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Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law

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Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

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Saying "I Divorce Thee" Three Times Doesn’t Work in Maryland

?Since our law offices are in a prosperous suburb of Washington, D.C., we see more than a few divorces of World Bank or International Money Fund employees. And these cases frequently involve splitting up a million dollar house and a million dollar pension.

Irfan Aleem was a World Bank Employee. He and his wife, Farah Aleem, had about two million dollars to divide in their house and pension plan. She filed for divorce in Maryland seeking half.

But Irfan and his lawyer had another idea. Irfan, a Pakistani citizen, went to the Pakistani Embassy in D.C. and performed talaq, a divorce under Islamic law. He signed a writing that said:

1. I Divorce thee, Farah Aleem.
2. I Divorce thee, Farah Aleem.
3. I Divorce thee, Farah Aleem.

Irfan then took the position that the house and the pension were his property, and he owed Farah only $2,500, an amount he had promised her at the beginning of the marriage.

The Court of Appeals of Maryland found that the talaq did not afford the same protections of due process for divorce, prenuptial agreements and division of property that Maryland law did. Therefore it would not grant comity or full faith and credit to the talaq. Farah is entitled to half of the marital property. Aleem v. Aleem, Maryland Court of Appeals, No. 108, September Term 2007, filed May 6, 2008.

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