Rawalpindi witnesses rising number of divorce cases

Family courts dispose of 3,500 cases in one year culminating in divorces


APP December 21, 2021
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

‘Social transformation’ has been cited as a major reason for the rising number of divorce cases in family courts, with the ones in the garrison city having recorded over 32,000 family disputes in a year, with 3,500 of them culminating in a divorce.

Women's economic independence, awareness of rights and freedom from interference are reshaping archaic social structures, with women no longer feeling the need to remain stuck in a bond to which they consider a ‘surrendered relationship’ accomplished by their mothers and grandmothers.

High Court Rawalpindi Advocate Shagufta Arif, who has been dealing with family cases for two decades, said that the primary reason of many of these divorce cases is forced marriages, where one of the partners agreed to marry just to fulfil their family's wish or to uphold their honour.

There are two types of litigants they have to deal with, said Shagufta. “There’s an uneducated rigid class that wants to teach each other a lesson through courts in a conflict, while on the other hand there are educated couples who realise their relationships are ‘emotionally barren’ and they try to reach an amicably registered break-up to avoid physical or emotional abuse,” she said.

"Mostly, there are cases of dissolution (Khula) by females alluding to physical violence inflicted by her spouse or in-laws, and they consider being divorced is better than being dead,” added Shagufta. "People are more willing to dissolve the marriage rather than dragging an abusive relationship.”

Read Divorce cases on the rise

Data received by making use of the Right to Information (RTI) clause in Article 19-A of the Constitution disclosed that there has been an increase of around 10 percent in the filing of divorce cases as compared to the previous year.

It was also conveyed that out of 32,000 registered cases this year, 70% cases are still in courts concerning divorce, Khula, return of dowry, guardianship, children's custody and maintenance.

Another advocate of Rawalpindi High Court, Sidra Ashraf Rana, has shared that they received 10-15 applications of judicial separations on a daily basis. “Going by this number, almost 450-500 divorce applications are received monthly in family courts,” said Sidra.

University Professor Ramzan Ahmed has presented yet another angle on the reason of the rising number of divorce cases. "We need to educate our younger generations for a highly responsible matrimonial obligation to preserve our family system,” he said. “Unfortunately, we are not training our children on how to create a balance among all relations.”

 

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2021.

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