Muslim Marriage and Divorce
In this article, we have explained the Muslim-Hindu Divorce process and its cost In Bangladesh.
Marriage is defined as a lawful agreement under the provisions of the Muslim Law, binding a man and woman leading to the validation of all the rights and responsibilities, along with the consent of the parties. The basis of marriage is- ‘It is a contract of civil nature’. However, Bangladesh has advanced towards secularism where different marriage systems in accordance with different religions exist. Despite having the religious norms to get married in different religions, people of all faiths can simply register their marriage under the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, of 1872.
The essential conditions of a valid Muslim Marriage are:
The essential conditions of a valid Muslim Marriage are:
- The presence of a minimum of two witnesses is a must and in the case of a female witness, it will be counted as 1 male is equal to 2 females.
- The parties to the marriage should be Muslim or Kitabia, sound-minded and adult. According to the Child Marriages Restraint Act 2017, the minimum age of the female or bride must be 18 years and the minimum age of the male or groom must be 21 years.
- According to Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 the marriage should be registered.
- There should be free and voluntary consent by both parties.
- Dower money or ‘Denmahar’ must be decided by the guardian of the parties or by the Parties of the marriage.
Marriage Registration Fees:
The government has fixed the fees of the Marriage Registration consistent with the dower money, such as:
- The fee is BDT 12.50/= (Twelve Taka and Fifty Paisa) for each BDT 1000/= (One Thousand Taka) of dower money
- The fee is BDT 1250/= (One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Taka) for each BDT 1,00,000/= (One Lac Taka) of dower money
- The fee is BDT 100/= (One Hundred Taka) after BDT 4,00,000/= (Four Lac Taka) of dower money.
Marriages between people from different religions are recognized under the Special Marriages Act of 1872.
It is mentioned under the Act that marriages may be celebrated under this Act between persons neither of whom profess Christian or Jewish, Hindu or Muslim or Parsi or Buddhist, Sikh the Jaina religion, or between persons each of whom professes one or other of the following religions, that is to say, the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina religion upon some requirements which are:
(1) Neither party must, at the time of the marriage, have a husband or wife living:
(2) The man must have completed his age of eighteen years, and the woman her age of fourteen years, according to the Gregorian calendar:
(3) Each party must, if he or she has not completed the age of twenty-one years, have obtained the consent of his or her father or guardian to the marriage:
(4) The parties must not be related to each other in any degree of consanguinity or affinity which would, according to any law to which either of them is subject, render a marriage between them illegal.
NOTICE BEFORE MARRIAGE
One of the parties must give notice in writing to the Registrar before whom the marriage is to be solemnized. The Registrar to whom such notice is given must be the Registrar of a district within which one at least of the parties to the marriage has resided for fourteen days before such notice is given.
SIGN IN A DECLARATION FORM:
Before the marriage is solemnized, the parties and three witnesses shall, in the presence of the Registrar, sign a declaration in the form according to the second schedule to the Special Marriage Act, of 1872. If either party has not completed the age of twenty-one years, the declaration shall also be signed by his or her father or guardian, except in the case of a widow, and, in every case, it shall be countersigned by the Registrar.
DIVORCE PROCESS IN BANGLADESH:
Universally, divorce means one of the types of legal dissolution of a material bond between the parties fulfilling the requirements as per the law.
DIVORCE OF MUSLIM MARRIAGE:
Under the provisions Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961, it is mentioned that-
(1) Notice to Chairman: Any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, as soon as may be after the pronouncement of Talaq in any form whatsoever, give the Chairman notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife.
(2) Penalty for Default: Whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to 10 [ten thousand takas] or with both.
(3) Iddat Period: Save as provided in subsection (5), a Talaq unless revoked earlier, expressly or otherwise, shall not be effective until the expiration of ninety days from the day on which notice under sub-section (1) is delivered to the Chairman.
(4) Formation of Arbitration Council: Within thirty days of the receipt of notice under sub-section (1), the Chairman shall constitute an Arbitration Council for the purpose of bringing about reconciliation between the parties, and the Arbitration Council shall take all steps necessary to bring about such reconciliation.
(5) Pregnancy: If the wife is pregnant at the time Talaq is pronounced, Talaq shall not be effective until the period mentioned in subsection (3) or the pregnancy, whichever be later, ends.
(6) Re-marriage of Wife: Nothing shall debar a wife whose marriage has been terminated by Talaq effective under this section from re-marrying the same husband, without an intervening marriage with a third-person, unless such termination is for the third time so effective.
DIVORCE BY WIFE:
According to the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 it is stated that where the right to divorce has been duly delegated to the wife and she wishes to exercise that right, or where any of the parties to marriage wishes to dissolve the marriage otherwise than by Talaq, the provisions of Talaq shall, mutatis mutandis and so far as applicable, apply.
On the other hand, under the provisions of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, of 1939, it is also declared that-
A woman married under Muslim law shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:-
- that the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for a period of four years;
- that the husband has neglected or has failed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years;
- that the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of seven years or upwards;
- that the husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of three years;
- that the husband was impotent at the time of the marriage and continues to be so;
- that the husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease;
- that she, having been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of eighteen years, repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of nineteen years: Provided that the marriage has not been consummated;
- 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 Quran;
- on any other ground which is recognized as valid for the dissolution of marriage under Muslim law:
Provided that- (a) no decree shall be passed on the ground (iii) until the sentence has become final; (b) a decree passed on the ground (i) shall not take effect for a period of six months from the date of such decree, and if the husband appears either in person or through an authorized agent within that period and satisfies the Court that he is prepared to perform his conjugal duties, the Court shall set aside the said decree; and (c) before passing a decree on ground (v) the Court shall, on application by the husband, make an order requiring the husband to satisfy the Court within a period of one year from the date of such order that he has ceased to be impotent, and if the husband so satisfies the Court within such period, no decree shall be passed on the said ground.
DISSOLUTION OF HINDU MARRIAGE
In Bangladesh, there is no specific law with regard to the dissolution of Hindu marriage. The Hindus consider their marriage as a holy matrimony which creates a celestial affiliation that cannot be dissolved.
Nevertheless, separation in Hindu marriage is possible and takes place. But a Hindu married woman shall only be permitted to entertain this right if she is virtuous and has not changed her religion or attains the right with sufficient cause to comply with a decree of a competent Court for the restitution of conjugal rights.
Under the provisions of the Hindu Married Women’s RIGHT TO SEPARATE RESIDENCE AND MAINTENANCE ACT, 1946; a Hindu married woman can seek separation from her husband and ask for maintenance from him depending upon fulfilling some criteria which are-
- If he is suffering from any loathsome disease not contracted from her;
- If he is guilty of such cruelty towards her as renders it unsafe or undesirable for her to live with him;
- If he is guilty of desertion, that is to say, of abandoning her without her consent or against her wish;
- If he marries again;
- If he ceases to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion;
- If he keeps a concubine in the house or habitually resides with a concubine;
- For any other justifiable cause.
DISSOLUTION OF CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
Under the provisions of the Divorce Act, of 1869, it is mentioned that-
- Any husband may present a petition to the District Court or to the High Court Division, praying that his marriage may be dissolved on the ground that his wife has, since the solemnization thereof, been guilty of adultery.
- Any wife may present a petition to the District Court or to the High Court Division to dissolve her marriage if-
Her husband has exchanged his profession of Christianity for the profession of some other religion, and gone through a form of marriage with another woman;
Or has been guilty of incestuous adultery,
Or of bigamy with adultery,
Or of marriage with another woman with adultery,
Or of rape, sodomy or bestiality,
Or of adultery coupled with such cruelty as without adultery would have entitled her to a divorce mensa et toro,
Or of adultery coupled with desertion, without reasonable excuse, for two years or upwards.
Nullity of Marriage
After that, a district judge may pass a decree for dissolution of marriage nisi subject to confirmation by the High Court Division. Either the District Judge Court or the High Court may also pass a decree of nullity of a marriage if there is any situation like:
(i) that one of the parties is impotent; (ii) that the parties are within the prohibited degree of consanguinity or affinity; (iii) that either party was insane at the time of marriage; (iv) that the former husband or wife of either party was living at the time of marriage, and such marriage was then in force.
LEGAL ADVICE REGARDING MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE AT CLP
The Barristers, Advocates, and lawyers at CLP in Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh are highly experienced in dealing with marriage, divorce, and alimony. In addition to handling various issues related to marriage and divorce amongst domestic clients on a regular basis, it also has experience in consulting and assisting numerous international clients with utmost care and attention throughout their legal troubles. For queries or legal assistance, please reach us at:
Phone: +8801700920980 | +8801947470606
Address: House 39, Road 126 (3rd Floor) Islam Mansion, Gulshan 1, Dhaka.