Prenuptial Agreement in Pakistan
What is a Prenuptial Agreement in Pakistan?
Prenuptial agreements in Pakistan are becoming popular, due to their legal implications of safeguarding the assets of the divorcees, which we will discuss further in this article. As divorces in Pakistan are becoming more common and accessible, the effects of separation on a married couple become evident.
In Shariah law (as well as Pakistani law), unless explicitly agreed otherwise, a man is only expected to pay 3 months of maintenance alimony in Pakistan after a divorce to his wife. On top of this, she is entitled to take back her bridal gifts, as well as her Haq Mehr (which can be all of it if she was divorced, or between 25%-50% of it if she filed for Khulla in Pakistan). This is why a Prenuptial Agreement is considered a Marriage agreement to pre-define the terms of separation with assets, which can be attached to the nikahnama after its legally registered in Pakistan.
Is a Prenup an Islamic Marriage Contract?
That’s a tricky question. A usual Muslim Nikahnama usually has sections in it discussing special arrangements in the form of dowery articles, katb e kitab, kabin nama, haq mehr, dowery alimony and rights of Talaaq. When it comes to marriages abroad and marriages of other religions, these are not usually discussed. Even if they are discussed, and there are rules and laws on it, the two parties to the marriage may want their own arrangements instead.
This is especially important for women in Pakistan, who may face losing their assets after marriage in Pakistan, or men and women abroad who may have more than their spouse before the marriage and may lose half if the marriage fails. A Prenuptial agreement can be used in any marriage whether it’s a Muslim Marriages, Hindu Marriages or Christian Marriages.
What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement in
In Pakistan, men and women are open to being exposed to certain practices and traditions, such as giving gifts in anticipation of a marriage lasting a lifetime. In some instances, a gift of land is given by one party to another in good faith (either from the bride’s side or the groom’s side) and the other person conveniently divorces them and keeps the land.
Alternatively, the bride (or groom) may want a financial commitment (during the marriage or after the marriage in the form of alimony), or a restriction of inheritance and distribution of assets. For the law to recognize this (In Pakistan and abroad), a Prenuptial Agreement in Pakistan would be required, if either or both citizens are from Pakistan and/or the marriage took place in Pakistan. It also helps in avoiding Fake Dowry cases.
Use of a Prenuptial Agreement from Pakistan in Foreign
In order for the Prenuptial Agreement in Pakistan to be effective abroad, the document would need to be submitted with the marriage certificate, and to be mentioned on it, as well as being attested by the court. Once attested by the court it is sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Pakistan) to be attested.
After it is attested from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the countries of concern would need to have it attested from their respective consulates. After this point, it would be submitted to those countries where the marriage needs to be registered. This is why it is important to make sure someone experienced (like our panel of experts) handles such delicate matters.
It is important to note that Prenuptial Agreements in Pakistan would always be used at the discretion of the court, which would vary from case to case. This applies whether it is used within Pakistan or Abroad.
What terms are discussed in a Prenup?
A Muslim Prenup or a Non-Muslim Prenup tends to discuss a
list of assets (that both parties enter the marriage with) and the distribution
of assets (if a divorce takes place). Unlike Pakistani law, The laws abroad
(for example, the USA or England) usually give spouses a distribution of assets
(irrespective of what they had when they entered the marriage), as well as
alimony which can go well over the prescribed amount of 3 months, which is
followed in Pakistan (for the observation of iddat).
Terms that may be difficult to decide in a prenuptial contract are terms relating to child custody rights and citizenship. Although courts may consider this, usually child custody is decided upon what is in the best interest of the child. Similarly, citizenship is usually granted at the discretion of the country and governments rather than the spouse who has citizenship.
Could a prenuptial agreement be amended at a later date?
Yes, it can. A Prenuptial agreement could be amended at a later date. For example, if a prenuptial agreement was made when the man was in a better financial position than the woman at the time of marriage, and he loses his job (whilst the woman gets a job or starts a fruitful business/career) then the pair could amend their original prenuptial agreement.
When updating a prenuptial agreement, it is important to ensure all relevant bodies to the Original Marriage are also informed and updated of the amendment. This is also referred to as a postnuptial agreement.
Can we draft a Prenuptial Agreement after Marriage?
A prenup after marriage would be considered a postnuptial agreement and is also common as well. The format and elements would be the same as a prenuptial agreement.
Although It would follow the same principles above, it is noteworthy to mention that it would need to be updated both where the marriage took place, and, where the spouses are at the time of the submission of the Post Nuptial agreement.
How we can help you with your prenuptial agreement
As you can see, there is no “one size fits all” agreement,
or a “draft prenup agreement” or prenup template which could possibly cover all
aspects of a personalized prenuptial agreement. Speak to one of our advisors on
our panel, who would be more than happy to discuss your matter with you.
Simply call us on 0308 5510031 (if you are calling from out of Pakistan our number Is 0092 3085510031) or simply fill out the form below, and one of our representatives will contact you to discuss your matter.