How to Get Divorce in Pakistan
There are several reasons when a woman could think about separation or divorce in Pakistan. Our law enables women to knock the door of court to seek the Khulla (Judicial Divorce) in Pakistan.
Women in Pakistan are slowly changing their minds to escape loveless marriages and abusive behaviour from husbands and other in-laws. Once this was considered taboo in Pakistani society and still there are lot dilemmas are associated with it however minds have been changed a lot with the fast moving world. But as a strict Muslim nation, number of woman with courage to seek divorce remains small due to many social behaviours.
What is difference between Talaq and Judicial Khulla?
Talaq: It is an Islamic divorce in which husband willingly terminate the marriage contract/bond. A husband can pronounces talaq orally as well as in written according to the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 section 7.
After written notice of divorce or oral Talaq to wife. Husband is duty bound to send written notice by registered post to the Union Council or concerned government office in charge for issuance of divorce certificates. In the said notice the husband must mention the address of his ex- wife, thereby enabling the government office to issue notices to her by registered post and it shall constitutes arbitration Council within 30 days of receipt of notice for the purpose of reconciliation and settlement if possible. Union Council or Chairman Arbitration Council is bound of issue divorce certificate after 3 monthly notices (a period of 90 days).
If you are not in Pakistan then you will appoint Special Power of Attorney who will appear before the authorities in your behalf.
This was to protect women from an instant or unrecorded divorce.
Important point to be noted about verbal talaq:
A verbal talaq is not recognized by law and the husband’s failure to send written notice to the government office is treated as no divorce in law. However it is also important to note that as per Islamic scholars, divorce once pronounced by the husband and khula once obtained from the court of law is effective and binding.
Mutual Divorce (Talaq-i-Tafweez and Mubarat) Law in Pakistan
There is no need to approach the courts in both these forms of divorce meaning that the marriage can be dissolved quickly and with few procedural steps. In the Mutual Divorce case both husband and wife may sign a Mutual Divorce Deed and send a written notice under section 8 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance to the concerned government office, however the government office is duty bound to follow the procedure of issuance of notices before issuance of dissolution of marriage certificate.
Wife’s Right of Divorce or Talaq
If a husband has delegated the right of divorce unconditionally to her wife in the marriage contract or the nikahnama then wife can also dissolve her marriage unilaterally. If such right of divorce to wife is not given to or mentioned on Nikahnama then wife cannot dissolve her marriage herself but she still have the right to apply for khula in the Family Courts of Pakistan.
Khula is also known as dissolution of marriage by way of judicial divorce.
Khula Rules or Grounds on which a woman may seek khula include:
- Desertion by husband for four years.
- Failure to maintain wife for two years.
- Husband contracting a polygamous marriage in contravention of established legal procedures.
- Husband's imprisonment for seven years.
- Husband's failure to perform marital obligations for three years.
- Husband is impotent from the time of the marriage.
- Husband's serious illness or insanity for a long time.
- Wife's exercise of her option of puberty if she was contracted into marriage by any guardian before the age of 16 and repudiates the marriage before the age of 18 (as long as the marriage was not consummated).
- Husband's cruelty including physical or other mistreatment, unequal treatment of co-wives,
- Any other ground recognized as valid for the dissolution of marriage under Muslim law
Judicial khula may also be granted without the husband's consent if the wife is willing to forgo her financial rights accordance with Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939
At the time of filling khula suit, the wife has to waive off her haq mehr/dower amount if it is not paid. Anything gifted to wife by husband of husband's family do not have to be returned necessarily. Court decides how much and what to be returned on the facts and other evidences of the case. Wife's failure to pay back such items does not render khula ineffective, husband has to file separate suit for recovery of such gifted items.
After hearing the case the Family court issue decree and send notification to Chairman Arbitration Council or Union Council. They proceeds with notice of Talaq and once a period of 90 days is over the Khula becomes effective.
Legal Status of Divorce through SMS
Article 73 of Qanun-e-Shahadat Information conveyed over modern devices such as SMS – such information is means to communication validly accepted all over the world, however the witness in whose presence such information is conveyed or received is always important to prove a fact through its verification — Although under article 73 of Qanoon e Shahadat 1984 modern devices are legally acceptable yet in order to prove a fact, the required procedure has to be followed.PLD 2015 Lahore 231