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I’ve always heard so many ugly stories from friends about divorce and divorce-related issues. I never went into details with them until I was put in the situation myself and went through an ugly divorce after only four years of marriage.
I had so many issues with my husband that we tried fixing alone, with a couple’s therapist, with help from family members, but to no avail. The man who I thought would be my source of security and backbone decided to bail out on his role as a father and husband.
I asked for a divorce after a year of separation, but he refused. He also didn’t carry any of his financial responsibilities towards me or our son. This of course forced me to deal with the matter legally, and I spoke with my lawyer who gave me a lot of information I didn’t know regarding my divorce rights.
I wanted to share this information with all the women I know because some of us don’t know that the Egyptian law is 100% with women and their children when it comes to their legal rights and divorce. The law stands with us and wants to protect our children.
Financial rights in case of a normal divorce:
- Conciliatory payment (Nafa’et El Motea): A compensation made for the wife and it is usually calculated based on the husband’s financial capabilities and is usually given for a period not less than two years.
- Your deferred dowry (Mo’akhar): This depends on what you wrote in your marriage contract.
- Waiting period payment (Nafa’et El Edda): Your ex-husband has to pay your expenses for the waiting period which is three months.
- Childcare: Your ex-husband is required to pay full child-care for your children, whether it’s schools, food, clothing, healthcare, and any other expenses depending on your child’s needs and age.
- Housing: If you have children, your ex-husband is required to provide you and your children with housing until your child turns 15 if he is a boy and if it’s a girl until she gets married.
If your husband is refusing to get a traditional divorce where you go to an official marriage registrar, you have two options:
- File a divorce case
- File for abdicative divorce (Khul’)
Filing a divorce case
If you file a regular divorce case, you are simply going to go to your lawyer and ask him to file a case to get you divorced from your husband because he is refusing to do so in a civilized manner for whatever reason it is.
When filing a divorce case, you are also entitled to all the above mentioned rights, the only issue with divorce cases is that they may take years which may take a toll on your mental state.
In my case, I asked my husband to divorce me in return for waiving of matrimonial rights which means I will not take any of my rights (only mine and not my child’s).
ِِAbdicative divorce (khul’)
Filing for an abdicative divorce has been a right for women since the time of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and it simply means the woman goes to court asking to get divorced from her husband for any reason she states.
The only condition you are allowed to file for an abdicative divorce is that you give up any financial compensation from your husband, yet he is obligated to support the children financially. Meaning you have no right to ask him for any form of compensation but in return, you actually give him the deferred dowry written in your marriage contract. These cases usually take up to six months or sometimes less depending on your case of course.
Important post-divorce facts:
- If you get married and you have children, their custody goes to your mother.
- If you have taken matters to court, your husband is entitled to see your children once a week in a public place which is usually decided by court, unless you decide to do so on a friendly basis for the sake of your children.
- If you have a boy, you have the right to his custody until he turns 15 and then he gets to choose who he wants to live with -his mother or father. For the girl, you have her custody until she gets married.
It is important to know your rights when it comes to divorce and know that the law will serve you and your children justice. So many women are afraid of getting a divorce because they fear the financial burden that may come with divorce. If you are having divorce issues, speak to a lawyer to give you a deep understanding of all your rights and those of your children.
Further reading: Marriage Counseling: Check Out These 4 Couples Therapists In Cairo