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Home > Family > Belgium > 2009-06-16 - Court of appeal of Mons, n. 2008/RG/773

2009-06-16 - Court of appeal of Mons, n. 2008/RG/773

Family · Belgium · Marriage · Religious marriage

Despite the uncertain matrimonial meaning of an imam blessing, it may be accepted as an evidence against the suspicion of simulation of a posterior civil marriage

Key facts of the case - A woman without immigration papers received an instruction to leave the Belgian territory. Two months later, she appeared before the Registrar to get married. The Public Prosecutor considers that this project was simulated. He opposed the celebration.
The couple hopes to prove the reality of their marriage project by saying it has already been blessed by an Imam. Two questions were posed to the judge: 1. is the blessing by Imam a religious marriage prior to civil marriage, which is a criminal offense. 2. if the blessing is a simple case of religious betrothal, is the evidence sufficient against any suspicion of simulation.

Main reasoning of the court - The judge held that even if a prior religious marriage would be an offense, it did not affect the reasoning about simulation. The judge noted the couple seem very uneducated and understood that the couple may be hesitant about the meaning of the prayer by the imam. Nevertheless, whatever the meaning of the prayer by the imam, the judge held that it obviously reflects the reality of true feelings and contributes to the evidences against any suspicion of simulation.