Family Rights

Bangladesh being a developing country has the highest rates involving family disputes between the parents & children, spouses, child custody matters and many others. Most of the parties involved in these disputes usually are belonging to marginalized sections of community and they have to spend too much time, effort and money just to get their desired result to be made effective by the Family Courts. JWF has experience lawyers who focus in such cases to help these people settle their matters of family disputes whether it is in a court or by way of an out of court settlement, free of charge. We also have initiated the project “Aposh” which helps people in settling out-of-court settlements that may take the form of negotiations, mediation or even arbitration. A family dispute cannot be measured as any other court dispute which won’t follow a person back to his home. Such disputes usually end up destroying family ties and hence we try to always help people mediate such matters outside the court. We as a Foundation try to help people in whatever way possible in order for a person to maintain the peaceful balance of their home and to enable them some semblance of family ties that they can use to keep their loved ones close to them. The family law provisions of Bangladesh revolve around Family Courts Ordinance, 1985. Section 5 of the ordinance provides that subject to the provision of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance- 1960 a family court will have jurisdiction over the following matter:

  1. Dissolution of marriage: According Muslim law if any person wishing to divorce his wife, shall as soon as may be after pronouncement of “Talaq” in any form whatsoever, give the Mayor/Chairman notice in writing of his having done so, and shall supply a copy thereof to the wife. Within 30 days of notice Mayor/ Chairman shall constitute an Arbitration Council for the purpose of bringing about reconciliation between the parties. Similarly the wife should be at liberty to divorce herself in specified contingencies is valid, if the condition are of a reasonable nature and are not opposed to the policy of the Muslim Law. When such an agreement is made, the wife may, at any time after the happening of any of the contingencies, repudiate herself in the exercise of the power. And a divorce will then take effect to the same extent as a talaq had been pronounced by the husband. According to section 6 of the Family Court Ordinance 1985 any person wants during the subsistence of an existing marriage to contact another marriage, he shall have to obtain first permission his existing wife and second permission from the arbitration council. Without which the subsequent marriage will be illegal and liable to punishment.

  2. Dower: As per the provision of Muslim Family Law ordinance, 1961 where no details about the mode of payments of dower are specified in the Nikanama, or the marriage contracts; the enter amount of the dower shall be presumed to be payable on demand.

  3. Maintenance: After divorce wife is entitled to maintenance up to Iddat period. Which extend to three months. But wife’s refusal to obey reasonable instructions of the husband disentitles her to maintenance. As per section 5 of the ordinance of 1985 it is not only the wife who can file a suit in a Family Court for her maintenance but also for the maintenance of her child.

  4. Guardianship and custody of children: The mother is entitled to the custody of her male child until he is the age of seven years and of her female child until she has attained puberty (18 years). The right continues though she is divorced by the father of the child. Unless she marries a second husband in which case the custody belongs to the father.

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