What is Khulla / Khula?

Within the Pakistani legal framework, khula embodies a crucial right granted to Muslim women: the ability to initiate divorce from their husbands. This concept, steeped in Islamic jurisprudence and enshrined in Pakistani law, empowers women to seek dissolution of marriage under defined circumstances, offering them agency and a path towards a future they choose.

Khulla / Khula, in its literal meaning, simply means to “untie” the not. If the Nikkahnama doesn’t already state her right to divorce her husband (Which she can mention there) then a woman can file a case to be released from her marriage before the court.

In the case of Khulla / Khula in Pakistan, it’s the wife’s fundamental right to leave a marriage where she does not feel she can live with her spouse. These cases, in recent times, have now become an expedited process and are usually completed within 1 – 3 months after filing a khula application.

Naturally, uncontested cases (Where the husband does not appear in court) are completed far sooner (Via Ex-Parte Decree). Once the Court decree’s a Khulla / Khula, then the Union Council is provided a copy of the Decree, the Union Council would then send notices to both parties for 3 months to reconcile, and if reconciliation doesn’t work, then the Khulla is registered.

Obtaining Khula for Overseas Pakistani Women

Living abroad shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing your legal rights in Pakistan. As an overseas Pakistani woman, seeking khula is now more accessible than ever, thanks to advancements in technology and specialized legal services.

We take care of all the legalities, including drafting and filing the khula petition with the relevant family court in Pakistan. We handle official communication with authorities, represent you in court proceedings (if necessary), and negotiate mutually agreeable settlements with your spouse, through a Power of Attorney.

Pakistani Laws on Khulla

Khula finds its roots in Islamic jurisprudence (along with Muhammadan Law) granting women the right to dissolve marriage under specific conditions. The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance (MFLO) of 1961 codifies khula in Pakistan, outlining the grounds and procedures for its application.

Unlike traditional divorce rights often solely vested in the husband, khula empowers the wife to initiate the dissolution process based on valid grounds. While the wife initiates khula, the husband holds the right to contest the petition, defend against the alleged grounds, or attempt reconciliation.  The husband cannot stop the khula, nor are his signatures or consent ever required to terminate the marriage via khula, it is only the wife who can stop the khulla.

Procedure for Khula in Pakistan

  1. The wife, typically through a lawyer, initiates the khula process by filing a petition in the family court.
    1. The petition should clearly outline the grounds for seeking khula, present supporting evidence, and state the desired outcome (dissolution or financial settlement).
  2. The court then hears arguments from both parties, considers evidence, and may appoint a conciliator in an attempt to reconcile the marriage.
  3. The Court, in most cases, will pass an order for the Khula to be granted.
    1. If reconciliation efforts fail, the court delivers a judgment.
    2. If the other party (The husband and/or his representative) does not attend the hearing, the judgment will be passed ex-parte.
  4. The Order is then taken to the Union Council (where the Nikah was registered) and a Divorce Certificate is issued.

Judgment and Decree on Khulla

If the court grants the khula decree, the marriage stands dissolved. In some cases, the wife may be required to return the dower (mehr) received at marriage in exchange for the decree. However, it is crucial to note that relinquishing the dower is not mandatory, and a court may consider alternative arrangements based on the specific circumstances of the case.

In cases that involve children, more often than not, matters of Child Custody and Child Visitation would run side by side but would continue after the Khula has been granted. This is because they are deemed to be separate matters, and each would be judged on their own merits and circumstances.

Financial Considerations and Supportive Legistaltions

Beyond the dissolution itself, khula may involve financial considerations for both parties. The wife may be entitled to retain the dower, negotiate additional financial settlements from the husband, or claim maintenance for herself and any dependent children. The Muslim Family Law Ordinance and related legislation, such as the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act (1976), govern these financial aspects and ensure the wife’s rights are protected.

The Pakistani legal framework recognizes the significance of khula and offers additional legislative support. The West Pakistan Family Courts Ordinance (1964) establishes dedicated family courts equipped to handle such matters efficiently. Furthermore, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act strengthens the wife’s right to khula by granting her judicial divorce even without the husband’s consent under certain conditions.

What happens when a woman files for Khulla / Khula?

The wife may be asked to return a certain amount of her Haq Mehr (Depending on whether she has got it or not) and any benefits she has received. She can also claim any Dower / Dowery given by her to her husband through Court. If children are involved, then usually cases of Guardianship and Child Custody would follow.

A common myth in Pakistan is that the husband has to “sign” for the khulla to happen. This is completely false and untrue. A khula is a one-way street (like any divorce) and the husband’s consent is not required.

When can a woman file for Khulla / Khula?

There is no limit on when she can ask for Khulla / Khula in the marriage (ie, if she got married yesterday, she could file for Khula / Khulla today) and the process would begin. Our Lawyers also abide by our “24Justice.pk Fixed Fee Policy” which means you do not have to worry about any unknown and hidden extra charges.

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