit, temporary support.”