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Home > Family > Denmark > 2006-02-21 - Eastern High Court of Denmark, n. OE2006.B-3980-05 - (...)

2006-02-21 - Eastern High Court of Denmark, n. OE2006.B-3980-05 - Religious-case

Family · Denmark · Custody · Divorce

Child custody award with regard to a custody contract established after Islamic law

Key facts of the case - F and M were a married couple with a child, D. They divorced in 2005 and at the time of divorce, they signed a contract with an imam regarding the custody of their child. The imam explained to both parties that according to Islamic law, the parents have joint custody over the child per automatic.
However, F wanted full custody of the child and proclaimed M to be mentally unstable. F made M sign the custody contract by saying that if she does not sign, then he will not divorce her.
M claims that she did not realize what she was signing. She knew it was a contract regarding custody but she presumed that she already had full custody and if she signed the contract, F and M would get joint custody.

Main reasoning of the Court - The Court awards custody to M. Its reasoning values what is best for the child. The Court argues that D has spent most of his time with M and she is willing to let D visit F as long as it goes through official channels. This is in contrast to F who does not want D to seeing M at all.
In regard to the custody contract, the Court says it is void since M did not know what she was signing, partially due to her mental problems at the time and also due to the imam not having explained the situation in a satisfactory manner.