Dicorce or Talaq in Islam: In Islamic law, the husband has the exclusive right to talaq, termination of marriage. Talaq is defined as a unilateral act, which takes legal effect by the husband’s declaration. Neither grounds for divorce nor the wife’s presence or consent are necessary, but the husband must pay his wife’s mahr—translated in English as “dower,” this is the gift the bridegroom offers the bride upon marriage—if he has not done so at the time of marriage, and maintenance (nafaqa) during the _idda period (three menses after the declaration).
The wife, however, cannot be released from marriage without her husband’s consent, although she can buy her release by offering him compensation. This is referred to as “divorce by mutual consent” and can take two forms: In khul_, the wife claims separation because of her extreme dislike (ikrah) of her husband, and there is no ceiling on the amount of compensation that she pays; in mubarat the dislike is mutual and the amount of compensation should not exceed the value of the mahr itself.
If the wife fails to secure her husband’s consent, her only recourse is the intervention of a judge who has the power either to compel the husband to pronounce talaq or to pronounce it on his behalf. Known as faskh (recission), tafriq (separation), or tatliq (compulsory issue of divorce), this outlet has become the common juristic basis on which a woman can obtain a court divorce in contemporary Muslim world. The facility with which a woman can obtain such a divorce and the grounds on which she can do so vary in the different schools of Islamic law and in different countries. The Maliki school is the most liberal and grants the widest grounds upon which a woman can initiate divorce proceedings. Among Muslim states where Islamic law is the basis of family law, women in Tunisia enjoy easiest access to divorce.