Suit for Dower and Maintenance
The word “Dower” is the translated English form of the Arabic word “Mahr”. Dower is a sum of money or other property promised by the Husband to pay or deliver to the wife in consideration of the marriage. Dower has been divided into (1) Prompt Dower and (2) Deferred Dower.
Maintenance means all those things which are necessary to support of life. Maintenance includes the necessities such as foods, cloths, medicine etc. but it does not include the luxuries. Husband is legally bound to provide maintenance to his wife so long as she is faithful to him.
Suits for Dower and Maintenance are tried by the Family Courts. Family Courts have been established under section 4 of the Family Courts Ordinance, 1985. Under this section all courts of Assistant Judges shall be Family Courts and all such Judges shall be the Judges or Family Courts.
Jurisdiction of Family Courts:
Jurisdiction of Family Courts are specifically mentioned in section 5 of the said Ordinance. A family court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to try any suit relating to all or any of the following five matters:
- Dissolution of Marriage
- Restitution of Conjugal Rights
- Guardianship and Custody of Children
Family Court Proceedings:
In the Family Courts Ordinance 1985 separate provisions have been made for filing suits and trail procedure. Such as:
- Section 6: Institution of Suits
- Section 7: Issuance of Summons and notice
- Section 8: Written Statement
- Section 9: Consequence of non-appearance of the parties
- Section 10: Pre-Trail Proceeding
- Section 12: Recording of Evidence
- Section 13: Conclusion of Trail
- Section 14: Compromise Decree
- Section 15: Writing of Judgment
- Section 16: Enforcement of Judgment
According to Section 22 of the Ordinance the Court-fees to be paid on any plaint presented to a Family Court shall be twenty-five taka for any kind of suit.
According to Section 17 of the Ordinance an appeal shall lie from a judgment, decree or order of a Family Court to the Court of District Judge.