The procedure of legal divorce in Pakistan is different for males and females. Males have to file their divorce case in arbitration council whereas females have to file their divorce case, which is called khula, in the family court. The detailed legal divorce procedure for both males and females is given below.
The legal divorce procedure in the case of men takes a minimum period of 3 months, and this 3-months period is for the conciliation between the husband and wife. The first step is to get a divorce deed made on a stamp paper. The copy of the deed is sent to the woman, and the original copy is submitted in the arbitration council. It is necessary for the husband himself or through a council/lawyer to appear in the arbitration council. A notice is issued to both the parties to appear before the council on the given time and date. There are two representatives from both parties. The family law states very clearly that the legal proceedings shall be conducted in minimum 3 months, but the major drawback is that Pakistan’s family law, in case of men, is silent, and this provision is being misused by the arbitration council. This is the reason men have to wait for years to get a divorce certificate in Pakistan. So in this case, there are only two options: bribe the management or wait for years. The important point to note here is that preparing a divorce deed, appearing in the arbitration council, or even initiating the process doesn’t count as a divorce unless the husband gets a Nadra-issued divorce certificate.
The khula case has to be filed in a family court through a lawyer hired by a woman. After filing the case, the court issues a notice to both the parties to appear before it. If a man appears on the given time and date, he is supposed to submit a written reply of the case. In such cases, the court also tries to reconcile things between the couple, but if they do not want to live together, the court issues a khula decree. In a situation where the husband fails to appear before the court either by himself or through a lawyer, the court issues an order for the newspaper publication against the husband. And if the husband doesn’t appear on the date and time given, the court decides the case as one-sided against him and will ask the wife for the evidence. The fact is that if in Pakistan, a woman needs a divorce, she must have some allegations against the husband which she, through her lawyer, must present to the court regardless of the husband’s appearance.