Divorce or Talaq under Muslim Law

The law of divorce for Muslims in Bangladesh is expounded in the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 and Muslim Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act, 1974.

A man may divorce his wife by sending a notice of talaq by himself or through a Nikah Registrar. However, the pronouncement of talaq may take any form as per section 7(1) of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961. Hence, talaq may be given orally.

A written notice regarding the aforesaid talaq shall be served upon the Chairman of the concerned Union Parishad or Mayor of the City Corporation.

Within 30 (thirty) days of the receipt of notice, the Chairman or Mayor shall constitute an Arbitration Council for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation between the parties, and the Arbitration Council shall take all steps necessary to bring about such reconciliation.

The talaq will be effective after expiration of 90 (ninety) days from the day on which the aforesaid notice is delivered to the Chairman or Mayor.

The talaq may be revoked within the said period of 90 (ninety) days, either expressly or otherwise.

If the wife is pregnant at the time talaq is pronounced, talaq will not be effective until the period of her pregnancy ends.

A woman may divorce her husband provided she has been delegated the power of divorce by the husband in the kabin-nama. Such form of divorce, which is known as Talaq-i-tafweez, may be exercised by the woman by following the aforesaid procedure.

If the woman has not been conferred the right of divorce by the husband, a woman married under Muslim law is entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage for the grounds stipulated in section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939. The grounds for seeking dissolution of marriage are:

i) that the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for a period of four years;

(ii) that the husband has neglected or has failed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years;

(iia) that the husband has taken an additional wife in contravention of the provisions of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961;]

(iii) that the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of seven years or upwards;

(iv) that the husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of three years;

(v) that the husband was impotent at the time of the marriage and continues to be so;

(vi) that the husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease;

(vii) that she, having been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of 2[eighteen years], repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of 3[nineteen years]:

Provided that the marriage has not been consummated;

(viii) that the husband treats her with cruelty, that is to say,-

(a) habitually assaults her or makes her life miserable by cruelty of conduct even if such conduct does not amount to physical ill-treatment, or

(b) associates with women of evil repute or leads an infamous life, or

(c) attempts to force her to lead an immoral life, or

(d) disposes of her property or prevents her exercising her legal rights over it, or

(e) obstructs her in the observance of her religious profession or practice, or

(f) if he has more wives than one, does not treat her equitably in accordance with the injunctions of the Qoran;

(ix) on any other ground which is recognised as valid for the dissolution of marriage under Muslim law.

A suit for dissolution of marriage may be filed by the woman with the Family Court under the Family Court Act, 2023

Registration of Talaq or Divorce

A divorce granted either by the man or woman under Muslim Law shall be registered with the Nikah Registrar as per 6 of the Muslim Marriages and Divorces (Registration) Act, 1974. 

Such application for registration can be made orally and if the Nikah Registrar refuses to register a divorce, the person who applied for registration may prefer an appeal to the Registrar.

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