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July 25th, 2006
Class of 2006
Map: Family Law in the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria

Source: CIA World Factbook 2006

Marriage Age: 21 for males and 18 for females; a “qadi” (judge of religious law) can waive the age requirement.

Polygamy: A man may take up to four wives. A wife maintains the right to notification that her husband is taking another wife, and may sue for divorce if her consent was not given to the marriage.

Marriage Guardianship: A guardian is not permitted to force his ward to marry without her consent; however, there are no legal penalties for such action.

Divorce: Divorce by mutual consent is permitted after a mandatory reconciliation effort has failed. The wife can apply for divorce on the following grounds: non-payment of maintenance; infirmity preventing marital relations; husband’s abstinence from sexual relations for over four months; husband’s imprisonment for over a year for an offense that brings disgrace to his family; husband’s absence without provision of maintenance or valid reason for over a year; and any grave moral impropriety.

Child Custody: If a mother is given custody, she will lose custody to the father if she remarries.

Sources: Islamic Family Law, special project of Emory Law School; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Rand Corporation

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