Divorce and alimony decisions can be made simultaneously with the consent of both parties, says top Sharia judge
PUTRAJAYA, March 25 ― The Syariah court can make divorce and alimony decisions simultaneously only if the man and woman who filed the case are in mutual agreement, said Chief Shariah Judge Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar.
He said that if the Syariah court receives a divorce petition and both parties agree on alimony, then the Shariah judge will make the decision on both matters at the same time.
He said that it is recommended in Islam that couples who want to file for divorce must find a way of reconciliation by discussing and agreeing on alimony.
“With the consent of both parties, this is the best way for a husband and wife to agree on alimony before filing for divorce,” he told a news conference today.
He said this in response to a government suggestion that Syariah Court judges should make divorce and alimony decisions at the same time to prevent the matter from being dragged out too long to the point of victimization of ex-wives and the children .
Mohd Na’im suggested that the Syarie Lawyers Association should play a role in advising its clients to find a way of mediation to settle their applications for divorce and alimony.
“This will make the divorce filing process and alimony easier and won’t take long. The Syariah Court has established a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) for processing alimony claims, which is two years,” he said.
In cases where both parties could reach a mutual settlement, Mohd Na’im said the Syariah court would first issue a divorce order to avoid further delays in resolving the case.
“In this situation, the Syariah Court determines the husband’s actual income before making an assessment of the alimony payable to the ex-wife and children, and to ensure justice for the ex-wife and children, until the alimony is ordered. In that case, the court will issue a restraining order,” he added.
For alimony claim priority, he said, the hearing is based on Section 60 of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984, which requires the ex-wife to tell the court the total income and assets of her ex-husband and her needs and theirs Children.
“During the hearing, the Syariah Court needs the information along with the documents. This will allow the court to assess the amount of child support required from the ex-wife and children,” he added. ― Bernama