The Syariah Court Divorce Process

The Syariah Court Divorce Process

The following article runs through the steps in divorce proceedings in the Syariah Court.

Registration

The Registration Form is downloadable from the Syariah Court’s website at www.syariahcourt.gov.sg.

Mandatory Counselling

Counselling will be conducted by approved counselling agencies like PPIS, Jamiyah, Darul Arqam, etc. The parties may be required to attend several counselling sessions.

Issuance Of Divorce Originating Summons

The divorce Originating Summons must be filed within 6 months from the date of the final counselling session. The required forms can be downloaded from the Syariah Court’s website.

Mediation

At the Mediation session, the parties have the opportunity to settle all issues and claims. If there is a settlement, the parties will attend before the President of the Syariah Court for a consent order to be recorded. If the Court approves the settlement, the divorce proceedings end here.

Pre-Trial Conference

If there is no settlement at the Mediation session, the case will be adjourned for a Pre-Trial Conference (PTC). At the PTC, the Registrar of the Syariah Court will give directions to the parties for affidavits to be filed and for other steps to be taken by them to prepare the case for a Hearing. The parties may be required to attend several PTCs.

Hearing

At the Hearing, the husband will be invited to pronounce the divorce (talak) if he has not already done so, or the Court will rule on the validity of a previously pronounced talak. If the wife alleges that the husband has breached any written condition of marriage (taklik), or claims that her marriage is to be dissolved on the ground of fasakh, the Court will first determine whether there has been such a breach or whether the claim of fasakh has been made out. The Court will then hear parties on the other issues and claims (nafkah iddah, mutaah, custody of children, division of matrimonial assets, etc.) and then deliver its judgment, either immediately or on another date. The divorce proceedings end here.

If either party is dissatisfied with any of the orders made by the Court, he or she can appeal to the Appeal Board within 30 days from the date of the order.

Hakam Session And Further Hearing

If at the hearing, the husband refuses to pronounce the divorce (talak) and the evidence does not show that he has breached any written condition of marriage (taklik), or the marriage cannot be dissolved on the ground of fasakh, the Court may order the appointment of 2 Arbitrators (Hakams) to decide on the issue of divorce. The case will then be adjourned for a Hakam session and a Further Hearing. After the Hakam session, the Court will hear the report of the Arbitrators on the issue of divorce.

If the Hakams cannot effect a reconciliation, and the husband continues to refuse to pronounce the talak, or the marriage cannot be dissolved by any other means (khuluk or talak tafweed), the Hakams are empowered to divorce the parties by talak wajib. After hearing the parties on the other issues and claims, the Court will deliver its judgment. The divorce proceedings end here.

If either party is dissatisfied with any of the orders made by the Court, he or she can appeal to the Appeal Board within 30 days from the date of the order.

Note: Further Hearings may also be scheduled to await receipt of a custody evaluation report or for other reasons as directed by the Court.

Divorce proceedings at the Syariah Court in Singapore

About the author

Abdul Aziz
Abdul Aziz

Partner

Mr Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rashid holds a law degree from the National University of Singapore and heads a team of lawyers in the firm who handle both contentious and non-contentious Muslim law matters.

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