Counselling planned for Muslim couples ‘under 21’

marriage

Muslim couples in Singapore below the age of 21 who apply to marry will have to attend a ‘marriage preparation’ course under planned new legislation.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth in the Asian city state announced the measure as part of a raft of proposed amends to the the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) which have now been released for public consultation.

Under the proposed changes, younger Muslim couples would also require the consent of their parents to get married.

Speaking to local news outlet The New Paper, a spokesman for the Ministry said the counselling would help prepare younger couples for the stresses of married life.

“Through the mandatory marriage preparation programme, minor couples would be able to make informed decisions about the marriage and be better prepared for the adjustments and challenges that they will face in the next stage of their journey.”

Greater involvement of family members in marriages between young couples via a requirement for parental consent would also bring benefits he continued. It was “critical”, the spokesman insisted, and would help the couple “build a strong marriage foundation.

The plans have been welcomed by counter-extremism organisation the Religious Rehabilitation Group. Spokesman Ustaz Ali Mohd said:

“It will benefit the community, teach them about responsibility, encourage them to manage their finances.”

In addition, divorcing couples would be required to enrol in a family support programme to encourage a greater focus on the best interests of their children.

The deadline for public feedback on the plans is 6pm on April 13.

Photo of Singapore by Merlion444 via Wikipedia

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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