What is a Divorce?
A divorce is a legal procedure to end a marriage. The procedures for a Muslim divorce and a civil divorce are different. Cases in which all parties to the application are Muslims or where the parties were married under the provisions of the Muslim law are heard in the Syariah Court. Divorce for a civil marriage is heard in the Family Court.
TYPES OF MUSLIM DIVORCES
Am I eligible to apply for a Muslim divorce?
You may submit your application for a divorce at Syariah Court if you satisfy the following:
Your marriage is a Muslim marriage.
You have attended counselling sessions under the Marriage Counselling Programme (MCP).
Mediation is your first court session. Both you and the defendant must attend a mediation session in person even though you and/or the defendant have engaged a lawyer. At the mediation, the divorce and ancillary issues such as custody of children, division of matrimonial property and payment of nafkah iddah (maintenance) and mut’ah (consolatory gift pursuant to divorce) will be discussed. If there is an agreement at the mediation, the court will grant a divorce following the terms of the agreement.
If no agreement is reached, the Syariah Court will fix the proceedings for a PreTrial Conference where further directions will be given. After that, the case goes on to the trial. The court may also decide to refer the case to a hakam (arbitrator) who has been selected by the divorcing parties on the direction of the court. Throughout the course the divorce proceedings, if no maintenance has been provided for, the wife can make an application for interim maintenance in the Family Court.