The reasons that can warrant a divorce in Syariah laws are different from the civil law divorce. Also, women and men have different standards when it comes to Syariah divorce in Singapore. The procedure depends on whether the divorce is filed by the husband or the wife.
A husband can pronounce divorce if he does not feel comfortable to live with his wife. However, he should be ready to pay nafkah iddah and mutaah to the ex-wife. The following are the grounds for the Syariah divorce in Singapore and the conditions which the parties must fulfill.
1. Syariah divorce under talak
Talak is an Arabic word that means to divorce or to release. A husband can pronounce talak to his wife without proving anything. However, this has repercussions because of nafkah iddah and mutaah (compensation to the wife after divorce).
An amendment that took effect in October 2018 allowed husbands to file for divorce in Syariah Court without pronouncing talak. In case a couple amicably decides to divorce, the husband pronounces talak and it takes effect.
Unlike men, women cannot pronounce divorce without cause. A woman can file for divorce in case of fasakh (annulment of divorce). Some conditions that may warrant fasakh according to the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) include:
- Negligence or failure to provide for the family
- A sentence of more than 3 years without appeal
- Failure to undertake marital responsibilities for more than 1 year without cause
- Continued impotency
- Insanity or chronic illness
- Continuous violence and unruly behavior
3. Syariah divorce by breach of marriage conditions
Divorce under the circumstance of breach of conditions recorded in the marriage certificate is called cerai taklik. A wife can file for divorce in case the husband violates the conditions in the marriage certificate. The terms of marriage may be written during or after marriage. The Syariah Court evaluates whether any of the written conditions were violated warranting a divorce.
This is also known as divorce by compensation or redemption. A wife pays her husband a sum of money as compensation for him to pronounce talak. A wife can seek khuluk if she finds it difficult to live with her husband. The court goes ahead and evaluates the conditions of both parties and makes a judgment.
5. Divorce under hakam
If a husband disagrees with a Syariah divorce application from the wife, the court appoints arbitrators (hakam). This happens in case the court does not establish any breach of marriage conditions by the husband. The arbitrators try to settle the differences between the parties. If the hakams find that the differences between the two parties are irreconcilable, they pronounce talak. It is only under this circumstance that the husband does not pronounce talak.
Whereas men do not have to prove any breach of marriage conditions to divorce, women are required to show grounds for the Syariah divorce in Singapore. You should consult a professional legal advice for your issue.