Al-Saedy v. Musawi (England and Wales High Court, 2010)

The wife argued that the couple had a marriage ceremony in Damascus, and, should that Islamic ceremony not be legally recognized, that a valid marriage should be presumed because of the couple’s long cohabitation and public reputation as husband and wife. The husband argued that the couple was not present in Damascus at the time of the alleged marriage, and that they instead had an Islamic marriage ceremony at a flat in London. Accordingly, while the ceremony was religiously recognized as a marriage, it was not valid under English law. In its judgment, the Court ruled that where, as here, the only known or proven ceremony was one which might not have constituted a marriage under English law, then a marriage could not be presumed.


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