This question was actually left under the comment section of "Non Muslim Divorce Proceeding-brief email question..." topic.
'Dear En Kamarul,
I would like to seek some legal advice from you and would like to thank you in advance for your help and also answering my email.
I have been married for 3 years and last year my in laws came to my matrimonial house and quarrel with me. I left the house because my husband did not protect me throughout the quarrel (his brother almost hit me).
I left to stay in my mother's house and he didn't come to look for me. My husband went back to stay with his family. At that time I was very angry with him and issue a legal letter asking for mutual divorce. Subsequent to that I came to know that during the 3 years of my marriage, my mother in law has been putting things in my house and the food to make us husband and wife always quarrel and hate each other. I taped the conversation from the medium and let him hear. After he heard the tape recording, I brought him to the temple to listen for him from the medium. I went through a cleansing ritual and whatever I had eaten was expelled from my body. After knowing the truth we decided to reconcile and I had ask my lawyer to stop action.
However he is now under the influence and spells of his mother and insists on the divorce. I left the matrimonial house for 3 months and have now shifted back to stay in the matrimonial house. It is now almost 3 months I stayed in the matrimonial house alone.
I have received 2 letters from his lawyer. One was in reply to my initial letter and the 2nd letter is a revised terms since his lawyer did not receive my reply. So far I have ignored the letter. i do not know if it is correct for me to just ignore the lawyer letters and i do not know what will be his next step.
I do not want to divorce him because i still want to save this marriage after knowing that the unhappiness for the past 3 years was intentionally caused.
Another issue is he has not given me any money for the past 6 months. I understand that as a wife i can ask for maintenance. Is there any way I can get maintenance without going for divorce? We do not have children and i miscarriage 4 times already (twice miscarriage was hospitalized). Even though both of us working, he earns more than me.
Thank you very much en Kamarul
To simplify the matter, I will try to answer these questions issue by issue. Hope my answers will guide you in making a correct decision.
- Leaving the matrimonial house on the issue of safety is justifiable under the law, but you will need to prove it in court should the issue been disputed. One of good step to do to prove it is by lodging a police report, it is also good to let the police protect your safety.
- The issue of whether or not the husband left the matrimonial home and stay with his family until today, is a matter of separation, may also be a concrete prove in court for 'irreconcilable marriage'.
- You must understand that the court in most circumstances does not entertain the issue of black magic and so on. It going to be a bit difficult to prove that (the alleged act of your mother in law) in court as the 3rd party intervention in marriage so to damage it.
- As I always said, a lawyer is not a marriage counselor, so you have to make up your mind on what you want, whether you want a divorce or that you want to object the divorce petition.
- If you are not agreeable to the joint petition, then let the husband file the papers in court, and you should oppose it in due cause.
- As you mentioned it clearly, you don't want a divorce. Then you have to put all your effort to oppose the petition in court. You may claim in court that there was interference of third party that damaging the marriage, although in most cases the court can't do much on the issue, but the court may consider of sending the couple for a further counseling or making appropriate order as regards to the third party interference.
- On the issue of maintenance, you may always to go court to get a maintenance order and enforce it even before the divorce petition is presented in court. I would suggest that you go file your maintenance claim right away.