In addition to any court decree, the woman must make sure she collects her talaqnama certificate from the Union Council and keep it somewhere safe.

Talaq (Divorce)

As per Muslim Personal Law and under section 7 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance the 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 it constitutes arbitration Council 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.

Please note that talaq is not effective until the expiry of iddat period and failure to abide by law will cause a simple imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to Rs. 5000/-The Importance of Registered notice of Talaq

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.

Talaq-i-Tafweez and Mubarat (Mutual Divorce)

In both of these forms of divorce, there is no need to approach the courts, meaning that the marriage can be dissolved rapidly, cheaply and with few procedural problems. In this case both husband and wife may sign a Mutual Divorce Deed and send a written notice under section 8 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance to the concerned union council. The Union council will adopt the same procedure as of ordinary notice of talaq.

On the other hand if wife is delegated the Right of Divorce in her nikahnama (clause 18), then she is entitled under the law to adopt the same procedure of talaq for a husband as mentioned herein-above.

Khula (Divorce by Wife through Court)

If the wife is not delegated the right of Divorce in her nikahnama (Clause 18) then she would need to apply for Khula. Khula, which literally means untying the knot, is the dissolution of marriage initiated by the wife and is granted by the court. To apply for Khula the wife would need to file a suit for Khula in the Family Court under the West Pakistan Family Courts Ordinance, on the grounds that she feels she can no long live with her husband within the limits prescribed by Allah and such a statement on oath made in her suit would be sufficient to establish her case for Khula.

It is not out of place to mention that in a suit for Khula the grounds for judicial divorce are also commonly included such as mental abuse, habitual assault, husband bad of character, cruelty, desertion for 4 years or where about of husband not know, non maintenance for continues period of two years, husband married second marriage in violation of Muslim Family Law Ordinance, husband is impotent, husband has not performed his duties reasonably for continues two years etc.
The Family Court will issue decree and send notification to Union Council which proceeds as if it received the notice of Talaq and once the iddat period of over the khula becomes effective.

At the time of filing of Khula suit the wife usually has to return haq mehr and other benefits received from husband as zar-ikhula, gifts received from husband’s family do not have to be returned court decides how much & what is to be returned on the facts of the case wife’s failure to pay zar-i-khula does not render khula ineffective; husband has to file separate suit for recovery of zar-i-khula.