Divorce Law | Divorce Procedure In Pakistan: A Very Helpful Guidance: Our Best Legal & Family Law Services In Pakistan, Karachi, Islamabad / Rawalpindi & Lahore
Divorce Law In Pakistan
Divorce in Pakistan is governed by the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961. Under this law, a husband has the unilateral right to divorce his wife by pronouncing “talaq” three times. The wife can also seek a divorce from her husband on grounds such as cruelty, desertion, and incurable insanity.
To get a divorce in Pakistan, the couple must first petition the family court. The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether the divorce should be granted. If the court grants the divorce, it will issue a divorce decree.
What is Divorce?
Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. It is the process of terminating the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple under the rule of law of the particular country or state. Divorce can be initiated by one or both spouses on various grounds, such as adultery, cruelty, desertion, and incompatibility. Divorce can be complex and time-consuming, significantly impacting spouses and their children.
In Pakistan, divorce is governed by various laws, including the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act of 1939, and the Divorce Act of 1869. The specific rules that apply to a particular divorce will depend on the religion of the spouses.
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Legal Perspective on Divorce in Pakistan
Divorce in Pakistan is governed by the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 (MFLO). The MFLO provides for many different grounds for divorce, including:
- Talaq: Talaq is the right of a Muslim husband to dissolve his marriage unilaterally. There are two types of talaq: talaq-e-raj’ee (revocable divorce) and talaq-e-bain (irrevocable divorce).
- Khula: Khula is the right of a Muslim wife to seek a divorce from her husband through the courts. Khula can be granted on many grounds, including cruelty, desertion, and neglect.
- Faskh: Faskh is a court dissolution of a marriage on grounds such as insanity, impotence, and fraud.
In addition to the above grounds, the MFLO provides for divorce by mutual consent. Divorce by mutual consent is the most common form of divorce in Pakistan.
The MFLO also sets out many procedures that must be followed to obtain a divorce. For example, a husband pronouncing talaq must register the divorce with the Union Council within 30 days. A wife who seeks a divorce through khula must file a petition with the Family Court.
The legal perspective on divorce in Pakistan is complex, and many factors can affect the outcome of a divorce case. If you are considering divorce, it is important to consult with a qualified lawyer to discuss your options
Types of Divorce in Pakistan
There are four main types of divorce in Pakistan:
O1: Talaq (Islamic Divorce)
Talaq is an Islamic divorce procedure that allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife unilaterally. It is a severe matter of Islam and should only be resorted to in extreme cases.
There are three types of talaq:
- Ahsan talaq: This is the most recommended type of talaq and involves the husband pronouncing the word “talaq” three times over three months. The couple is allowed to reconcile during this period.
- Raj’i talaq: This type of talaq is similar to ahsan talaq, but the husband is not required to wait three months before remarrying his wife.
- Bain talaq: This is the most irreversible type of talaq and occurs when the husband pronounces the word “talaq” three times in one sitting. After a bain talaq, the husband can only remarry his wife if she marries another man and divorces him.
Talaq is a complex issue, and many interpretations of Islamic law on divorce exist. It is important to consult with a qualified Islamic scholar if you are considering talaq.
02: Khula (Wife-initiated Divorce)
Khula is a form of divorce in Islamic law initiated by the wife. It is a unilateral divorce, meaning the husband’s consent is not required. Khula is granted when a wife can prove that she cannot continue living with her husband within the limits prescribed by Allah.
There are many reasons why a wife may choose to seek a khula. Some of the most common causes include:
- Cruelty from the husband
- Desertion by the husband
- Impotence of the husband
- Insanity of the husband
- Neglect of the wife by the husband
- Failure of the husband to provide for the wife
The wife must file a petition with the court to obtain a khula. The petition must state the grounds for the khula and provide evidence to support those grounds. The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether or not to grant the khula.
If the court grants the khula, the wife must return her mahr (dowry) to the husband. She may also be required to pay the husband a khula fee. The amount of the khula fee will vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
Khula is a valuable right that Islam gives to women. It allows women to escape from unhappy marriages and start a new life.
03: Judicial Divorce in Pakistan
Judicial divorce is a type of divorce granted by a court of law. It is available to both men and women, and it can be presented on many grounds, including:
- Failure to maintain
- Failure to perform marital obligations
- Mutual consent
The spouse must petition the family court to file for a judicial divorce. The petition must state the grounds for divorce and provide supporting evidence. If the court is satisfied that the grounds for divorce are met, it will grant a divorce decree.
04: Customary Divorce
Customary divorce is a type of divorce that is recognized by custom or tradition but not by law. It is common in many cultures around the world, including Pakistan. In Pakistan, customary divorce is typically initiated by the husband. The husband may renounce the marriage or perform a symbolic act, such as breaking a bangle, to indicate his intention to divorce. The wife is no longer considered married once the husband has initiated the divorce.
Customary divorce can be quick and easy, but it can also be unfair to women. In many cases, women are divorced without their consent and may lose their financial security and right to custody of their children
Grounds for Divorce in Pakistan
In Pakistan, divorce is governed by the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961. In Pakistan, divorce can be sought on various legal grounds. These include incompatibility, cruelty, desertion, mental illness, and failure to fulfill marital obligations. Islamic principles and local family laws govern divorce proceedings, ensuring they align with the country’s cultural and religious values. Understanding the specific grounds for divorce is essential for those seeking to dissolve their marriage legally
Legal Reasons for Divorce in Pakistan
Divorce in Pakistan is governed by many laws, depending on the couple’s religion. For Muslim couples, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939 provides for divorce on the following grounds:
- Imprisonment of the husband for seven years or more
- Failure of the husband to maintain the wife for two years or more
- Importance of the husband
- Insanity of the husband for two years or more
- Repudiation of marriage by the wife before the age of 18 if the marriage has not been consummated
For non-Muslim couples, the Divorce Act of 1869 provides for divorce on the following grounds:
- Unsoundness of mind
- Mutual consent
In addition to the above grounds, Muslim and non-Muslim couples can also get a divorce by khula, a unilateral divorce initiated by the wife. The court grants khula if the wife can prove that she cannot continue to live with her husband “within the limits prescribed by Allah.
Proving Marital Dissolution
When a marriage is dissolved, it is important to have proof of the dissolution to protect your rights and interests. This proof may be needed for various purposes, such as obtaining a new driver’s license or passport, changing your name, or applying for Social Security benefits.
- In most cases, the best way to prove marital dissolution is to obtain a divorce decree from a court. A divorce decree is a legal document that states that the marriage has been dissolved and that the parties are no longer legally married.
- Suppose you do not have a divorce decree. In that case, you may be able to prove marital dissolution by providing other types of documentation, such as a marriage annulment decree, a death certificate of the other spouse, or a declaration of marital dissolution.
Here are some specific examples of how to prove marital dissolution:
- Divorce decree: A divorce decree is the most common way to prove marital dissolution. It is a legal document issued by a court after a divorce. The divorce decree will state the parties’ names, the divorce date, and any other relevant information, such as child custody and alimony arrangements.
- Marriage annulment decree: A marriage annulment decree is a legal document that declares a marriage void or never having existed. Marriage annulments are typically granted because the marriage was not legally valid, such as if one of the parties was already married at the time of the marriage or if one was forced into the marriage.
- Death certificate of the other spouse: If your spouse has passed away, you can use their death certificate to prove marital dissolution. The death certificate will state the deceased’s name, the date of death, and the cause of death.
- Declaration of marital dissolution: If you do not have a divorce decree or a marriage annulment decree, you may be able to prove marital dissolution by providing a declaration of marital dissolution. This document states that you and your spouse are no longer legally married. The word of marital dissolution must be signed by both parties and notarized.
If you need help proving marital dissolution in your specific situation, consult our family lawyer.
The Divorce Process in Pakistan
Divorce in Pakistan is governed by various laws, depending on the religion of the spouses. For Muslims, divorce is governed by the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961. For non-Muslims, divorce is governed by the Divorce Act 1869. There are two main types of divorce in Pakistan:
- Contested divorce: A contested divorce is one in which the husband and wife cannot agree on the divorce terms, such as child custody or the division of marital assets. Contested divorces can be lengthy and expensive.
- Uncontested divorce: An uncontested divorce is when the husband and wife agree on all the divorce terms. Uncontested divorces are typically much faster and cheaper than contested divorces.
To get a divorce in Pakistan, the couple must first petition the family court. The petition must state the grounds for divorce, including cruelty, desertion, or adultery. If the court finds that the grounds for divorce are valid, it will grant it.
Legal Proceedings and Formalities in Divorce in Pakistan
Divorce in Pakistan is governed by the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 (MFLO). The MFLO provides for three types of divorce: talaq, khula, and mutual divorce.
Talaq is a unilateral divorce initiated by the husband. The husband can pronounce talaq orally or in writing. If the husband pronounces talaq orally, he must give written notice of the divorce to the Chairman of the Union Council in which the wife resides within 30 days. The Union Council will then send the wife a copy of the notice. The wife has 30 days to object to the divorce. If she does not object, the divorce will be finalized after 90 days.
Khula is a divorce initiated by the wife. The wife can seek khula for cruelty, desertion, or other grounds recognized by Islamic law. If the wife files for khula, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether the divorce is justified. If the court finds that the divorce is justified, it will grant the khula.
Mutual divorce is an agreed-upon divorce by both the husband and the wife. The husband and wife can sign a divorce deed stating their consent. The divorce deed must be witnessed by two witnesses and registered with the Union Council.
Other legal formalities
In addition to the above legal proceedings, many other legal formalities must be completed in the event of a divorce in Pakistan. These formalities include:
- Division of Property: The husband and wife must divide their marital property fairly. If they cannot agree on a property division, they can go to court for a division of property order.
- Child Custody and Support: If the couple has children, they must decide on child custody and support arrangements. If they cannot agree on these arrangements, they can go to court for a child custody and support order.
Iddat: The wife must observe an iddat 90 days after the divorce is finalized. During the iddat period, the wife cannot remarry.
Timelines and Steps Involved in Divorce in Pakistan
The timeline for divorce in Pakistan depends on the type of divorce and whether the couple can agree on all of the divorce terms.
If the husband initiates the divorce (talaq), the divorce is finalized after 90 days unless the wife objects to the divorce within 30 days of receiving notice.
If the wife initiates the divorce (khula), the timeline for the divorce will vary depending on the facts of the case. If the husband and wife can agree on the divorce terms, the divorce can be finalized quickly. However, if the husband and wife cannot agree on the divorce terms, the case may go to court, adding several months to the timeline.
If the husband and wife agree to a mutual divorce, the divorce can be finalized in weeks. The husband and wife must sign a divorce deed and register it with the Union Council.
Other steps involved in divorce
In addition to the legal proceedings involved in the divorce, many other steps must be completed, such as division of property, child custody, support arrangements, and the observance of the iddat period.
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