Divorce for expatriates living in Pakistan

How we can help: Our firm advises British expats overseas and those expats with links to England on divorce and family law.

This article sets out the applicable law and procedures for expats wishing to divorce in Pakistan. The article includes details the financial provision available for expatriates divorcing in Pakistan, as well as the provisions available for children.

Where to divorce if you live in Pakistan

If you are a British expat living in Pakistan and you are considering divorcing or separating from your spouse or partner, you will be wondering where to begin and what law will apply to you. You may think that you need to divorce in the country in which you were married; this is not the case. If you or your husband/wife were born in England, or have connections to England, you may be able to divorce through the English courts. You can read more about whether you can divorce in England on our jurisdiction advice page. If you contact us, one of our lawyers will telephone you without charge to give advice whether you can divorce in England.

We advise British clients across Southeast Asia, and assist them to divorce through the English courts, and achieve a financial settlement under English law.

Family Law in Pakistan for Unmarried Couples

We have also assisted many unmarried clients in Pakistan to seek financial support from their partner. These claims can include maintenance, provision of school fees for a child, provision of a home and other capital claims. Unmarried expatriates can make use of the Schedule 1 claim procedure through the English courts. These claims can include an order that one parent provide the legal fees for another parent.

Child Disputes and Abduction in Pakistan

Our lawyers advise on a range of children disputes involving British expat families living in Pakistan. Our lawyers can advise on and draft a parenting plan for families requiring assistance post separation, or can assist to implement safeguards for children visiting or relocating to Pakistan. We have assisted clients whose children have been abducted to England from Pakistan, and have secured the children’s safe return.

Using the Family Laws in Pakistan to Resolve Disputes

Sometimes, British expats living in Pakistan may not have jurisdiction to divorce in England, or they may be advised that divorcing in Pakistan will lead to a more favourable financial outcome. For those expats considering divorce in Pakistan, it is important to note that financial claims can be made in England after a divorce abroad under Part III Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. When choosing to divorce abroad, careful advice should be taken about the potential claims that can be made in other countries, so that the right protective measures can be taken.

Divorce and family law in Pakistan

Ability to divorce in Pakistan

Divorce in Pakistan is largely governed by the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961. These statutory provision set out the grounds and procedure for Muslims to divorce in Pakistan. A husband may divorce his wife by pronouncing the Talaq. In Pakistan, this should be registered with the chairman of the Union council, with notice being given to the wife.

A wife may divorce her husband by Khula, if she is delegated the right to do so in her marriage contract (Nikah-nama), or if she applies to the court in Pakistan for the dissolution of her divorce.

Financial outcome

For financial claims after divorce, depending on the circumstances, a wife may be able to claim the deferred part of the Mahr (if applicable), financial support during the waiting period (Iddat), maintenance for her children and a share of any jointly owned property.

Careful consideration should be given by those residing in Pakistan who also have a connection to another country such as the UK, as to where would be the best jurisdiction to divorce. Owning a property in England, a spouse owning a property in England, living in England for a period of time or other connections may enable you to seek a divorce or financial claims through the English courts.

Financial claims in England after a divorce in Pakistan

If you have been divorced by Talaq in Pakistan or another Muslim jurisdiction, but have not received a share of family owned property in England, English pensions or maintenance, you may be able to make these claims in the UK.

Contact our Islamic law specialist, Alexandra Tribe, for confidential and clear advice on the following issues:

  • The recognition of your Muslim marriage in England
  • The recognition of your Talaq divorce in England
  • Obtaining a share of family owned property in England
  • Claiming maintenance and a financial settlement after a divorce in Pakistan
  • Islamic marriage contracts and pre-nuptial agreements enforceable under Islamic laws
  • Dowry (Mahr) claims under English law
  • Abduction of British children to/from Pakistan

For advice on the family laws of Pakistan, please contact a family lawyer in Pakistan. Contact us for details of family law firms in this region.

Contact Alexandra Tribe on alexandra@expatriatelaw.com

Divorce in Pakistan

Contact our experienced lawyers for confidential and clear advice on the issues detailed in the article.

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Divorce and Family Law

See the links below for information on British expat divorce law in the following countries:

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