Husbands hiding second marriage to go to jail: New Egyptian law



Thu, 25 Feb 2021 - 03:29 GMT


Thu, 25 Feb 2021 - 03:29 GMT

Marriage - CC

Marriage - CC

CAIRO – 25 February 2021: Amendments were made to the Personal Status draft law imposing punishment on husbands who hide their marriage/s and do not inform his current/future wife about them.

According to the amendments, the husband should mention his martial status in the marriage certificate. If he is married, he must indicate that declaration in the certificate, writing the name of his wife/wives and her/their place of residence. He must also inform his wife/wives with the new marriage via a registered letter.

The law also guarantees the wife’s right to divorce in case she did not know about her husband's marital status.

Muslims have the right to divorce and re-marriage. According to traditional Islamic jurisprudence, monogamy is the rule, and polygamy is an exception, since a Muslim man has the right to have multiple wives (up to four), in case he obey conditions of fairness.  

For Christians, divorce and re-marriage is not allowed.


Punishment of concealing a second marriage


The law stipulates that the husband who will violate this regulation will face a penalty of imprisonment for not more than one year, and a fine not less than 20 thousand pounds, and not more than 50 thousand pounds, or either both punishments.

Marriage registrars will also face same penalty if they did not follow these regulations when writing the marriage certificate.  


Wife’s right to divorce


Article 58 stipulates that the wife whose husband has married another woman without her knowledge, to request a divorce in case she was harmed and that she found that it is impossible to continue to live with him, even if she did not stipulate in the certificate that he should not marry another woman.

The second wife has also the right to ask divorce if her husband hid his first marriage.


Dropping wife’s right to divorce


The law stipulates that the wife will have her right to divorce dropped in case a year passes since she knew that her husband is married to another woman, or if she clearly approves the new marriage. Her right to divorce will be renewed whenever her husband is married to a new wife.

The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives is preparing to discuss the draft law submitted by the government regarding the Personal Status Law, after it has been referred by the cabinet to the committee.

It is expected that the draft law will be referred to the committee during the next week, in order to be discussed in a plenary sessions, in preparation to be referred for vote. 




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