divorce, marital dispute
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Question 1.

I am a non-Muslim woman married to a Muslim man, and I have a four-year-old daughter and a two-year-old child. Currently, due to marital differences, I am in the process of filing a divorce lawsuit for prejudice. My question is, if I get a divorce, will I get the custody of my children? How long will the fosterage last? What other rights will I get? Please advise.

Answer 1.

To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that:


As a general rule, the right of women to fosterage of a child shall end upon his reaching the age of eleven years, if a male, and thirteen years, if a female, unless the court deems that extending this age to the age of maturity, for the male, and up to her marriage, for the female, is in his/her best interest.

But if the mother is of a different religion than that of the fostered child, it depends on the judge’s estimation to grant her the custody, especially if the husband did not mind, as per Article 145 of the personal status law, which states that: “Should the fosterer be a mother of a different religion than that of the fostered child, her fosterage shall be forfeited unless the judge deems otherwise in the interest of the fostered child provided the period of fosterage ends upon his completing the age of five whether the child is a boy or a girl.”

Moreover, Article 144 of the same law states that “the fosterer must: If a woman: a) Be not married, in a consummated marriage, to a man not related to the fostered child, unless the court decides otherwise in the interest of the child. b) Be of the same religion as the fostered child, with due compliance with Article (145) of this Law.”

As for your rights, they will be dowry, alimony and sheltering, during the waiting period (“idda”) in a reversible divorce. If divorce is not reversible, only sheltering is due with dowry.

In case you get the fosterage, you will be eligible for some alimonies with paying attention that in assessing the amount of alimony, it shall be taken into consideration the possibilities of the husband, the circumstances of the beneficiary and the economic situation, in place and time, provided it does not fall below the sufficiency level.

These alimonies are included but not limited to: fosterage housing allowances with the bills of Dewa and internet, at least one time furnishing the house every 3 or 2 years, monthly children alimony, monthly transportation allowance, children’s education allowance, children’s medical insurance, etc.