An Islamic divorce is known as a "Talaq". A Talaq is
where the husband in an Islamic marriage seeks to divorce his wife and this
is a relatively straightforward process. If a man in outisde Pakistan
performs a Talaq in that particular country, this brings the marriage to an
end only under Islamic law.
Where a husband pronounces Talaq he must also make payment on
the "Haq Mehr", which is a sum of money he has agreed to give to his wife in
the event of divorce. The Haq Mehr may be taken into account for ancillary
relief (i.e. financial) proceedings.
A Muslim woman may also apply for an Islamic divorce by way of
As per Muslim Personal Law and under
section 7 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance husband pronounces talaq (oral
or by way of Deed of Divorce) and sends written notice by registered post to
the Union Council, mentioning address of his ex- wife. Thereafter the
concerned union Council sends a copy of the notice to wife by
registered post and arbitration Council is constituted within 30 days of
receipt of notice. Once the iddat period (90 days from the date the union
council receives the talaq notice) is over, the union council will issue a
certificate of Talaq being effective to the husband and wife.
Talaq is not effective until the expiry of iddat period and
failure to abide the law cause an imprisonment up to one year and/or a fine
of up to Rs. 5000/-.
A verbal talaq is not recognized by law and the husband's
failure to send written notice to the Union Council makes the talaq
ineffective. Even if the Union Council issues a certificate of talaq, if
notice was not properly served on the wife, the talaq can be challenged.
Notice of talaq can be served on a wife (with the Union Council's permission)
through her father, mother, adult brother or sister, but no other relatives.
If this is not possible because her whereabouts are not known and notice
cannot be served on her through her immediate family, the husband can still
serve notice through a newspaper approved by the Union Council.
Sometimes families make the mistake of refusing to receive a
registered notification, fearing that it is notice of talaq. This is
dangerous because notice can then be served through a newspaper and the
talaq will be effective, but the woman will be unaware of her status.