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3 Reasons Divorce Is Worse In Iran

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Divorce is often listed as one of the worst experiences men can go through in the United States.

Besides the emotional toll that comes with the end of a marriage, men often face legal difficulties over issues such as child custody. Millions of men also feel the pain in their bank accounts every month when they send out an alimony check to their ex-wives. As bad as these things are, it pales in comparison to the difficulties men in Iran face when getting a divorce. Here are three reasons you can be glad you got divorced in America.

Your ex-wife’s name stays on your identification

Iranian identification is much more elaborate than American id. Instead of just a plastic card, official Iranian identification is a booklet with multiple pages. Among the extensive information in this book is marriage status and the names of spouses and children. After divorce, the marriage status will be updated, but the name of a man’s ex-wife will remain in the document. He can petition to have it deleted, but it requires a lot of paperwork and an appearance before a judge. Imagine if your driver’s license displayed a list of all your ex-wives!

Alimony can start right after the honeymoon

Under Iranian law, a husband is required to provide all financial support necessary for the household. He is also required to provide his wife with the same standard of living she enjoyed prior to marriage. For example, if she had a housekeeper, a cook, or other serving staff in her family home, her husband must provide those thing for her in their new home.

If the wife feels her husband is failing in this regard, she can file a claim in court. If court agrees with her, it will order the husband to pay a monthly amount to his wife to ensure she is able to maintain her required standard of living. Additionally, since financial support is the sole responsibility of the husband, the court does not factor the income of the wife into these monthly payments. The husband must pay regardless of how much the wife makes.

While these payments function similar to alimony in the United States, they can start any time during a marriage in Iran and a husband could be ordered to pay the monthly amount for the entire marriage. It gives new meaning to phrase, “She only married me for the alimony.”

Divorce is paid for in gold coins

When a couple marries in Iran, their families negotiate an amount of wealth and property that the new husband is required to pay his bride. This amount is officially recorded and is a legal debt the husband owes his wife. Additionally, the cash portion must be paid in solid gold coins.

The value of this “bride price” is often very high and may require decades or even an entire lifetime to pay off. This isn’t a problem as long as the couple stays married. While the marriage lasts, the husband can make payments towards the full amount. Unfortunately, as soon as either spouse files for divorce, the wife can demand the entire amount be paid at once.

If the wife makes the demand and the husband is unable to pay, he is sent to jail. He will remain there while his bank accounts and property is seized to pay the debt. He will not be released until a certain amount of gold coins can be raised through the sale of his possession or by his family.

The prospect of jail time gives the wife incredible bargaining power in the divorce. She can choose to forgive part or all of the marriage debt in exchange for concessions from the husband. If you thought your ex-wife and her attorneys were difficult to deal with, imagine having the threat of prison time as a standard divorce negotiating tactic.

Interestingly, there has recently been a 20% rise in the number of divorces in Iran. Many of these divorces have been filed by women. There is also a growing trend of newly divorced Iranian women hosting lavish divorce parties to celebrate their new single status. Looks like those gold coins are being put to good use after all.

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If you would like more information on the divorce process, or to take the best divorce resources with you in print, please check out our free divorce guide for men or contact our office to meet with an attorney about your particular circumstances.

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