Can parol evidence be admitted to explain the terms of the contract?

A novel case has just landed on your desk. Your attorney has been hired by R. Wade Bryant, the husband who has just been sued by his wife for divorce. Th e reason that this case is novel is Wade married a woman of the Muslim faith. In order to marry his wife, Sari, he had to sign a SADAQ, the Islamic marriage contract. Wade did not convert to Islam and was told by the Iman the purpose of the SADAQ and some basic information about the Islamic religion. Wade signed the SADAQ for his wife and her family. Th e two were married in a civil and religious ceremony in 2007. Sari has fi led a divorce action requesting the New York court to enforce the terms of the SADAQ. Th e critical information after the identifi cation of the parties to the marriage contract is the following from the SADAQ: “Th e SADAQ being: “a ring advanced and half of husband’s possessions.” Th ere are a number of questions your attorney has asked you to respond to. (1) Does the Statute of Frauds apply and has it been satisfi ed? Is the language suffi ciently specifi c to divide the property? Can parol evidence be admitted to explain the terms of the contract? Is the SADAQ enforceable? Is Wade required to give Sari one-half of his property? What other issues need to be defi ned to adequately and properly represent Wade Bryant. Th e jurisdiction that will apply is New York.

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