Canadian Courts Facing Trans-National Cases: Shariah Law - Zukerman Law

Canadian Courts Facing Trans-National Cases: Shariah Law

One interesting topic for Canadian couples is how dowry payments work during divorce. Many couples in the country have been married under Shariah law, which typically results in a dowry being paid for a wife.

Now, Canadian courts are being called more often to rule on the laws regarding these relationships, but that can be difficult since the divorces are trans-national. Most of the time, the divorces in Canada can’t follow the rules of the other country, because the Canadian court doesn’t follow those laws.

It can be heartbreaking for some couples to find this out, particularly because of how the Shariah property laws work. Fortunately, couples who agree to follow religious rules can do so, but if the parties can’t agree, then the courts have to go by the laws of their own country.

Dowries are important to women in these cultures; they’re guarantees that a man will take care of a woman financially. Normally, a woman can claim this dowry at any time. In countries where Shariah is law, men can actually be arrested for not providing the dowry when his wife asks for it. The problem in Canada is that a judge has to determine if the amount is fair to ask of the husband. For instance, in one case, a woman was promised $750,000 in gold coins, but that was more than her husband was worth. Without a legal contract, it is nearly impossible to uphold these dowry laws in Canada, let alone other laws that the Shariah suggests. Males are not favored in Canada; both sexes are treated fairly.


Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.