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Separation & Divorce

Q:

i have been married for 21 years and have 2 children, 18 and 15yrs. We have a business in which i am a 50 percent partner and we have 2 properties. my husband wants to divorce me but does not want to give me equal share of the business, even though i am a shareholder. He claims he only put my name for tax benefit as per his accountants recommendations. I have been working since the time i got married and have contributed all my earnings towards household expenses and business. In the last 12 years, i work with him in the business. To date, i dont have a penny to my name.

He claims that islamically upon divorce nothing belongs to me..be it share in the business or home. I have requested him to atleast give me all my earnings of the last 21 years since islamically he was supposed to provide for me but he has refused stating that we didnt have any kind of agreement. However, he has come to a figure and willing to pay for the children as they will live with me until they are married but not willing to give me spousal support and that i cannot live with my parents after divorce or he will take away the kids. The money he is willing to give wont be enough as i have to look for a job and another place to live in, not to mention he has moved us to a different province where we have no family. He lives in a different province too, so we are not in the same town either.

My question is; does the sharia allow me to follow the law of the land, which is 50/50 of all assets and liabilites, since i am already a 50 percent shareholder in the company as well as have been contributing in the household expenses for 21yrs.

A:

Alaykum Salaam

 The Shari’a entitles you to claim that which you legally actually own. In addition, you are entitled to full compensation for your work as well as a reasonable and practical settlement at divorce.

Your request from him for earnings is fair and he must abide by that. However, your true entitlement may be less than what the law of the land allows, therefore it is best that you consult with a local scholar to mediate and explain the Sharia procedure to your husband as well so that the matter does not have to go through the courts.

 Kind regards

 Abbas Jaffer