This week, I read and interesting post regarding Islamic marriage contracts. In this article, the reader regrets not reading her marriage contract, and details the common circumstances in which the she was encouraged NOT to read it. Is such a contact legally enforceable? Readers, by now you know my oft-given answer of "it depends." Pre-marital contracts (typically referred to as prenuptial agreements) can be legally enforceable, and are commonly upheld by the court unless it can be proven that there was fraud, duress or unconscionability. Contracts can also be voided if they are found to be against public policy. It is also possible that the court will find one part of the agreement invalid, yet other portions may be valid. One example cited in the article is a provision to prohibit the wife from petitioning for divorce. It is extremely likely that provision would be enforceable in Maryland, because it is fundamentally different from our legal system. For example, see Aleem v. Aleem, in which the Maryland Court of Appeals refused to recognized a Pakistani divorce in which the Wife was given no opportunity to respond or seek her share of marital property. Sound exotic to you? I have had this issue come up in one of my Montgomery County cases, and I was successful in convincing the judge to not uphold the marriage contract.