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International Family Law Firm in Islamabad | Legal Counsel for Overseas PakistanisInternational Divorce Lawyer in Islamabad for Overseas Pakistanis

Dissolution of Marriage in Pakistan

Dissolution of Marriage or Divorce is a difficult and emotionally stressful process that requires a deep understanding of legal frameworks and cultural sensitivities. In Pakistan, where both Islamic and state legal systems coexist, religious principles, customs, and legal technicalities must all be taken into account when going through a divorce.

Divorce is a decision with profound consequences and significant life event that requires careful consideration. In Pakistan, a country with a diverse cultural landscape and a unique legal framework, the process of divorce involves a blend of Islamic and state laws. For anyone who is thinking about getting a divorce or going through, it is essential for him or her to understand the details.

Pakistan is governed by two sets of laws: state legal principles and Islamic rules. The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961 and The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act of 1939 are key legislative pillars governing divorce. The combination of the two gives people the way to approach family courts of Pakistan.

Our Legal Services on Divorce in Pakistan

Consulting our divorce lawyers for legal advice on divorce in Pakistan from the very beginning is important to insights into the legal issues of the divorce procedure. This would help our clients to make right decisions and also help them to understand about their rights and obligations.

Expert Handling of Legal Procedures: Our best divorce attorney in Islamabad ensure that all necessary paperwork is compiled and filed correctly. We represent our clients in court appearances, simplifying the legal process and reducing the stress associated with divorce proceedings.

Personalized Legal Strategies: Every divorce case is different than other therefore we recognize the importance of modifying legal strategies to different circumstances. Our top-rated family lawyers work closely with clients to understand their specific needs and then developing personalized legal approaches so as to maximize the chances of a favorable decisions.

Expertise in Family Disputes: Family disputes include property disputes, separation from the spouse, and child custody are frequently involved in divorce cases. Our family court lawyers are well-versed in the legal complexities involving divorce-related matters.  Their expertise ensures effective representation for our clients.

Dispute Resolution and Mediation: We understand the significance of amicable resolutions in divorce cases. Our family court lawyers are skilled in mediation and negotiation, working to achieve fair settlements without resorting to lengthy and adversarial court litigations.

Protection of Client’s Interests: Keeping our clients’ interests safe is our first priority. Whether it involves protecting assets, ensuring a fair distribution of marital property, or advocating for child custody arrangements, our legal team is committed to securing the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Child Custody Legal Advice: We handle child custody cases with professional skills and knowledge because they can be quite sensitive after or before the divorce. Our lawyers advocate for the best interests of the child, working to create custody arrangements that prioritize the child’s well-being while complying with legal requirements.

Handling Contested Divorces: Our divorce lawyers use efficient strategies to resolve issues in controversial divorces that are outcome of arguments and disagreements. We make efforts to safeguard our clients’ interests and develop solutions that support their objectives.

Knowledge of Local Laws: In divorce cases, compliance with jurisdiction as well as procedural laws is very essential. Due to extensive knowledge of Pakistani divorce laws, our divorce lawyers in Islamabad are able to comply with all legal requirements in the divorce proceedings and handle technical restrictions and obligations.

Post-Divorce Legal Support: Our dedication to the clients doesn’t ends when the divorce is finalized. In addition to handling post-divorce issues, we offer continuous legal help, making sure that our clients have the direction and defense they may require.

Knowledge of Local Laws: In divorce cases, compliance with jurisdiction as well as procedural laws is very essential. Due to extensive knowledge of Pakistani divorce laws, our divorce lawyers in Islamabad are able to comply with all legal requirements in the divorce proceedings and handle technical restrictions and obligations.

Post-Divorce Legal Support: Our dedication to the clients doesn’t ends when the divorce is finalized. In addition to handling post-divorce issues, we offer continuous legal help, making sure that our clients have the direction and defense they may require.

Special Services for International Divorce

International divorces involve legal complexities that go beyond the scope of conventional divorce cases. Factors such as jurisdiction, applicable laws, and cultural differences make these cases complex and challenging.

Our international divorce lawyers in Islamabad play a pivotal role in guiding our clients through the complexities of jurisdictional issues and diverse legal systems. We provide essential legal advice, ensuring our clients understand the implications of each decision. From initiating the divorce proceedings to finalizing the settlement, our responsibilities cover a wide range of legal services including but not limited to;

  • Handling International Legal Documentation
  • Legal Advice on Sharia and State laws
  • Financial Settlements and Disbursement
  • Child Custody Matters After Divorce
  • Child Maintenance After Divorce
  • Dispute Resolution and Mediation

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Types of Divorce in Pakistan

Divorce is a legal process that dissolves a marriage and in Pakistan, it is governed by Islamic as well as State law. If you are thinking about ending your marriage then it is important to know the kinds of divorce.

  • Talaq (Islamic Divorce)
  • Khula (Dissolution of Marriage)
  • Mubarat (Mutual Legal Separation)
  • Annulment of Marriage

Talaq (Islamic Divorce)

Talaq is a form of divorce sanctioned under Islamic law and is a unilateral right exercised by the husband. It can be pronounced verbally or in writing or both. This Islamic divorce is effective upon pronouncement, but reconciliation can nullify the divorce during the Iddah period in case of Talaq-e-Ahsan and Talaq-e-Hassan.

Kinds of Talaq

Talaq-e-Ahsan: This is the most approved form, involving a single pronouncement of divorce followed by a waiting period (Iddah) during which reconciliation is encouraged. If there comes no reconciliation between the spouses and the Iddah period is expired than the marriage will be dissolved. However, if the spouses want to remarry then they can remarry with each other without any intervening marriage or Hilala.

Talaq-e-Hasan: It consists of three pronouncements made over separate menstrual cycles which is calculated as a month. This kind allows for reconciliation between each pronouncement. But after pronouncement of three divorces there shall left no option to reconcile.

Talaq-e-Bid’ah: This form involves innovated or irregular methods of pronouncing three divorces at the same time and there shall left no way of the reconciliation or remarry after pronouncement of this talaq.

Khula or Dissolution of Marriage

Khula, also known as judicial divorce in Pakistan, is a divorce that is initiated by the wife by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage in the court under certain grounds as mentioned in the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act of 1939. In view of Islam, Khula is a right of a woman seeking a dissolution of the marriage through a legal process without consent of a husband. However, this involves the wife relinquishing her financial rights in exchange for the divorce.

Grounds of Khula

Section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act of 1939 provides certain grounds to the wife upon which she can claim khula by filing a lawsuit in the court this is also known as divorce by wife in Pakistan. Following are the grounds;

  • Husband’s whereabouts are unknown for a period of four years.
  • Husband has been sentenced for period of seven years or more.
  • Husband has neglected and failed to pay the maintenance from last two years.
  • Husband has not performed his marital obligations for a period of three years.
  • Husband has contracted second or subsequent marriage.
  • Husband is impotent.
  • Husband is insane for a period of two years.
  • Wife has been given into marriage before her age of sixteen years.
  • Husband accuses her wife of committing
  • Husband treats the wife with cruelty, habitually assaults her, obstructs her from performance of her religious rights, disposes of her property, seduce her to live an immoral life or associates her with the evil repute women.

Mubarat OR Mutual Legal Separation

Mutual legal separation is also known as Mubarat which is a mutual agreement between both spouses to revoke the matrimonial relationship. This can be done by executing legal separation agreement between both spouses in order to agree to revoke the marriage under certain terms and conditions. For this kind of divorce, free consents of both the parties i.e. husband and wife are required. This would be treated as a peaceful way of dissolution of marriage without court battles.

Requirements of Mutual Legal Separation

Mutual Consent: The success of Mubarat depends on the free will and consent of both the spouses. It is an amicable process where both parties willingly agree to dissolve the marriage.

Legal Review: The drafted agreement undergoes legal scrutiny to ensure it adheres to legal requirements. This review is essential for the court to grant approval.

Financial and Custodial Matters: All financial settlements and arrangements related to child custody and maintenance should be clearly mentioned and agreed upon during the process.

Registration: While Mubarat is based on mutual agreement, so this contract requires registration therefore registring the same is necessary to validate the divorce and ensure it meets legal standards.

Annulment of Marriage

Annulment of Marriage is also known as Jactitation of Marriage which is a legal procedure that declares a marriage null and void by considering that the marriage was never existed. It is to be noted here that this does not falls within the ambit of divorce but the same is to be considered as revocation of a marriage contract which was executed without the consent of either spouse or through fraud.

In Pakistan, annulment is granted under specific legal grounds by filing a lawsuit in the court.  Jactitation of Marriage in Pakistan is a legal remedy available under specific circumstances that declares a marriage void.

Legal Grounds for Annulment

Force or Coercion: If a marriage was contracted under duress, force, or coercion, it can be annulled because free consent is a fundamental element of a valid marriage contract.

Fraud or Deception: If one party entered into the marriage based on fraudulent misrepresentations or deceitful actions by the other party, it can be grounds for annulment.

Consanguinity or Affinity:  Annulment can be granted if the marriage involves close blood relations or affinity within the prohibited degrees as per Islamic law.

Mental Incapacity: Annulment may be sought if one of the spouses is mentally incapable at the time of marriage which makes him or her incompetent to enter into a marriage contract.

Underage Marriage: If one or both spouses were underage at the time of marriage, an annulment can be pursued. Underage marriage refers to situations where one or both spouses are below the legal age of marriage as per prescribe the Sharia and State laws.

Process of Divorce in Pakistan for Overseas Pakistanis

Process of divorce in Pakistan for Overseas Pakistanis are complex than an ordinary procedure as comparison to a local-residents. It also depends on the kind of Talaq you are looking to adopt such as Talaq by Husband, Khula by Wife, Mutual Legal Separation or Annulment of Marriage. Therefore, we have explained the process of divorce for each category with the details as mentioned below.

  • Talaq
  • Shia Divorce
  • Khula
  • Mubarat
  • Annulment

Process of Talaq for Overseas Pakistanis

If you are an Overseas Pakistani husband and your wife is residing in Pakistan and you are intending to divorce her then you will need to follow the Talaq procedure in Pakistan as mentioned below.

Step 1 – Husband will need to appoint a representative by executing a special power of attorney to his lawyer;

Step 2 Power of attorney should be attested from the Pakistani Embassy or Consulate of the Country where husband is residing;

Step 3 Where representative receives a power of attorney, he will verify the documents from the Foreign Office of Pakistan and proceed according to law;

Step 4 All the legal documents i.e. Special Power of Attorney, Divorce Deed and Witness Statements shall be registered from the concerned authority and then proceedings of overseas divorce in Pakistan will be initiated in the Arbitration Council;

Step 5 Minimum 90 days’ proceedings will be conducted by a lawyer in the arbitration council;

Step 6 After the proceedings of overseas divorce in Pakistan, a divorce certificate will be issued by NADRA through an arbitration council and this certificate is considered as sole and only proof of divorce.

Process of Shia Divorce in Pakistan for Overseas Pakistanis

If you are an Overseas Pakistani husband belongs to a Fiqh-e-Jafria and your wife is residing in Pakistan and you are intending to divorce her then you will need to follow this Shia divorce procedure in Pakistan as mentioned below.

NOTE: It is to be noted here that Shia Fiqh only admits Talaq-e-Ahsan. A concept of Talaq-e-Hasan and Talaq-e-Bid’ah is not applicable.

Step 1 – Husband will need to appoint a representative by executing a special power of attorney to his lawyer;

Step 2 Power of attorney should be attested from the Pakistani Embassy or Consulate of the Country where husband is residing;

Step 3 Where representative receives a power of attorney, he will verify the documents from the Foreign Office of Pakistan and proceed according to law;

Step 4 Special attorney on behalf of husband will forward a written notice of invitation to the wife for joining a meeting for the purpose of proceeding with the shia divorce by specifying time, date and place of the meeting in the said notice;

Step 5 – On the date fixed, special attorney of husband and wife in person or through her authorized representative shall join the meeting. However, if the wife or her representative remained absent without intimation then the proceedings shall be conducted in her absence;

Step 6 – Special attorney of husband or the nominated scholar/person shall recite Seegha in the presence of two adult male muslims witnesses;

Step 7 – After compilying with the procedure, nominated scholar/person shall prepare an acknowledgement regarding confirmation of pronouncement of divorce. The copies of acknowledgement shall be handed over or delivered to both the parties;

Step 8 – All the legal documents i.e. Special Power of Attorney, Divorce Deed, Copy of Acknowledgement and Witness Statements shall be registered from the concerned authority and then proceedings of divorce will be initiated in the Arbitration Council;

Step 9  Minimum 90 days’ proceedings will be conducted by a lawyer in the arbitration council;

Step 10  After the proceedings of overseas divorce in Pakistan, a divorce certificate will be issued by NADRA through an arbitration council and this certificate is considered as sole and only proof of divorce.

Process of Khula for Overseas Pakistanis

If you are an Overseas Pakistani wife and your husband is residing in Pakistan and you are intending to dissolve the marriage then you will need to follow the following steps.

Step 1 – Wife will need to appoint a representative by executing a special power of attorney;

Step 2 Power of attorney should be attested from the Pakistani Embassy or Consulate of the Country where wife is residing;

Step 3 Where representative receives a power of attorney, he will verify the documents from the Foreign Office of Pakistan and proceed according to law;

Step 4 – Upon receiving all the documents, a lawsuit for dissolution of marriage on basis of Khula alongwith other legal documents will be filed before the family court.

Step 5 – The court shall issue notices to the husband and if husband appears in the court, he will submit his defense and if he don’t appear then the court will close his right to defense and will proceed in his absence.

Step 6 – Your representative will appear into the court and record statement and submit documents on your behalf. It is to be noted here that the court may require your electronic statement if not satisfied with your representative.

Step 7 – After passing orders of Khula or Dissolution of Marriage, then an application will be filed in the Arbitration Council for reconciliation proceedings which shall last 90 days.

Step 8 After proceedings of Arbitration Council, a divorce certificate will be issued to the wife.

Process of Mutual Legal Separation for Overseas Pakistanis

Mutual legal separation requires an execution of separation agreement with the free consent of both the spouses. If any spouse is residing abroad and other in Pakistan then you may need to comply with the following steps;

Step 1 – Non-resident spouse will need to appoint a representative by executing a special power of attorney;

Step 2 Power of attorney should be attested from the Pakistani Embassy or Consulate of the Country where spouse is residing;

Step 3 Where representative receives a power of attorney, he will verify the documents from the Foreign Office of Pakistan and proceed according to law;

Step 4 – A mutual legal separation agreement will be drafted and be forwarded to both the spouses. In case of no-objection by any spouse the same will be executed in the presence of the witnesses.

Step 5 Separation agreement and all other legal documents shall be registered from the concerned authority and then proceedings of divorce will be initiated in the Arbitration Council;

Step 6 Minimum 90 days’ proceedings will be conducted in the arbitration council and divorce certificate be issued thereafter;

Process of Annulment of Marriage in Pakistan

If you are an overseas Pakistani and residing abroad, despite this that you are a wife or a husband, you may need to comply with the Step 1 to 3 as stated above and then follow the steps mentioned below. And if you are a local resident then you do not need to follow the above-mentioned step and can directly follow the below mentioned steps;

Step 1: Consultation with Our Lawyer – The first step involves consulting with our experienced divorce lawyers who are specialize in marriage-divorce related matters. Our divorce lawyer will assess the circumstances and advises on the viability of seeking an annulment.

Step 2: Filing a Petition – A petition for annulment will be filed in the family court of Pakistan by specifying the grounds on which the marriage annulment is being sought.

Step 3: Court Proceedings – The court will initiate legal proceedings to ascertain the validity of the grounds mentioned in the petition. Both parties may be required to record their statements and submit evidence in the court, and witnesses may be called if necessary.

Step 4: Examination and Decision – The court will examine the evidence and will determine whether the grounds for annulment are valid. If the court finds in favor of marriage annulment, an order shall be passed for annulment of marriage.

Step 4: Issuance of Annulment Decree – Upon a successful annulment of marriage, the court shall issue a decree while declaring the marriage null and void. This decree will be legally binding and signifies the end of a fake marital relationship.

Divorce Guidance for Overseas Pakistanis

Divorce Requirements for Expats in Pakistan

Divorce Requirements for Expats in Pakistan

  • Duly executed special power of attorney signed and seal by the Pakistani Consulate and Foreign Office of Pakistan. (In case when either spouse is residing abroad).
  • Duly registered divorce deed when husband is pronouncing divorce.
  • Witness statements when husband is pronouncing divorce (verbally or written) while residing abroad in the presence of witnesses.
  • CNICs and Passports of the Spouses.
  • Marriage must be contracted and registered in Pakistan.
  • Attestation/ Notarization of all legal documents from the concerned authority.
  • Filing a proper lawsuit for dissolution of marriage on basis of Khula by the wife or a lawsuit for annulment of marriage.
  • Recording of statement and submission of evidence before the court. (In case of Khula or Marriage Annulment/Jactitation of Marriage).
  • Attending reconciliation proceedings of 90 days before the Chairman Arbitration Council.
  • Registration of divorce or annulment in the record of NADRA.
Divorce in Islam

In Islam a marriage could be dissolved;

(i) By the husband at his will without the intervention of a court;
(ii) By mutual consent of the husband and wife, without the intervention of a court, and
(iii) By a judicial decree in the suit of the husband and wife,

If the husband has the right to divorce his wife, then the wife is also entitled to separation by means of khula.

Warning against free exercise of such rights by husband or wife placed on a moral rather than legal plane. It is well‑settled that the marriage among Muslims is not a sacrament but in the nature of a civil contract and such a contract undoubtedly has spiritual and moral overtones and undertones but legally, in essence, it remains a contract between the parties which can be the subject of dissolution for good cause.

In this respect, Islam conforms to the dictates of human nature and does not prescribe the binding together of a man and woman to what has been described as “holy dead‑lock”.

The husband is given the right to divorce his wife, though, of course, arbitrary divorces are discountenanced.

There is a saying of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH to the effect that “the most detestable of lawful things in Allah’s view is divorce” (Abou Daood).

Similarly, the wife is given the right to ask for khula in cases of extreme incompatibility though the warning is conveyed by hadith against too free exercise of this privilege, one of which says that women asking for khula will be deprived of the fragrance of paradise (Tirmizi).

The warning both to man and woman in this regard, is obviously placed on the moral rather than the legal plane and is not destructive of their legal rights.

The question arises that whether a wife, under the Muslim law, is entitled as of right, to claim khula, despite the unwillingness of the husband to release her from the matrimonial tie, if she satisfies the Court that there is no possibility of their living together consistently with their conjugal duties and obligations.

Women's Rights of Divorce in Pakistan

Women’s Rights of Divorce in Pakistan

In Pakistan, women have certain rights and protections within the legal framework when it comes to divorce. These rights are essential for women seeking to navigate the divorce process and secure their interests.

Right of Khula: Khula is a right of a Muslim married woman which allows her obtain separation from the wedlock by seeking a dissolution of the marriage against her husband from the court.

Delegated Right of Divorce (Talaq-e-Tafweez): In Islamic law, husband has an absolute right to divorce but this right can be delegated to the wife in accordance with column no. 18 of Nikahnama which is known Talaq-e-Tafweez which a wife may execute for divorce.

Jactitation of Marriage: This cannot be considered as a divorce but it a revocation of a marriage under certain circumstance such as fake marriage or marriage contracted fradulently.

Financial Support OR Maintenance: During the Iddah period and beyond, a husband is under obligation to provide financial support to the wife. This is a financial right of a married woman which shall protect her financial interests.

Right to Custody of a Child: According to the Islamic law, a mother has a preferential right to retain the custody of the children. However, custody arrangements are subject to the best interests of the child.

Right of Dower (Mahr): There are two kinds of Dower such as Prompt (Muajal) Dower and Deferred (Ghair-Muajal) Dower. Prompt dower is right of wife which she is entitled to receive at the time of contracting marriage whereas Deferred dower is right of woman to receive dower on demand or happening of an event such as death of husband or divorce by husband. The dower is a financial right of a wife which she is entitled to receive accordingly.

Protection against Harrasment or Domestic Violence: Women have legal protections against harassment or any form of domestic abuse or violence during or after the divorce process.

Islamic Background of Khula

The foundation of the law relevant to khula is contained in the Qur’anic verses which may be translated as follows:

“Such divorce may be pronounced twice; then, either retain them in a becoming manner or send them away with kindness. And it is not lawful for you that you take anything of what you have given them, unless both fear that they cannot observe the limits prescribed by Allah. But, if you fear that they cannot observe the limits prescribed by Allah, then it shall be no sin for either of them in what she gives to get her freedom. These are the limits prescribed by Allah, so transgress them not; and who so transgresses the limits prescribed by Allah, it is they that are the wrong doers.”

The words “if you fear” are addressed to the community or those in authority from among you, including the Qazi, who represents the community, for adjudication of disputes. This is borne out from the commentary of the Qur’an by Qurtabi, known as VI “Al Ja’me‑al‑Ahkaam‑al‑Qur’an”.

The learned author says that this is the opinion of lbn‑e‑Abbas and Malik‑bin‑Anas as well as the majority of the legists.

By the phrase “Limits of Allah”, according to the majority of legists, reference is intended to the injunctions regarding the performance of conjugal obligations while living together.

Firstly, the words “if you fear” involve by necessary implication a reference to the Judge and adjudication by him. The occasion for a reference to him arises only where the husband refuses to release his wife when she demands a divorce for if the matter is mutually agreed upon between the parties, the husband will divorce her and there will be ho reference to the Judge; and no occasion for him to arrive at the conclusion that the parties will not keep within the limits of Allah.

In consequence, the verse is a rule of decision in cases where the husband refuses to release his wife and is not in express terms applicable to cases of khula by mutual agreement where there is no reference to the Judge.

In khula, under the verse, the husband is permitted to accept what the wife may give him to be free and this is an exception to the general rule stated in cases of divorce by the husband in verse 2:229 and verses 19 and 20 of Sura Al‑Nisa that it is not lawful for him to take back any part of what he has given to the wife but it is lawful “if the Qazi entertains the fear”.

Therefore, the verse contemplates an adjudication by the Qazi as justification for the husband’s accepting what his wife gives him for being free.

The provision of adjudication in the verse is evidence of Divine Wisdom, for it ensures on the one hand that there are not too many too frequent and unrestricted dissolution of marriages and on the other that the wife is not oppressed in order to deprive her of her property.

Secondly, it confers a right and a privilege on the wife to seek dissolution of marriage. Khula is thus a right conferred on the wife. In the prior verse 2:228 the Holy Qur’an itself mentions “women have rights against men similar to those that men have against them, according. to the well‑known rules of equity”.

It is explained that incurable aversion to the husband on the part of the wife would be sufficient justification for khula. Shah Wali Ullah in ” (Al‑Musawwa‑ min‑Hadith‑al‑Muatta, Vol. II, Page. 160) goes to the length of saying that “even if she obtains khula without any reason (apart from personal dislike) it is lawful but not approved. The reason is that the Prophet Mohammed PBUH and the Companions never inquired from her about the reason for her (seeking) khula.”

Legal Status of Khula

There are good reasons for the view that khula is separation and not talaq as the right of the husband to take back the wife, after khula does not exist, as it does in the case of talaq‑i‑raja’i and the period of ‘Iddat is different in the two cases.

The relevant Hadith are discussed by Shaukani in (Kitab‑ul‑Khul’, Vol. 111, p. 260) of his celebrated work (Nail‑al‑Autar) and he reaches the conclusion that khula is not a type of talaq, but is a category apart from it.

If this opinion is accepted, then it is clear that khula is not dependent on the will of the husband alone but even if khula be regarded as talaq as seems to be the view of some of the Hanafi Jurists, the question arises whether the wife is not entitled to demand a khula divorce from the husband, in the face of the latter’s opposition.

This problem finds no express treatment in the treatises of these Hanafi Jurists who content themselves by saying that divorce is the right of the husband.

It is true that in certain commentaries of the Qur’an the expression “person in whose hand is the tie of marriage” occurring in Verse No. 238 has been interpreted to mean the husband but this is by no means universally accepted.

Some commentators have interpreted these words as referring to the guardian of the woman and this interpretation seems to be more consistent with the context.

Legal Effect of Khula

Pivotal question to be determined is as to what is the effect of decree of dissolution of marriage on basis of khula and whether parties could rejoin as husband and wife after pronouncement of Khula’ by court.

Khula is repudiated with consent at the instance of the wife in which she agrees to give consideration to the husband for release from marital bond and it has the effect of “talaq bayen” (single divorce).

Pronouncement of Khula’ by court would amount to single divorce and husband would be at liberty to marry the wife again after solemnization of nikah without intervention of a third person.

Section 7(6) of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 did not debar wife whose marriage had been terminated by divorce under S.7 of the said Ordinance from remarrying the same husband without intervening marriage with a third person.

The other difference between the right of divorce devolved upon the husband and the right of khula by the wife is that the husband can divorce his wife without intercession of court while the wife has to approach the court to obtain dissolution of marriage. Once the wife approaches the court for dissolution of marriage on the basis of khula then court has no option but to accede to her request because she is entitled to divorce on the basis of khula ex debito justitiae.

Difference between Legal Separation and Khulla

Difference between Legal Separation and Khulla

This difference arises owing to the fact that two situations are contemplated by the writers. One is where khula takes place as a result of the mutual consent of the spouses, which is technically called mubara’t or Legal Separation. In such a case it appears that no reference to the Qazi or court is necessary. But where the husband disputes the right of the wife to obtain separation by khula it is obvious that some third party has to decide the matter and consequently, the dispute will have to be adjudicated upon by the Court with or without assistance of the Hakams.

Any other interpretation of the Qur’anic verse regarding khula would deprive it of all efficacy as a charter granted to the wife.

It is significant that according to the Qur’an, she can “ransom herself” or “get her release” and it is plain that these words connote an independent right in her.

There are two classes of cases of khula:

(1) by mutual agreement, and
(2) by order of the Court

Dissolution of marriage takes place by the husband’s pronouncing a talaq in the first class (by mutual agreement) of cases, and by the order of the Court in the second.

Sanction for khula under the orders of the Qazi is to be found in the express words of verse 2:229 of the Holy Qur’an, which is the word of God.

Cases of khula by mutual agreement do not strictly fall under the terms of the verse itself, but what is so‑effected is also khula and justification for such cases has been found by the Jurists by a process of reasoning and deduction from the words of the verse, or from the contract between the parties.

The principle so‑deduced amply justifies the conclusion drawn by the Jurists that khula by mutual agreement is permitted in Islam but the concept of khula derived from instances of mutual agreement should not be used to confuse the issue and made to bear on cases of khula under the orders of the Judge which are expressly covered by the verse of the Holy Qur’an.

There is a difference between Khula and Separation and the main distinction between a Khula and Mubarat/Separation is that in the former the aversion is on the side of the wife and she desires a separation but in the latter the aversion is mutual and both sides desire separation.

Secondly, in a divorce by khula some consideration must be given by the wife to the husband for her release from the marital tie. It is in effect an offer from the wife for her release on payment of compensation.

When a suit was filed by the husband for restitution of conjugal rights had been decreed but as against that the wife’s suit claiming dissolution of marriage had been dismissed by the trial Court, it was held by the August Supreme Court of Pakistan that it was the wife who sought severance of the marital tie and not the husband and therefore in the circumstances the divorce ultimately agreed upon by the parties was only a Separation and not Khula.

Difference between Annulment and Divorce

Annulment vs Divorce in Pakistan

There is a certain difference between the annulment (jactitation of marriage) and a divorce as the former need denial of any marriage contract with free consent or fraud AND the later recognizes the contracting of marriage with free consent but spouses need termination of legitimate wedlock due to certain disputes.

Difference as to Existence of Marriage: Annulment is a legal declaration that the marriage was void from the beginning, based on specific grounds, while divorce acknowledges the existence of a valid marriage but terminates it due to irreconcilable differences or other recognized reasons.

Difference as to Court’s Intervention: In Pakistan, both annulment of marriage and divorce are legal processes that dissolve marriages, but they differ significantly in their legal implications and grounds as for the Annulment of Marriage a petition is required to be filed in the court but on the other hand divorce does not needs intervention of court except claiming Khula by the wife.

Difference as to Legal Basis: Marriage annulment declares a marriage null and void as if it was never existed. It is based on specific legal grounds that render the marriage invalid from its inception. Whereas, divorce is the legal dissolution of a valid marriage. It acknowledges the existence of the marriage but terminates the marital relationship due to certain reasons and grounds as provided by the law.

Difference as to Grounds: Grounds for annulment of marriage include non-consummation, consanguinity or affinity within prohibited degrees, fraud or deception, mental incapacity, underage marriage, bigamy or polygamy, and marriage under force or coercion. Whereas, grounds for divorce include irreconcilable differences, cruelty, desertion, failure to provide maintenance, and other recognized reasons under family law.

Legal Rights After Divorce in Pakistan

Legal Rights After Divorce in Pakistan

After obtaining a divorce in Pakistan, parties are required to perform certain legal rights and responsibilities. The post-divorce period involves considerations related to financial matters including child and wife maintenance, child custody, and ongoing legal obligations.

Financial Rights: Financial Rights includes financial settlements and transfer of property. The divorce decree may outline financial settlements, including maintenance and cost of litigations etc. and also transfer of property and handing over of dower to the wife. If wife obtains Khula from the court then she needs to return the dower and if husband gives divorce to the wife, then he would require to pay outstanding dower to the wife whether in shape of cash, gold or immoveable property in view of the Nikahnama. Both the parties should adhere to these arrangements.

Child Custody and Visitation Rights: The divorce decree does not address the child custody arrangements. So you may have to file another lawsuit for the custody of the child or application for visitation rights before the family court. Custody may be granted to one parent (sole custody) or shared between both parents (joint custody) depending upon the circustances while considering best interest and welfare of the child.

Child Maintenance and Support: According to the laws of Pakistan, it is primary responsibility of the father to maintain his child financially. Non-payment can lead to legal actions including confinement in the civil prison as well as attachment of assets.

Privacy Rights and Responsibilities: Both the parties after separation are retaining certain rights, such as the right to privacy, protection from harassment, and the right to legal recourse for any violations.

Enforcement of Decree & Contempt of Court: If one party fails to comply with the terms of the divorce decree, the other party may seek legal recourse through the family court and non-compliance can lead to contempt of court charges, with penalties such as fines or imprisonment.

Maintenance for Wife after Divorce

Divorce affected by Khula or Separation operated as a release by the wife of her dower but it did not affect the liability of the husband to maintain the wife during her Iddat. Maintenance of a wife has always been considered not as a “benefit” but as a “right” of the wife and is not returnable in the case of khula, it is the duty of the husband to maintain his wife as long as she remained in wedlock. Even after divorce, till completion of Iddat, the wife is still entitled to claim maintenance and the fact that a suit for recovery of maintenance is filed during subsistence of marriage or afterwards is of no significance, if during the period for which maintenance is claimed marriage between the parties remained intact.

Claim of maintenance being not a benefit the wife had received from husband, is not returnable in case of khula as it is the duty of the husband to maintain his wife so long as she remained in wedlock. Wife is entitled in law to maintenance during pendency of suit and period of iddat and would not forfeit such right merely because she has sought divorce on basis of khula.

Return of Benefits after Khula

In case of dissolution of marriage on the ground of khula’, question of return of Haq Mehr (dower) received is to be adjudged in the light of conduct of husband which means that where evidence indicates that dissolution of marriage is caused by or is attributed to faulty conduct of husband then the husband would become disentitled to return of dower otherwise due.

Such a rule is based on a sound rationale as it would be unjust to deny dower to a wife who has been forced into seeking dissolution on account of reprehensible acts or omissions of her husband.

However, the court has the power to fix any amount of compensation being considered by Khula, if it is found after recording of evidence that Khula is not claimed merely on the desire of the wife but the fault of the husband is also the reason for her recourse to Khula.

Wife has to return consideration to the husband on seeking dissolution of marriage on the basis of khula and Holy Quran does not command in express words and clear terms that the entire consideration benefits/Haq Mehr received by the wife has to be repaid, therefore, in peculiar and exceptional circumstances, the court has the authority to determine that the Haq Mehr/consideration as a whole was not to be repaid by the wife but a part of it. Court would also determine as to what extent the husband would be relieved from the payment of dower, to the wife, if not already paid.

In other cases, consideration of Khula cannot be any consideration except the amount of dower.

Transferring the Right of Divorce

Wife can not divorce herself from her husband without his consent except under a contract but she can in some cases, obtain a divorce by judicial decree.

Section 7 of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 regulates the procedure as to pronouncement of Talaq.

Under Islamic Law a Muslim husband enjoys unfettered power to pronounce Talaq to his wife; it is also established principle of Islamic Jurisprudence that husband could delegate his power to his wife or to third person by way of contract.

It is not a Shari Right of a married woman to get divorce upon herself without specific delegation of such power by the husband. If the words mentioned in column No.18 of Nikahnama do not vest any power in the wife to exercise the right of Talaq-e-Tafweez then no power is to be considered as delegated by the husband to the wife to exercise right of Talaq-e-Tafweez upon her.

If such types of words are allowed to be considered as a right of Talaq-e-Tafweez then it would mean that whatever is incorporated against column No.18 would be presumed as a Talaq-e-Tafweez.

Power to give divorce to the wife is a vested right with the husband who may delegate the same to the wife or to a third person. Person to whom such power is delegated may then pronounce the divorce accordingly.

Such divorce is known as “Talaq-e-Tafweez”. Delegation of power called “Tafweez” by the husband to his wife, conferred on her the power to divorce herself. Tafweez is of three kinds; Ikhtiar; Amr-ba-yed and Mashiat. Wife can not sue to enforce the authority to have been given to her but she could sue after she has given effect to it to make the husband liable for her dower or to restrain from seeking conjugal relations.
Wife is entitled to exercise her right of Talaq-e-Tafweez and to be separated from her husband and the same can not be termed as Khula. Talaq, once pronounced, would be effective after expiry of 90 days.

Once a person pronounced divorce, the power so delegated became irrevocable and such would operate as Talaq of the wife by the husband and in such scenario dissolution of marriage can not be considered as divorce by khula

Where wife exercise the delegated right of divorce, S.8 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 provided that provisions of S.7 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 would apply mutatis mutandis. No formal mode for exercise of the right is prescribed. Notice in writing to the Chairman, Arbitration Council about the exercise of the right is the only requirement.

Wife has to duly make the pronouncement by executing the deed and transmitting the copies to the husband and the Chairman, Arbitration Council.

Territorial jurisdiction of Chairman:
P L D 2019 Lahore 285.

Mediation in divorce in Pakistan

Mediation in divorce in Pakistan

In Pakistan, mediation has emerged as an alternative dispute resolution method that aims to foster communication, understanding, and mutual agreement between divorcing spouses.

Mediation in family disputes is a voluntary process in which a mediator initiate negotiation between the spouses with the aim to execute a mutually acceptable agreement on the concerning issues such as settlement, financial support, divorce, and child custody.

Mediation can be initiated at any stage of the divorce process either before or after filing for divorce. It is important to note here that when wife file a lawsuit for dissolution of marriage in the court, the court then provide an opportunity of reconciliation between the parties. Furthermore, when the matter be presented before the Arbitration council, either initiated by the husband or wife, the chairman of the council will initiate reconciliation proceedings that shall last for 90 days in view of Section 07 of The Muslim Family Law Ordinance of 1961.

Divorce through the Internet

The introduction of modern devices including SMS through the internet is one of the means of communication which are validly accepted all over the world.

However, the witnesses in whose presence the information is conveyed or received are always important to prove a fact through its verification.

The procedure for pronouncing divorce has been prescribed by the legislature in the best of the wisdom in order to ensure the sanctity of the institution of marriage recognizing divorce as a last option.

The major concern is what is going to be the level of the society if divorces are allowed to take effect merely on the basis of SMS, particularly in a patriarchal society.

Undoubtedly, the prerequisite for pronouncing a divorce is

● Peace of mind,
● The purpose and objective of such an act should be made known to him.
● By the witnesses present at the spot.

However, the wording of the SMS must categorically mention the above said prerequisites.

Although under Article 73 of the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984 the modern devices are legally acceptable, yet in order to prove a fact, the required procedure has to be followed.

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