Khula is a divorce process through which a Muslim woman can
end her marriage. The term ‘Khula’ literally means ‘separation’ in Arabic. In
Islam, marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman. Therefore,
khula is only permissible if she has been delegated the right of divorce or
Talaq-e-Tafweez by her husband in the marriage contract or Nikah Nama under the
If the woman doesn’t have the right of Talaq-e-Tafweez, she option of judicial divorce. The right for Khula is exercised when a woman wants a divorce from her husband, but he refuses to proceed. The right of Khula is given to the woman in Islam as well as in the Law of Pakistan.
A wife has to file a lawsuit in the Family Court under the West Pakistan Family Courts Ordinance for Khula.
According to the Family Law 1961 and Muslim Marriage Act 1939, Khula or judicial divorce can be initiated without the husband’s consent only if she:
· Surrenders her financial rights
· Surrenders her haq mehr or dower amount (if not paid)
· Returns the amount of haq mehr (if paid)
Grounds for Khula
A muslim woman can seek Khula on the following grounds:
· Abandonment by husband for a minimum of four years
· Failure to maintain a marriage for a minimum of two years
· Husband entering in more than one marriage contract through violating the legal procedures
· Imprisonment of the husband for a minimum of seven years
· Failure of the husband to perform marriage obligations for a minimum of three years
· Continuous incompetence of husband from the start of the marriage
· Severe illness or insanity of the husband for a minimum of two years
· The cruelty of husband, i.e., physical or mental abuse
· Inability to do justice/ un-equal treatment between more than one wife
· If a woman is contracted into marriage before the legal age, i.e., 16 years by a guardian, she has the right to file for Khula before the age of 18. The Khula lawsuit is submitted on a condition that the marriage has not been consummated.
Procedure for Khula
The procedure starts when wife files for Khula
The Family Court may issue a decree after hearing the Khula case. It may address the Chairman Arbitration Council or the Union Council to proceed with the reconciliation of both parties for 30 days.
If both parties fail to reconcile within the 90 days, the Khula decree becomes effective.
The family Court send a notification to the Union Council that after the Iddat period of 90 days, the Khula becomes effective.
Duration for Khula Lawsuit
Under normal conditions, the duration of Khula proceedings takes at least two to three months, followed by 90 days of Iddat for the effectiveness of Khula.
Recovery of items lawsuit by Husband
The Haq Mehr must be returned for Khula as per the Islamic law. Other than this, the court may ask a woman to return other gifts from her husband and in-laws. Although, if the woman fails to return such items, it doesn’t hinder the Khula process. The husband can file a lawsuit for the recovery of such things.