Case law and enforcing a mahr

We have updated our article on working with a woman who has signed a mahr with her husband.

Mahr (also spelled maher, mohr and mehr) is a form of marriage agreement in which the husband promises to pay his wife (in cash or other forms of property) if the marriage ends or if he dies. Muslim marriage contracts always include a mahr, whether the marriage takes place in Canada or elsewhere. The mahr may be a prompt mahr (muajjal), which means it is paid at the time of marriage, or a deferred mahr (muwajjal), meaning it is paid at the time of divorce or upon the death of the husband.

Over the past three decades, there was a very uneven response by Canadian courts to the enforcement of mahr in situations of marriage breakdown/divorce. There is now a body of case law that has found that, when properly prepared, mahr is a form of pre-nuptial agreement and, so, enforceable.

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