Praise be to Allaah.
find out what will result from the civil divorce such as rulings having to
do with children, inheritance, mahr and maintenance. If you have a child,
will you be able to attribute him to his father? If one of you dies, will
the other be able to inherit? How will you be able to prove your rights to
maintenance and the deferred portion of the mahr, if there is any?
If you can
avoid these negative consequences, and the possibility of your husband going
to prison is a real one, then there is nothing wrong with you getting a
If the civil
divorce does not involve your husband uttering the words of divorce (talaaq),
and he signs it or writes it without the intention of talaaq, then it does
not count as talaaq. This has been explained previously in the answers to
questions no. 127179 and
you to have your marriage and your rights documented in a way that counts,
such as doing the marriage contract in the Islamic Centre after the date of
the divorce, if that could be of benefit, or documenting it in your original
country or in another Islamic country, if that will not result in the
problems that may result from documenting your marriage in the American
We ask Allah
to make things easy for you and to help you to obey Him.
to your husband is not to neglect the rights of his first wife and her
child, and not to leave her hanging. Rather if he wishes he may divorce her
or if he wishes he may keep her and give her her rights, unless she herself
agrees to waive them.
And Allah knows best.