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Anon 13.09: True, but these informal "marriages" are overwhelmingly Islamic; a few are Hindu or Sikh and a handful Jewish. It is also the case that the Batei Din (the Jewish ecclesiastical courts) will not process a "get", a Jewish divorce, except in parallel with a civil divorce, and will not go to the final stage until there has been a decree absolute.

An informal Islamic "marriage" followed by a "divorce" from a sharia council is like a forged cheque with a forged receipt on the back, isn't it?

It does not help that social workers and probation officer refer to "cultural marriages" instead of "purported marriages" which would be more accurate.

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