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Unpublished Paper
Taking Religion Out of Civil Divorce
ExpressO (2012)
  • Julia Halloran McLaughlin, Florida Coastal School of Law
In the United States, the question of the role of religious tribunals in relationship to family law matters is an emerging one, particularly with respect to Islamic arbitration. While scholars have explored the validity and enforceability of religious tribunal awards under state and federal arbitration law generally, few have focused exclusively on such awards related to family law issues. The role of religious tribunal awards in relationship to issues related to divorce and child custody raise important policy questions related to gender equality, personal autonomy and religious freedom. This requires courts and legislators to confront the complex issue of how to protect religious freedom without sacrificing the basic tenants of gender equality which have evolved over time in the United States. The tension is most obvious in cases of divorce in which the parties are Muslim and have obtained a religious tribunal award relating to divorce and seek to enforce or invalidate the award. This scenario raises important questions related to gender equality, freedom of religion and state action. This paper explores these tensions and proposes a legal framework to resolve them.
Publication Date
July 26, 2012
Citation Information
Julia Halloran McLaughlin. "Taking Religion Out of Civil Divorce" ExpressO (2012)
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