Islamic Family Law was introduced over 1,400 years ago. 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 mediation sessions in order 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 a divorce to the woman. However he then has to pay the Mehr financial settlement in full.
- Khula: is where the wife would, without giving a 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 of 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 then she allowed to keep her Mehr and the divorce is granted.
- Tafweed: when the rights of a woman to divorce are included in the marriage contract. These can be either unconditional or conditional depending on certain events.
A.H. Page work alongside the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal in the event that you are seeking a “Khula”. The conduct that can empower the Islamic Divorce Panel with the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal to dissolve the marriage, are in the following instances:
- The Respondent does not respond to any of the Khula Notification Letters and the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal is satisfied that there were no valid grounds as to why the Respondent failed to respond; or
- The Respondent refused to grant a Declaration of Divorce and refused to grant the Applicant a Khula or negotiate the terms of the Khula; or
- The Respondent failed to attend the Mediation Hearing and he had been informed of the date and time the Mediation hearing was to take place and the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal is satisfied that no valid grounds exist as to why the Respondent failed to attend
The Muslim Arbitration Tribunal shall write to the Respondent (“The Dissolution of Marriage Notification Letter”). The Dissolution of Marriage Notification Letter shall inform the Respondent that his marriage with the Applicant has irretrievably broken down and that this correspondence serves as a last and final chance for the Respondent to engage in this process and he should therefore either grant the Applicant a Divorce or grant the Applicant a Khula, failing which, the IDP shall dissolve the marriage.