A Muslim or Islamic divorce has different considerations and procedures which are heard and dealt with by the Syariah Court in Singapore. They involve cases in which all parties to the application are Muslims or where the parties were married under the provisions of Muslim law. Accordingly, the Syariah Court applies Muslim law to the cases that it hears.
Different requirements have to be dealt with, depending on the type of divorce.
There is the concept of talak, meaning ‘to release’ or ‘to divorce’. A husband can divorce his wife by pronouncing the talak which allows him to apply for a divorce without having to prove anything. In contrast, a wife who seeks a divorce will be required to prove at least one of following: khuluk, breach of taklik or fasakh. The exception is if she obtains the consent of her husband, upon which the Court shall cause the husband to pronounce a divorce.
The parties can agree to a khuluk (divorce by redemption). In this process, the talak is requested by the wife and is granted by the husband upon the wife paying him a sum of money or an amount in kind, the quantum of which is assessed by the Court in accordance with the status and means of the parties
A taklik is a conditional marriage stipulation. An example of such a stipulation would be conditions cited by the husband upon contracting a marriage, and which can be found in the Marriage Certificate. In her application for divorce, the wife will have to show that the husband breached the taklik. Where there is a written taklik made at or after the marriage, the Syariah Court will examine the written taklik. It will then confirm the divorce if it decides that the divorce is valid in accordance with Muslim law.
Fasakh means to annul a marriage. Instances where a marriage may be annulled include a failure to provide maintenance for the wife, insanity, cruelty or impotence, to name a few.
Upon an application for a divorce, the Syariah Court will require parties to attend a number of counselling sessions within a period of two to four months. If there is no resolution and either party wishes to proceed with the divorce, the filing party will be given a date to file the application.
The parties will then be directed to attend mediation at the Syariah Court. At the mediation, the divorce and ancillary issues such as custody of children, division of matrimonial property and maintenance will be discussed.
If an agreement is reached during mediation, the court will grant a divorce following the terms of the agreement. If no agreement is reached, the Syariah Court will decide on the issues presented.
In the course of the proceedings, if no maintenance has been provided for, the wife can make an application for interim maintenance in the Family Justice Courts.
Our lawyers at Yeo Law are familiar with all aspects of Syariah Family Law and will be happy to guide you through the various aspects and requirements.