London, England – When Maureen wed her husband Rashid in a Muslim ceremony in 1973 in Bradford, she knew that should the relationship fall apart, she would not be entitled to share his assets.
Her marriage was sanctified in the eyes of God, but in the eyes of the state it was “unregistered”, not legal; thus, financial protections codified in law to protect married couples headed for divorce did not apply to her.
The couple separated in 1987 and Rashid died the following year in a car accident.
Maureen and her then 12-year-old son, Conor, were forcibly evicted from their family home in Bradford registered in her husband’s name. They were left homeless and without any financial support because Maureen’s marriage was not recognised by English family law.