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Pakistani couple’s divorce battle plays out in Houston court

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2016 | Family Law

If you marry in another country and then live in the United States, getting a divorce may have some complications. One Houston couple is now embroiled in a multi-million-dollar battle that reaches from Pakistan to Houston.

The estranged spouses, who lived in Harris County, Texas, are both from Pakistan. They married in that country before moving to Texas six years ago. They also had a lavish wedding ceremony in Houston. The husband sought a divorce several years after the marriage.

Now the two are battling it out in a Texas courtroom to determine which country’s laws take precedence, and there’s a lot of money at stake. Under Pakistani law, all that a husband needs to do to divorce his wife it to say three times that he is divorcing her. Under Islamic law, that’s known as Talaq or triple-Talaq.

The problem for the wife is that her husband is reportedly worth $100 million. However, she would be entitled to virtually nothing under Pakistani law, according to her attorney. So do the laws of Pakistan determine the amount to which she is entitled in the divorce settlement, which would give her only $50, or do U.S. and specifically Texas laws determine the settlement?

That’s the question before a Houston judge. The husband’s attorney says, “We can’t have every other country’s laws just thrown aside just so somebody can come to America.”

Many people who live in the U.S. choose to return to their home country to marry because that’s where many of their friends and family are. They also want their wedding to be conducted in the traditions and religious faith in which they grew up. However, as we see here, if the marriage ends, there can be complications due to differences in the law between the two countries. An experienced family law attorney can work to help you fight for your rights here in Texas if that marriage ends in divorce.

Source: Click 2 Houston, “High Profile $100 Million Divorce Case Plays Out in Houston Court,” Jake Reiner, Jan. 29, 2016