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Tunisian law around engagement - how to break it off?

edited July 2016 in - Tunisia
a tunisian friend of mine has lived in uk for 19years when he went back for a holiday he got engaged to a tunisian woman, they have been engaged for over a year but now my friend wants to break it off camn anybody tell me if there are any tunisian laws that he has to abide by


  • i am asking as my friend doesnt read or write and has been told some things that is apparently law and was finding out for him i dont see whats hilarious as was a genuine question i thought this was where i could get some advice for him but i suppose this is not the case . thanks for nothing cheers t
  • edited July 2016
    As far as I am aware there are no laws in Tunisia regarding the breaking of an engagement.

    However breaking an engagement will almost certainly be seen as an insult to the girl and her family and your friends life could be made quite unpleasant if he lived in Tunisia. As he lives in the UK there is nothing that can happen to him I do suggest he does not visit Tunisia for a holiday for a while.

    I do find it strange that after nineteen years of living in the UK your friend cannot read or write. He needs to address this , there are plenty of adult education courses. Being illiterate leaves him wide open to conmen and fraudsters, such as the people who are making up stories about Tunisian laws
  • Thank you for ur reply he has been told he has to keep paying her money until she is engaged again or he will be arrested on arrival to tunsia
  • edited July 2016
    There is no such law. The girl and her family have made this up. Engagements are broken in Tunisia just like anywhere else.

    Your friend has not broken the law but her family could make his life uncomfortable . I suggest your friend does not visit Tunisia for a while.
  • If he was married to her but not had sex and no children would it just be a divorce he would go for and would he have to pay for her until she re marries
  • edited July 2016
    If they married then that puts a different light on things. Did they actually have the a register office wedding (that is the only legal wedding in Tunisia) or was it a religious wedding which is not legal?
    At the legal register office wedding he would have signed a marriage contract and the contents of that contract could be enforced in Tunisia if they divorce there.

    However if he has been married more than one year he can divorce her in the UK. He will need the marriage certificate.
    If he is on benefits or a low income he will not have to pay the court fees and maybe able to find a legal aid solicitor. It is my opinion this is the way to go.
    He will not have to pay her any maintenance as she is not in the UK and there are no children.

    If it is too personal please private message me with the circumstances of the relationship so I can offer further advice.
  • Sorry babybeeme2, I jumped to an incorrect conclusion. I deleted my comment.

  • Just so everyone is clear - the family will be hurt, humiliated and shamed but that is all. Unless - your friend actually signed the contract when they became engaged and that is a whole other story. This is quite common here for a marriage contract to be signed at the engagement and for the couple to wait for 12 months or longer before having a party and consumating the union. In fact if there was a party and witnesses to the signing of a marriage contract then in reality he is married whether he likes it or not. In this case he will have to file for divorce and whether this is in the UK or in Tunisia it may take some time.
  • I just wanted to make another comment, although you can marry at the office of the municipality you can also marry at a salle de fete or indeed in the home if you wish using a notaire. All methods are legal and acceptable in Tunisia. My own marriage was in the family home. The notaire will take the documents to the court and register the marriage.
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