Divorce Procedure in Bangladesh:


In present days Divorce is a very common issue in Bangladesh. Recently a report published by a leading Daily Newspaper which stated that, “A Divorce takes place every hour in Dhaka”. It also stated that according to data compiled by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in the last 7 years the rate of Divorce Application has increased 34 percent throughout Bangladesh. In this article we will discuss regarding Muslim Divorce Procedure in Bangladesh and the following issues: 

  • Concept of Divorce 
  • Classification of Divorce
  • How to file a Divorce in Bangladesh ? 
  • Divorce Procedure in Bangladesh
  • The Legal Process of obtaining a Divorce in Bangladesh.
  • Divorce:

In Islam, Marriage is purely a civil contract which involves an agreement between the husband and wife. Generally this contract is made for lifetime and it is dissolved by death of either Husband or Wife.  However a marital tie can also be dissolved by Divorce in case of necessity. Divorce or Talaq means dissolution of marriage. This is the process of terminating a marriage other than act of God. 

  • Classification: 

Divorce or dissolution of marriage can take place in the following modes: 

A) By the Death of Husband or Wife 

B) By the Act of the Parties

1) By the Husband

i) Talaq (Divorce)

ii) I’lla (Vow of Continence)

iii) Zihar (Injurious Comparison)

2) By the Wife

i) Talak-e-Tawfid (Delegated Divorce)

3) By Mutual Consent

i) Khula (Redemption)

ii) Mubarat (Mutual Freeing)

C) By Judicial Process

1) Lian (Mutual Imprecation)

2) Faskh (Judicial Annulment)

  • The Legal Process of Obtaining Divorce in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 regulates the procedure for seeking a Divorce. In a brief, the Divorce procedure in Bangladesh contains three easy steps. Which are as follows:

  1. Giving Written Notice of Divorce 
  2. Facing the Arbitration Board 
  3. After the expiry of 90 days taking the Divorce Certificate from the Register (Kazi). 


  • Divorce by Husband under Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961

Section 07 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 stated the procedure of Divorce or Talaq by Husband. Which is as follows: 

  1. Pronouncement & Written Notice:  Any man who wishes to divorce his wife shall, as soon as may be after the pronouncement of talaq in any form whatsoever, give the Chairman notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife. 
  2. Penalty for Default: Whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to 10,000 [ten thousand] Taka or with both.
  3. Iddat Period: Save as provided in sub-section (5), a talaq unless revoked earlier, expressly or otherwise, shall not be effective until the expiration of ninety days (90) from the day on which notice under sub-section (1) is delivered to the Chairman. 
  4. Arbitration Council: Within thirty days of the receipt of notice under sub-section (1), the Chairman shall constitute an Arbitration Council for the purpose of bringing about a reconciliation between the parties, and the Arbitration Council shall take all steps necessary to bring about such reconciliation.
  5. Pregnancy: If the wife be pregnant at the time talaq is pronounced, talaq shall not be effective until the period mentioned in sub-section (3) or the pregnancy, whichever be later, ends.
  6. Remarriage: Nothing shall debar a wife whose marriage has been terminated by talaq effective under this section from re-marrying the same husband, without an intervening marriage with a third-person, unless such termination is for the third time so effective.
  • Divorce by Wife 

Section 8 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 stated the procedure of “Dissolution of marriage otherwise than by Talaq”. Which is as follows: 

  • Where the right to divorce has been duly delegated to the wife and she wishes to exercise that right, or where any of the parties to a marriage wishes to dissolve the marriage otherwise than by talaq, the provisions of section 7 shall, mutatis mutandis and so far as applicable, apply.

Besides that, according to Section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 a woman married under Muslim law shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:-

(i) that the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for a period of four years;

(ii) that the husband has neglected or has failed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years;

(iia) that the husband has taken an additional wife in contravention of the provisions of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961;]
(iii) that the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of seven years or upwards;

(iv) that the husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of three years;

(v) that the husband was impotent at the time of the marriage and continues to be so;

(vi) that the husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease;

(vii) that she, having been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of [eighteen years], repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of [nineteen years]: Provided that the marriage has not been consummated;

(viii) that the husband treats her with cruelty, that is to say,-

(a) habitually assaults her or makes her life miserable by cruelty of conduct even if such conduct does not amount to physical ill-treatment, or

(b) associates with women of evil repute or leads an infamous life, or

(c) attempts to force her to lead an immoral life, or

(d) disposes of her property or prevents her exercising her legal rights over it, or

(e) obstructs her in the observance of her religious profession or practice, or

(f) if he has more wives than one, does not treat her equitably in accordance with the injunctions of the Qoran;

(ix) on any other ground which is recognized as valid for the dissolution of marriage under Muslim law:

  • Legal Effects of Divorce
Divorce creates some rights and obligations on both the parties. These are called legal consequences that are as follows: 
  1. Payment of Dower:  After Divorce the entire amount of unpaid dower whether prompt or deferred, becomes payable immediately by the Husband to the Wife. 
  2. Maintenance: After Divorce the wife is entitled to maintenance during iddat period (90 Days). 
  3. Inheritance: The Husband and Wife are entitled to inherit each other if either of them dies iddat period. 
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