How can a religious divorce affect a civil divorce?
The UK courts have no jurisdiction over religious marriages and divorces, but they have made provision for those seeking to obtain a religious divorce alongside their civil divorce. The Matrimonial Clauses Act 1973, Section 10A prevents the Decree Absolute from being granted until the religious divorce has been obtained. This clause can be applied if a husband or wife applies to court to request that the decree absolute is not granted until their marriage has been dissolved according to their religious practice.
In Jewish law, neither spouse can remarry in the Jewish faith if they have not received a Get and there are consequences if the wife starts a new relationship or has a child with a new partner.
Similarly, in Sharia law, without the religious divorce, Muslims will find it difficult to enter into a new marriage and in some countries the wife will need her ex-husband’s consent to travel out of that country.
If you are a Jewish or Muslim couple living in the UK with a religious divorce, but not a civil one, you are still considered to be legally married in the eyes of the law.