Home > Family > Germany > 2008-01-29 - Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart, n. 17 UF 233/07

2008-01-29 - Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart, n. 17 UF 233/07

Family · Germany · Dowry · Mahr · Marriage

Marriage between German citizen and Turkish citizen with Islamic religion and a mihri müeccel agreement has to be regulated by German law

Key facts of the case - The claimant (German citizen) demands her dowry from her husband (Turkish citizen) after the divorce in 2007. Both parties are Muslim. Nevertheless the parties didn’t know the content of the “mihri müeccel” agreement. They made the agreement because the clerk insisted on to continue the religious marriage ceremony. This dowry (also known as Islamic mahr) has to – if it isn’t already paid in the context of the marriage – be paid in case of divorce. The trial court sentenced the husband to make a partial payment. The appellate court denied the wife’s claim to the full extent

Main reasoning of the court - The court dismisses the claim. After both parties do have their main residence in Germany only German law will be applied (Article 14 I Nr. 2, 17 I 1 EGBGB).
It must be resolved what kind of legal classification this “mihri müeccel” could be. The parties are in agreement that the term is not Turkish but rather Arabian. Because the parties had no clear idea of the term at all, the intention of the parties at the time of the agreement could be an answer.
At this point the claimant and the defendant agree that only the clerk (hoca) insisted on a dowry arrangement to continue the religious marriage ceremony. Thus the parties did not make or want the “mihri müeccel” agreement in a legal sense. In fact the reason for the agreement was the traditional religious motivation and the clerk’s will.

Comment - The arbitration of deferred dowry (mahr al-mu’ajjal) is well known in Islamic law. Nevertheless, in the present case the persons involved obviously did not know this indication. It should be mentioned that Turkey has abolished Islamic law in 1926.