Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Divorce

In my mind it took quite a bit of time for M and Uncle to get the divorce letter written. M thought of it as a very complex document and had no idea whatsoever in how to write it. For this reason he allowed Uncle to write the letter and he would simply read it for accuracy. The letter had to be very specific, Uncle told him, for the sake of the girl. It was comforting to me that they took this into consideration, but I still wanted him to legalize it specifically in Canada.

The Canadian divorce would be viewed much more favorably here in the states as well as in Canada. I had already read how divorces from Pakistan were eyed suspiciously be U.S. Immigration because of the supposed ease of obtaining fake certificates and the prevalence of 'fake' so called 'green-card' marriages from that country. I must have been 'warned' by 'friends' a million times about being careful of my Pakistani fiancee since he might have another wife waiting for him in Pakistan. . .especially hurtful since, haha *insert horrified, hurt face* on me, technically he did, and I hadn't told any of them. (Some of my friends had even told me they were worried when I took my first trip to Canada to visit, that I would find him there with a whole other family. . .)

M's reaction to this suggestion was not good. The cheapest attorney we could find in Canada to handle this was about $2,000 and wait times ranged upwards of a year, even with an unconsummated, short marriage with no compicating financial entanglement or children, etc. . .Divorce in Pakistan, on the other hand, was simply the cost of the postage and the notary stamp. Since rukhsati had not taken place (the girl never left home and the marriage was not consummated) divorce would be almost immediate on the receipt of the letter. This uncomplicated version of divorce was probably another reason U.S. Immigration frowns on these certificates.

As if the situation couldn't just be this simple, it was further complicated by the fact that M would have to obtain an official copy of the divorce certificate from Pakistan. This would be completely impossible from the U.S. or Canada, so he would have to rely on his family *insert malicious laugh here* to obtain the official documentation. You can well imagine how keen they were on helping out with this matter.

And so, Uncle wrote the letter, M recopied it, so as the divorce would be from him, it was signed and notarized and copies were sent to all involved parties, Union Council, the family of the woman in Pakistan, and M's family. This was not the end of the story, since the union council and the woman's family wanted to try arbitration. I got more than one panicked call from M about some family member or another calling to threaten his family, with what social outcasting I was never told, if the divorce went through. As far as M was concerned, religiously and legally for Pakistan, the divorce was already done. The letter was final and since he had written it a specific way (3 talaqs) it would not be undone. Now, we just had to wait for the legal certificate.