The Complete Guide to Divorce in Pakistan: Everything You Need to Know
Introduction: What is Divorce in Pakistan and How Do I Get One?
This Guide to Divorce in Pakistan is divided into different parts based on different scenarios of divorce. It will help you understand the process of getting a divorce in Pakistan. Divorce can be an emotional and difficult process, but it doesn’t have to be. Here we have tried to lay out an easy step-by-step guide that will help you understand how to get a divorce in Pakistan.
What is the Legal Process of Divorce in Pakistan?
We have divided this Guide to Divorce in Pakistan by splitting into three main parts. Marriage in Pakistan can be dissolved by three different methods as explained below…
What is Divorce by Husband?
Divorce by the husband is known as “Talaq” in Pakistani Muslim Family Laws. It is initiated unilaterally by the husband when he intends to dissolve his marriage. The following are the steps for divorce by the husband in Pakistan:
- Written declaration of divorce: The husband must make a clear and unambiguous declaration of his intention to divorce his wife. This can be done in writing.
- Serving Notice: It is important that a copy of the Divorce deed is submitted to the concerned Union Council. This can be submitted by the husband or by the wife. A process of reconciliation/final divorce proceedings starts at the Union Council from the date of application/submission. It takes a total of 90 days at the Union Council before the divorce becomes final. During this period, the couple may reconcile.
- Final divorce: After the waiting period has ended, the divorce is considered final and the couple is no longer considered to be married.
The detailed process is explained in section 7 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961.
By the way off Khula through Family Court
It is a bit time-consuming process to get a divorce by the way of Khula in Pakistan for a female when she does not have a “Delegated right to divorce” in her Nikah Nama and her husband does not want to agree with the divorce.
The process OF Khula begins with the filing of a petition in the family court of the city where the wife presently or permanently resided. Khula Petition must include all relevant information about the marriage, such as date of marriage, residence, children, and any other matters that need to be addressed. Once the petition is filed, the court will then NOTICES to the husband. Generally, Khula petitions may take 2 to 6 months for the announcement of the court’s Khula orders (decree of dissolution of Marriage). After a court order is made, the parties must comply with the terms of the order, including but not limited to the payment of Haq Mehar, and other matters. The process can linger in the court if your selection of a lawyer is bad. So it’s important to seek the help of a qualified lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected throughout.
The 2nd phase of the finalization of Khula starts by filing an application for the issuance of a Divorce Effectiveness Certificate also called a Divorce Registration Certificate to the concerned Union/Arbitration Council for further process. It is 90 days process at the Union Council from the date of filing of the application along with the Khula Decree.
By mutual divorce deed also called as Talaq-E-Mubarat in Urdu of Mutual Divorce in common words
The Mutual Divorce Deed in Pakistan is one of the three types of divorce processes in this country and it can be filed when both spouses mutually agree to end their marriage.
A mutual divorce deed is also called “Talaq-e-Mubarat” or an agreement for dissolution of marriage.
The process starts with drafting an agreement which includes all relevant details about the financial settlement (if any) and other arrangements between both parties and then to be signed by both parties. The agreement will then have to be submitted to the concerned Union Council for further proceedings as per section 7 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961. After laps of these proceedings at Union Council, divorce becomes legally effective and divorce registration certificates are issued to both parties.
Frequently Asked Questions about this Guide to Divorce in Pakistan
The divorce process in Pakistan can be divided into two phases.
Phase 1 can be any of the three divorce options mentioned above in this “Guide to Divorce in Pakistan“.
However, phase 2 shall remain the same in all scenarios. Phase two is filling out the divorce application at the concerned Union/Arbitration Council Office, which is a 90 days process. Union Council is the only authority in Pakistan that is capable of issuing of “Divorce Effectiveness Certificate” also called a Divorce Registration Certificate.
Process of filing Khula in Family Court is not much complicated if you have selected a right lawyer for this job or have ready this Guide to Divorce in Pakistan. Only a best family lawyer can make this emotional and legally troubled ride smooth. Also, your own understanding of some basic and common steps of Khula are important so you can track progress of your khula case. Please see this page if you are interested to read and understand Khula process in Pakistan. We have laid out a separate guide related to Khula procedure in Family court of Pakistan.
The process of getting a divorce in Pakistan has many steps and it can be different from person to person depending on the option they choose and response of the opposite party if not willing to dissolve marriage.
Grounds for divorce in Pakistan are defined by the Muslim Family Law Ordinance of 1961. The ordinance is based on the Shariah law and the Islamic principles.
The grounds for khula vary depending on the mutual relationships of the couples, but most common grounds are adultery, cruelty or desertion by one spouse, imprisonment, insanity or mental illness, conversion from Islam to another faith by one spouse (or from another faith to Islam), and impotence.
Madam Fahmida Naz (Advocate High Court) is one of the best female divorce lawyers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. She has been practising law for over 18 years, and she has been assisting clients with all their legal needs related to their complex divorce matters.
Her LinkedIn profile can be seen here