Divorce (Syariah)


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Conditions for Divorce

1. The marriage is registered in Malaysia in accordance to the Penang Islamic Family Law Enactment (IFLE);
2. The marriage is in accordance to Hukum Syara’; and
3. The divorce application must be filed in the state where the husband or wife resides.

Procedure for Divorce

1. You will first need to make a complaint with the Religious Department and state in your complaint that your marriage has problems and that you wish to have a divorce.
2. The Religious Officer will advise you to go for counselling and both you and your husband would need to attend a maximum of 3 sessions over a period of 2-3 months. When reconciliation cannot be reached the officer will then state that the counselling process cannot be continued (because the husband was not present during the sessions) and advise you to apply to Court for a divorce.
3. Proceed to the Syariah Court and bring along this letter and register your application for divorce under any one of the four options for divorce, it is also advisable that you simultaneously make an application for maintenance and custody of any child of the marriage.
4. Once the application for divorce is registered in Court, the Court will issue a summons against your husband. He will then need to attend Court on the date stated in the summons. Depending on the type of divorce you have applied, the Court will then investigate the consent to divorce and agreement by both parties to the divorce and proceed to grant divorce to the parties if he is satisfied that the parties cannot be reconciled, but under the divorce option by talaq, and where
both parties consent, the court will ask the husband to pronounce talaq in the court and will make the relevant orders. If the husband does not consent, the court will refer parties to reconciliatory committee for further reconciliatory attempts. If the reconciliatory committee does not work, court will refer party to a Hakam, so it is not necessarily the judge’s decision alone.

Types of Divorce

There are FOUR main types of Divorce and dissolution of marriage under the Penang
Islamic Family Law Enactment.

1. Pronounce Talaq in Court

The Court will ask the husband to pronounce talaq in court. Normally the Court will advice one but the husband may pronounce up to 3 talaq. If it is one or two talaq, the divorce remains reconcilable within the period of iddah. (not necessarily 3 months, i.e the completion of 3 menstruation period of the wife). For 3 talaq, the divorce becomes final upon pronouncement and reconciliation within or after iddah period is not allowed unless the wife legally remarries and then divorce someone else.

2. Divorce by Redemption (tebus talaq)

This type of divorce is initiated by the wife. The wife offers to return her mahr or pay her husband an agreed sum in return for her husband agreeing to pronouncing a divorce.

3. Ta’liq Divorce

This is where if the wife can prove to Court through witnesses and oath that her husband has broken the conditions of marriages (i.e. has not provided maintenance, desertion or domestic violence). If the judge is satisfied that the conditions of the marriage has been broken that Court will then grant you the divorce.

4. Fasakh (Dissolution of marriage by order from the Court)

In order to apply for fasakh you’ll need to prove either one of these conditions:-
(a) your husband has treated you cruely (e.g. abused you physically and mentally; forced you into immoral behaviour, obstructed your religious obligations; associated with prostitutes, mistreated your property or according to Syariah law treated you unequally compared to his other wife/wives);
(b) he has failed to provide maintenance;
(c) he has been sent to prison for more than 3 years;
(d) he has left home and not contactable for at least one year;
(e) he is impotent or has refused sexual intercourse after at least 4 months of marriage, or at least 1 year;
(f) he has been insane for at least 2 years;
(g) he is suffering from leprosy, or a sexually transmitted disease; or
(h) your consent to the marriage was been given by force, mistake or unsound mind.
(i) any other ground allowed by Hukum Syara

Important matters related to Divorce application

There are THREE main issues to consider in a Divorce.

1. Maintenance for wife and children,
2. Hadanah or Custody of children,
3. Matrimonial Assets and Accomodation Rights

Click here for pamphlets related to divorce (Syariah).