The Iranian Presidential Office's Department for Women and Family Affairs has put forward a revised bill aimed at supporting womens rights by limiting the husband's right to divorce his wife.
The proposal, which has been presented to the Cabinet to be reviewed, proposes ten conditions for the husband to be able to file for divorce. Under the bill, the husband needs to make a case to the court based on the proposed requirements before he can divorce his wife, reports ISNA.
Generally speaking, proceedings for divorce can be initiated on three grounds: by mutual consent, by the wife or by the husband.
In cases where the wife files for divorce, there are strict legal and judicial regulations. Accordingly, the wife gives up her demand for divorce when she sees that she cannot make a case to the court with regards to the requirements for divorce. The same goes for the husband. If the husband cannot prove to the court that his case conforms to the requirements for divorce, either he himself will give up or the court will dismiss his case for divorce.
Accordingly, this can result in a drop in the rate of divorce.
At the moment, the husband needs no reason or proof to divorce his wife and wreck the foundation of his family. Even the court cannot reject the husbands demand for divorce on grounds of familys best interests as request for divorce by the husband is the most admissible proof for divorce.
On the other hand, there are double standards with regards to divorce because the husbands request for divorce is unilateral and unconditional and he does not have to make a case to the court in the regard and it is up to the husband whether or not to divorce his wife. Accordingly, the wife or childrens best interests are not taken into account. This comes as nowadays the family is the pivot of policies adopted by governments.
The Family Protection Act adopted in 2012brought about changes in favour of women. However, not only does it confirm the husbands right and authority to divorce his wife, it does not set any conditions for the husbands right to divorce.
Moreover, the act legalizes having several wives, including temporary marriages, for the husband.
The text of the single article in the revised bill is as follows.
The husband can file for divorce by referring to the court in conformity with the following conditions:
1. Mutual agreement by the spouses for divorce
2. The wifes refusal to fulfill her legal duties and responsibilities
3. Misbehaviour, incompatibility and violent acts on the part of the wife, somuch so that it will make it impossible for the husband to continue married life.
4. The wifes affliction with incurable and communicable diseases in such a way that it will pose dangers to the husband if married life continues.
5. The wifes affliction with insanity and incurable neurological disorders in cases where it is impossible for the husband to revoke marriage because the affliction happened after marriage.
6. The wifes incurable infertility as confirmed by a physician
7. The wife being definitely sentenced to at least five years in prison provided that the husband was not the cause of the crime committed by the wife
8. The wifes definitive conviction of any kind of illegitimate affair with whatever punishment
9. The wifes addiction to any kind of narcotics, psychedelic drugs or alcoholic beverages
10. The wifes absence
It is noteworthy that the proposed bill about setting conditions on, and restricting the husbands right to divorce is being reviewed at the Bills Review Committee of the Cabinet.