Aug 27, 2015

Enforceability of Islamic marriage contracts

Canadian courts have been divided on the enforceability of Islamic marriage contracts, also known as a "maher" or "mahr".

The Ontario Superior Court's decision in Yar v. Yar, 2015 ONSC 151 (CanLII) encourages courts to avoid undergoing an analysis as to whether the marriage contract is valid pursuant to Islamic law.

The court held that "to be enforceable in Ontario, the contract must meet the legal requirements set out in the Family Law Act". Other than being in writing, signed by both parties and witnessed, the mahr should be voluntarily entered into and understood by the parties in order to be enforced in Ontario.

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