Iranian Marriage and Divorce
Many countries recognize marriages and divorces in different ways. A marriage is considered to be valid when it is deemed valid by the place the marriage was contracted in or celebrated. 9 I. & N. Dec. 640 at 641. A divorce that is usually valid where rendered is valid everywhere and is recognized under the full faith and credit clause of the constitution. 27B C.J.S., Divorce, sections 326-333 (1959). If a divorce is rendered in a foreign country, it is recognized in the United States under the full faith and credit clause of the constitution as long as the recognition does not contravene public policy. 27B C.J.S., Divorce, sections 326-333 (1959).
Sharia law govern marriages in Iran. Hassan v. Holder 604 F. 3d 915, 925 (6th Cir.) 2010. Sharia law has four stages of marriage to complete before a marriage is considered valid and complete. Hassan v. Holder 604 F. 3d at 919. The first step, Al Fatha, consists of the man and woman’s families meeting and reading from the Koran. Hassan v. Holder 604 F. 3d at 919. The second step, Al Khuba, is the engagement. Hassan v. Holder 604 F. 3d at 919. The third step, Kateb al Ketab, involves the parties drafting and signing a marriage contract. Hassan v. Holder 604 F. 3d at 919. The final step of marriage is the celebration and the consummation of the marriage. Hassan v. Holder 604 F. 3d at 919. For the United States to recognize an Iranian marriage, there must be clear and convincing evidence that the parties completed the steps required for an Iranian marriage under Sharia law before entering the United States. Hassan v. Holder 604 F. 3d at 925.
To obtain a divorce in a foreign court, the court must have jurisdiction to render a valid decree. 18 I. & N. Dec. 385, 386. The tests of jurisdiction are typically test from the United States rather than the divorcing country. 18 I. & N. Dec. at 386. Additionally, a divorce obtained in a foreign country will not normally be recognized as valid if the spouse did not have domicile in the foreign country even though domicile is not a requirement for jurisdiction under the foreign country’s laws. 18 I. & N. Dec. at 386.