A Muslim man concluded an Islamic marriage contract with a Muslim woman in America four years ago after which he deserted her for more than ten months. She couldn`t contact him because she didn`t have his address or phone number. As a result, she filed for divorce in an American civil court. According to the American law, if one of the spouses is absent for more than six months, divorce becomes effective. The court gave her divorce based on this law. However, the husband didn`t know about that because he didn`t come to court although he was notified. Is this divorce valid? Is she still his wife or not?
Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.
If that is the case, then this divorce is invalid in light of Islamic Law and she is still his lawful wife. We advise this man to visit the nearest ftaa` office, issue her a divorce and notify her about that. This is out of kindness to her and so that she becomes lawful to another man after she observes her Iddah. And Allah the Almighty knows best.