Under Islamic Law, the Quran lays out a legal system for divorce proceedings. There needs to be a declaration for divorce being made. The parties are then advised to carry out some meditation sessions in order to try and resolve the matter. Following this there should be a 3 months waiting period given, this is known as ‘iddat’. This takes place in order to allow for reconciliation and determination of paternity of unborn children.
There are 4 different types of Islamic Divorce which can take place: ‘Talaq’, ‘Khula’, ‘Faskh’ and ‘Tasweed’.
- Talaq: is when the man unilaterally gives divorce to the woman. However, he then has to pay the Mehr financial settlement in full.
- Khula: is where the wife would, without giving reason, ask the husband for a divorce. The wife would then also need to return her Mehr back to the husband and only then can the divorce be complete. This is regardless of the fact that whether the husband contests to the divorce.
- Faskh: here the wife may apply to an Islamic Court or to the Sharia Council to divorce her husband. She must give reasons as to why she believes that her husband has broken down the marriage contract. It is then up to the court to decide if the man is guilty. If the decision of the court is made in favour of the wife, the she is allowed to keep her Mehr and the divorce is granted.
- Tafweed: when the rights of the woman to divorce are included in the marriage contract. These can be either unconditional or conditional depending on certain events.