‘Gold-digger clause’ bans Maldivian women from marrying foreigners who earn less than US$1000 pm

The Family Court has published regulations requiring that foreign men applying to marry Maldivian women must earn at least Rf15,000 (US$972) per month.

“We have been acting on this for a while. This has attracted public attention only because we announced the regulations this year,” said Ahmed Abdullah, Marriage Registrar at the Family Court.

The regulation stipulates that a foreigner has to earn at least Rf15,000 and submit written proof of his salary if he is employed by the government, or submit six months of bank account statements if he is working in the private sector.

Abdullah explained that this applies only to foreign men and not to foreign women wishing to marry locals, “as it is the man who has to support his wife.”

“It is mostly women who are victims when a mixed marriage like this goes wrong,” Abdullah said.

Maldivian men do not have to earn the minimum amount to get married: “A local man has a home or a family to turn to, whereas if you are a foreigner you have to rent a place so we have taken that into account when drafting the regulations.”

The court has heard cases in which the foreign man has walked away with the local woman’s money and jewelry, he said.

“When a man does not earn enough he will be desperate, and some men marry local women for ease of life. We had a case where a local woman came out of her shower to find her jewellery missing, and later that her Bangladeshi husband had fled the country with it.”

Abdullah says that even when marriages take place abroad between a foreign man and a local woman, it was often the woman who came in to register the marriage.

“We have cases where the woman comes in for the registration, does not have supporting documents, and when we ask the foreign man to come he does not turn up. A man can easily walk away from a marriage,” he said.

To counter this, the regulation for registering marriages abroad also states that if the marriage takes place in a country that has a Maldivian embassy, the embassy has to stamp a document stating that the marriage was conducted by a person or group that has been authorised by the host country to conduct Muslim marriages: “This way there is additional supporting document by a government authority.”

The regulations also specify that based on “certain factors” the marriage registrar can give permission for those under 18 to get married.

“This also has been practised for a while. In very rare cases we have allowed those under 18 to get married,” Abdullah said.

The marriage registrar has the authority to grant permission for those under the legal age of 18 to marry, after taking into consideration factors such as their physical and mental health, police records, and the view of the guardians or parents.

“We will get a medical doctor’s opinion on the physical health of those concerned, and we ask for police reports so that the person and parents in question can make an informed decision,” Abdullah explained.

The reason why a person under 18 wanted to get married is also taken into consideration.

“If they say they are in love, that is not necessarily a good reason to grant the marriage, as children in Grade 6 and 7 also think they are in love sometimes,” he said. “They have to be in a position to realise what marriage is.”

Abdullah would not say what a good reason was, stating only that “we will take it case by case and this is something we grant rarely.”


27 thoughts on “‘Gold-digger clause’ bans Maldivian women from marrying foreigners who earn less than US$1000 pm”

  1. As long as the woman marries a Muslim man of a Muslim family, then I am fine with this. However, if the woman has to 'convert' a kaafir Jew into a Muslim, then even if he converts or not, the woman should not get married to him. Jews are the best of deceivers!

  2. stupid! if this is the case, an island man is also suppose to provide 15,000rf per month to take care of his capital wife that refers to her shelter and needs...i guess some laws are only made for no use in this country.

  3. What the f***? Who the f*** is the government to tell people whom they can marry?

    So long as the religion allows it there is no way that this regulation would stand in any court of law.
    This is discrimination and a violation of human right of the Maldivian women. This is why people like Navin Pillay can open their mouth and scream at us.

    So what happens if a Maldivian woman goes and marries a Muslim man abroad? A man who has not job and does not earn the 1000 dollars required by this court?
    That marriage conducted in the eyes of Islam is a valid marriage and what happens when they have children? Do they become bastards just because a Maldivian Court does not recognise their marriage?

    I do not know where these imbeciles come out from. Sure it is a problem regarding people marrying and then left to carry the burden but this is a terrible law.

  4. "Maldivian men do not have to earn the minimum amount to get married: “A local man has a home or a family to turn to, whereas if you are a foreigner you have to rent a place so we have taken that into account when drafting the regulations".. .

    What a stupid reasoning.. A lot of the 'local men' and women, who live in Male' lives like any foreigner renting a place!!! This rule has been made targeting a very specific group of people in mind.

  5. Based on my experience of Maldives, Britain and Finland, I am in favour of these regulations to protect Maldivian women. However, the implementation of these regulations must be just as good; or even better. There is the rub.

  6. I am in favour of these regulations; but the way they are implemented will be very important too. Take care.

  7. Very good and about bloody time too. We don't want our women folk to fall into the traps of foreign labourers.

    Now, I have a lot of difficulty with this under 18 marriage business. I guess what the good Abdullah is not explicitly talking about are cases where the girl has gotten pregnant. No one wants single teen mums in this country.

    However, I don't think even that's a valid case. With the world record rate of divorces here, such marriages won't last a single day anyway.

  8. @ Sookie: Are you saying that Maldivian men are equal to foreign men in Maldives? Every country prioritizes their own Nationality. I'm sure wherever you are from, your citizenship would be in favour.

    Whats wrong with foreigners providing enough evidence that supports his motive of getting married to a Maldivian woman. I see it completely sensible and exactly how it should be.

    But legal age is legal age regardless of what. If its a crime, 18 is the legal age and when it comes to marriages, legal age suddenly drops to 2, 7 or maybe 8 years younger than the legal age. So Lusty! I'm sorry but is that really necessary? Why not we do the same when someone commits gang violence, stabbing, snatching, pre-marital sex, homosexuality and rape. In Islam, in our religion salat becomes compulsory at the age of 9. Which means, the same can be applied to those who commit those said crimes too.

  9. I find the following difficult to digest:
    1. The "Gold Digger" clause applies only to foreign men. What about the numerous "pleasure girls" from Central Eastern countries getting married to Maldivian men, just to get a permanent job in one of those sixty massage parlours of Sheikh Imran?
    2."The marriage registrar can give permission for those under 18 to get married" How young? Children just entering Grade 1 this year?
    4. What about Jaariyas? Do you have to get married to your Jaariya?
    5. What is the top-secret, classified reason for getting married that the Registrar of Marriages is trying to hide?

  10. Can we please recognize that this protects Maldivian women from gold-digging men!

    The tables have finally turned! Ice is hot! And lava is cold!

    Down with LOVE!

    But seriously, too many women are left destitute by gold-digging men.

  11. Maldivian women are so incapable of making decisions on their own, the state has to intervene.

  12. This is a good thing actually. I belive the courts to keep a similar rule also for the Maldivian couples marrying. There are so many maldivian women having crap life because of lazy and irresponsible men they marry to. If such rules can be made universal in the country, for ALL, the overall financial status of married couples would be better.

  13. To me this a set of rules that do not conform to any legal consistency or coherence yet is of merit to the people. This is the sort of reasoning that should be used - things that benefit people. Too long things have been left to the lawyers to work out the semantics and jargons that only benefit their the lawyers. It is time rules made common sense regardless of what legal rambling...

  14. @ Cheap we don't like your small stick so we move on to bigger one. What's wrong with having a Bangali with a 9". Anyway protecting us is part of the government mandate. Lunatics like Imran & Shaheem just abuse us so looking beyond the shorelines are the only option.

  15. I am really worried about the law as far as i am getting ready to marry my loving angel on this year as far as i am a sri lankan i did much of sacrifices to have to my life at last this kind of salary barrier front of us but i will not going to leave her i will marry her any how because since last one and half year i was sacrificed lot for her and she was sacrificed lot to me just as am a muslim i am not going to break my promise just for a useless law.man made law man break law.
    Allah is the JUSTICE.

  16. "the marriage was conducted by a person or group that has been authorised by the host country to conduct Muslim marriages". Don't the fools know that most countries in the world don't recognise Muslim marriages and so don't issue authority to conduct "Muslim marriages"?


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