In the eyes of the law, divorce is strictly a civil matter. For many couples, however, the practice may take on a spiritual element — if it’s allowed at all. In our last post on religious divorce, we examined the faith-based perceptions of divorce, along with the frequency with which marriages end in various faith traditions. Now, we’re ready to dive into the actual process of religious divorce.

Divorce Rituals And Procedures

While some faiths ban divorce outright, others provide a detailed framework under which spouses can end their relationship and obtain a fresh start. Islam, for example, offers a blueprint for divorce via khul’a. This procedure enables women to return the dowry, thereby initiating the divorce process. Women can also initiate divorce on grounds; if successful, they may be permitted to keep their dowry. Husbands who wish to pursue divorce must abide by the procedures of talaq.

Elsewhere, divorce rituals may take on a more symbolic form. At Japan’s Mantokuji Temple, for example, visitors are encouraged to write their desires for their breakup on small pieces of paper, which can then be flushed down the toilet. Museum director Tadashi Takagi explains that the temple has served as a place of refuge for women looking to escape unhappy or even abusive marriages.

When Religion Impacts Civil Divorce

While religious and legal divorces are generally separate matters, faith can influence some civil matters. This is commonly seen in custody and visitation cases, with some parents making specific arrangements regarding the faith traditions under which their children will be raised. In more contentious cases, faith may prompt contested divorces, in which one spouse may refuse to divorce based on his or her religious convictions.

Regardless of your faith, you deserve the support of a caring and compassionate attorney. Look to the Brown Law Offices for assistance through every phase of the divorce process.

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Photo of Jason Brown Jason Brown

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated, with honors, from Mankato State University, Mankato in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason…

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated, with honors, from Mankato State University, Mankato in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota. He frequently writes and speaks concerning divorce and family law issues, including several invitations to present seminars for the Minnesota Judicial Branch in St. Paul.

Beyond family law, Jason has represented hundreds of clients accused of a serious crime, including arson, fraud, unauthorized computer access, burglary, felony strangulation and obstruction of justice. He also provides estate planning services.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Outside of the office, Jason enjoys playing the bass and electric guitar and spending time in the north woods of Wisconsin.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Adoption
  • Restraining Orders
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Notable Cases
  • Representation of Four Grandparents in Minnesota’s First Quad-Parenting Adoption
  • Representation of Client in Minnesota’s First Same-Sex Divorce
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota State Bar, 2000
  • US District Court – District of Minnesota, 2002
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 2000
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1997
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper