How Is Divorce Different In The Middle East?

Divorce in the Middle East isn’t a topic we often discuss, even though it has a number of fundamental differences from marriage in the rest of the world. Many marriages in the Middle East are still arranged not for love, but for status and wealth. Then again, times are quickly changing, and divorce rates are on the rise even as they start to level out in many Western countries.

Women have never had it easy, and their struggles are perhaps even more arduous in the Middle Eastern countries where they have fewer rights or legal avenues to fight the injustices done to them.

Women in particular often can’t settle a divorce without their husband’s consent. That leads to obvious problems if a husband isn’t willing to cooperate in a loveless marriage or one in which domestic violence is present. Men, on the other hand, are often freely allowed to divorce their wives without cooperation or consent if the differences are said to be irreconcilable. Because men can use this leverage at any time, women are prone to greater anxiety than their husbands.

Women in the Middle East are more likely to struggle with poverty after a divorce and inherit less. This is better than it was in the far-past when women were lucky to inherit anything at all. Even though these laws favor men to an unfortunate extreme, the men in the Middle East still bear much of the financial burden of maintaining their homes.

These differences tend to make the social status differences between men and women much more pronounced. One of the reasons that the status quo has not changed more quickly is because Islamic law is generally based on the Qur’an, where these ideas are founded. Although many laws were borrowed from Europe over the past few centuries, divorce laws have stayed mostly the same.

Women have made civil rights gains in Turkey, Tunisia, and Somalia most notably because the governments of these countries and states are less dependent on the dominant religions throughout the rest of the Middle East. Other countries have done their best to follow suit, giving women the right to face their husbands in court to plead a case. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries in which divorce laws seem completely unchanged.

Why You Should Be Okay With Divorce

Marriages have been made throughout history for a number of reasons, the most romantic among them being love. Arranged marriages are made in order to strengthen the ties–both financial and otherwise–between two families in order to ensure a better future is made for each. We often hear that those are the most successful, but you know what? Who decided that, and what metric were they using to define success?

Arranged marriages also don’t apply to most people who live in developed nations. Why continue to discuss them as if they’ll show us the way to happiness?

Most of us fall into the first category. We marry a significant other not for financial gain or wellbeing, but because we are in love. We want to build something of a different nature: a family. But it doesn’t always work out the way we want, the way we dream, or the way we hope. That’s because everyone is different, and everyone changes over time.

That’s why you should be okay with divorce. The healthiest course is to both accept and adapt to change. To move on. To look forward to the future.

It’s no secret that marriages rarely work. There is no “ideal” marriage. Half of all marriages end in divorce, and even among those that “work” the rate of cheating on a partner remains sickeningly high. So here’s the question: why are we so obsessed with making it work if we can just go our separate ways and find happiness somewhere else?

Well, part of it is history. Americans in general have a puritan background, and the beliefs and values that were passed down to us for hundreds of years still endure, even if the practices on which those values were placed have changed.

People grow apart. They discover they have different dreams. They want different things. They view the world in a way far different than they once did. They grow tired of the same stale conversations at the end of the day, and they wish it were different.

What’s the harm in any of that?

There’s no logic to staying together with someone if the relationship has turned into a toxic mess. It’s bad for you both, and it’s bad for any children involved. You can’t hide marital problems. Give therapy a try if you both agree that bridging your differences is the best course of action, but if it doesn’t work, don’t fight the future. Get a divorce, and move on.

How To Cope With Your Nightmare Divorce

Divorce is never easy, but sometimes it can be a terrible nightmare. An ex-partner can strive to make your life miserable through unfair legal actions or debating the value and ownership of everything once in your possession. There are ways to cope with divorce both physically, emotionally, and legally. You should know what to do, how to act, and how to best move on. These are the best coping mechanisms you can hope to find.

  1. First and foremost, get a therapist. Do this before you file for divorce, because therapy could help you figure out some things about both yourself and your partner. Discovery might reassure you that divorce is the best option or it might change your mind. Once you file for divorce, it’s hard to turn around and go back–that’s not how human beings are wired. Therapy will also help you check your emotions at the door during important legal situations in which both partners are present, and provide an outlet for them when need be.
  2. Therapy is the first order of business, but make proper legal counsel your second. Your partner will have counsel as well, and you don’t want to be left behind when it comes to taking a critical next step that requires technical information you don’t have. A lawyer (and maybe a financial advisor too) will help you set appropriate goals for your current situation.
  3. Make sure your friends and family know what you’re going through. You don’t want to be alone with yourself right now. Make sure to keep those closest to you as near as you can. Get out. Go do things. It’s not about keeping your mind occupied, it’s about filling your brain with chemicals that induce happiness! Stay away from alcohol and other drugs. Limit your caffeine intake in the morning. These only serve to induce depression.
  4. Exercise. Do it as much as you can, but recognize that there is such a thing as too much exercise if you’re already overloaded. You’ll know what amount of exercise is right for you. When you leave the house, try to find an unpopulated, natural preserve to explore. Run, walk, whatever. But remember that environments can change how our brain reacts to different stimuli. Fresh air is important.
  5. Listen to music. Not the music associated with how you feel now, but music that feels energetic and upbeat and happy. You don’t want to sink lower because you’re listening to the wrong thing. What you’re listening to can affect your overall outlook. Be careful!

Questions To Ask Before Getting A Divorce

In many cases, getting a divorce is the last resort. But is it really?

Sure, there are some of us who believe we split up years after we should have, because we wanted to believe we gave the marriage every chance to be successful. Whether you do it for the children or just for yourself (you don’t want to absorb a failed marriage that your parents went through, and you were determined not to be them, right?), you claim that you did everything but you reached a crossroads to determine the path of most happiness for you and your family.

While you think divorce may be your only option left at securing a path to happiness, therapists and marriage counselors would want to ensure that you have asked some specific questions and you have a solid answer to them. But these are questions that must be asked yet are not asked all that often because they’re not thought of by those in the relationship.

Here is a sampling of the questions you should be asking yourself before you decide to hire a divorce attorney.

  • Have you made your concerns clearly known? Do you understand your roles in the relationship?

These types of questions are about one of the most important aspects to a successful relationship: Communication. These are the kinds of issues about which you can’t dance around or be vague. If you are a couple that has consistent misunderstandings or you have problems because one or the other doesn’t feel he or she is hearing or understood, that lack of compatibility hurts. Talk about what you’ve expected and what has or has not met those expectations. Be clear and direct so there are no misunderstandings or ulterior motives to what you both say.

  • If you could do one thing to save the relationship, what would you do? And would it be worth it?

These questions are related in this way – measuring the pros and cons of your relationship, not just thinking that you would be happier away from your spouse. Take a good hard look. The first question is something both spouses should do – write (or type) things that you and your spouse should or could do to make the relationship work better. The second one is to look hard at what you have in the relationship currently, and measure it against what you think you need or would get somewhere else. Is what you’d be leaving actually better in the long run than what you’re missing? Think the kids, companionship, sharing of chores/roles, etc.

There are 11 provocative questions available online that you can ask yourself before getting a divorce. And its’ recommended that you answer each one with something other than “I don’t know.” Those answers will help you determine if divorce is indeed the best way forward. If you decide to file for a divorce, please contact one of our experienced divorce attorneys.

Will My Inheritance Be Divided In My Divorce?

The decision of getting a divorced can be emotionally and financially draining. Going from a two-income to a solo income household might be overwhelming so making sure every asset that you have remains in your hand is important. In general, inheritances are not considered marital property and therefore are not going to be divided during the divorce process. It is considered the property of the person to whom the inheritance was bestowed.

However, if the inheritance was deposited into a joint bank account and was used for joint marriage expenses, the inheritance immunity is no longer available as the inheritance has been comingled. Marriage expenses include bills, mortgage payments, home repairs and car payments for joint vehicles.

It doesn’t matter when the inheritance is bestowed (for example, a great aunt left a person money in her will but failed to mention their spouse in the will or before you entered into the marriage), the property is considered that person’s sole property until comingling has occurred.

Therefore, the best way to keep your inheritance save from division during the process of divorce is to make sure that is completely separate from your joint accounts and used solely for yourself and not for the benefit of the marriage. Or if you are coming into a marriage with an inheritance, getting a prenuptial agreement that clearly defines that the inheritance is not divisible.

While not impossible to keep your inheritance safe after comingling, it is very difficult to prove that the funds were never intended to be shared with your soon to be ex-spouse. If you are worried that your inheritance is going to be divided then it’s best that you contact one of our division of property lawyers for a free consultation regarding your case.

Understanding Child Custody

a woman and her daughter before their child custody agreement is determinedThe process of going through a divorce is not an easy thing, especially when there are children involved. There are two different types of child custody: physical and legal. Even if you divorce with your soon to be ex-spouse is amicable, determine where the children live and who has the right to make decisions on their behalf can often be contention. It’s important to understand how physical and legal custody is determined. This way you can be prepared and know what you are fighting for during the divorce process.

What Is Physical Child Custody?

Physical child custody refers to the determination of where the child will live on a permanent basis. In most states, the judge presiding over your divorce litigation will evaluate all evidence that is presented and will make a decision that is “in the best interest of the child”. If there is differentiating opinions between the judge, the child, and the divorcing couple, having a divorce attorney by your side to fight for your wishes is incredibly important. Remember, the judge does not visit the house or observe your family dynamic; they just take into consideration what is discussed during the divorce process. A good child custody lawyer will also have connections to mediators, evaluators and will be able to represent you in an effective way to ensure that your custody wishes are granted.

What Are The Best Interests Of The Child?

Although it varies from state to state, the best interests of the child are usually determined by the following criteria:

  • The health, welfare and overall safety of the child
  • History of abuse or assault by one parent
  • The nature and amount of contact with each parent
  • Criminal Activity of the parents including alcohol and drug abuse

There are many cases where parents are granted joint physical custody of a child. However, the best interest of a child is used to determine which parent will be the primary custodian while the other parent is given visitation rights. The parent who earns primary custodian might also be entitled to child support as well. If a visitation schedule cannot be agreed upon, there will be another round of mediation between the lawyers or the judge will determine what is also in the best interest of the child.

What Is Legal Child Custody?

Legal custody is the fundamental right to make decisions on behalf of the child’s life. These decisions include things such as healthcare, safety, religion, education. Most of the time, both parents have joint legal custody. However, this does not give the right for one parent to make any major decisions without the approval of the other. In extreme cases where parents cannot agree on how to raise the child, a parent can file for sole legal custody. The burden will be on your child custody lawyers that sole custody is what is in the best interest of the child.

Does My Child Need To Be Involved In This Process?

It is highly unlikely that your child will need to be involved in the litigation process at divorce court. However, there is a chance that your child might be interviewed by a court-appointed third party counselor. If your child is over the age of 14 and has expressed in voicing their opinion, the counselor will interview them and present the child’s wishes to the judge. The judge can disregard the child’s opinion especially if they feel if it is not in the child’s best interest. However, even children under the age of 14 might be interviewed by a counselor. The counselor’s purpose is to learn about the relationships between the child and their parents, and the quality of life that would be given to the child at each parent’s home.

For more information on being prepared during a child custody court hearing, here’s a great video:

Speidi? Spederline? Bennifer? – Bad Celebrity Couple Names

Rather than address a couple by their individual names, we tend to create combined names for Celebrity Couples. Some of them are great, for example, Gigi Hadid and Joe Jonas became GI Joe. Sadly the couple has split. However, there are some other celebrity couple names that are just terrible.

Speidi – Heidi Montage + Spencer Pratt became known as Speidi during their time on MTV’s The Hills. While we are shocked that this couple has survived the test of time, the fact that their nickname is similar to that of a spider is fitting as Spencer was known as being a bit of a creep. The pair just gave birth to their first child in October of 2017. Will the curse of the bad celebrity couple name end their relationship? Only time will tell.

Spederline – Remember when Britney Spears was married to Kevin Federline? It’s hard to forget considering the couple starred in their own reality TV show – Chaotic. The couple was only married for 3 years but managed to have two sons (Sean and Jayden) during that brief time. After their divorce, Britney had a mental break down with sole physical custody and legal custody of their children being given to Kevin. Spears was ordered to pay $20,000 a month in child support.

Bennifer – The first Bennifer was Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. The second Bennifer was Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. The saying goes if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Bennifer 1.0 dates from November 2002 to January 2004 and were engaged to be married. But after the terrible movie, the two made together Gigli, the media pressure was too much for the couple to handle. Soon after Affleck began dating Jennifer Garner and they were married in 2005. Sadly, the couple filed for divorce in 2017. After their 12 year marriage, the couple had three kids, Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel. According to divorce paperwork, both Ben and Jennifer have joint physical and legal custody.

Messy Celebrity Divorces

The current divorce rate in America is 50%. There’s no reason as to why we should think celebrities would be immune to divorce. On the other hand, you would think that two rich people getting married would invest the time in drafting a prenuptial agreement to make sure that their divorce wouldn’t be messy. However, that’s not always the case. A lot of times divorces for celebrites can get quite complicated especially if the couple themselves earned money during their marriage.

Some celebraties that are notorious for having a messy divorce include Christina Brinkley and Peter Cook. After 12 years of marriage, Cook admitted to having an affair with his 18 year old assistant. After a bitter custody battle, Brinkley got the children but had to pay Cook 2.1 million dollars. Elin Nordegren and Tiger Wood’s divorce was so messy, the couple had an entire South Park Episode dedicated to them. Thanksgiving of 2009, Tiger Woods crashed his SUV into a fire hydragent and treee as he was fleeting an angry Elin who was chasing him with a golf club. Soon we learned that Woods had over 14 mistresses and was a “sex addict”. Elin received 750 million dollars.

For more couples and all the details of their messy divorce, watch the video below: