Need to talk about Divorce


Key Takeaways:

  • Divorce and Economic Empowerment: Khushbakht J., a lawyer and social entrepreneur, joins Oraan to discuss the important topic of divorce and economic empowerment for women. She sheds light on the legal aspects of divorce, including prenuptial agreements and the protection of women's economic rights within marriage contracts.
  • Legal Aid and Health Awareness: Khushbakht J. shares her work through Adal aur Sehat, a not-for-profit organization. They provide free legal aid to underprivileged women facing abuse and also focus on creating awareness about legal and health issues. Through collaborations with government departments, they work on policies and promote general health awareness.
  • The Costs of Divorce: The episode delves into the financial costs associated with divorce, including lawyer fees, court procedures, and emotional tolls. Khushbakht J. acknowledges the lack of standardized rates for legal services in this field, emphasizing the importance of careful consideration and awareness when seeking legal assistance.
  • Economic Abuse and Legal Protections: Khushbakht J. addresses the issue of economic abuse within relationships, such as asset looting and exploitation of joint property. She highlights the existence of legal protections, including the Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection Act, which provides recourse for victims of economic abuse.
  • Breaking Taboos and Encouraging Conversations: Oraan and Khushbakht J. aim to break the societal taboo surrounding divorce and foster healthy conversations about financial matters. By sharing stories, dispelling misconceptions, and promoting dialogue, they seek to empower women and create a supportive community for discussing these sensitive topics openly.
If things go wrong, you should have some kind of safety, some kind of protection, and it will save the cost absolutely of going to court, getting a lawyer, and the paperwork.

Unraveling the Stigma: Demystifying Prenuptial Agreements and Divorce

Women's Rights and Divorce in Pakistan

Khushbakht emphasizes the significance of discussing women's rights in the context of divorce. She highlights the importance of understanding the marriage contract, known as nika-nama, as it leads to divorce, and women often face significant repercussions during divorce proceedings. She urges women to fulfill their responsibilities and emphasizes the need to break the societal taboo surrounding divorce conversations. Khushbakht also mentions the costs associated with divorce, both emotionally and economically. She stresses the need for women to protect themselves and be aware of their rights before entering into a marriage.

"It's not like people are not thinking about [divorce] from the perspective of okay, things can go wrong, and if things go wrong, you should have some kind of safety, some kind of protection, and it will save the cost of going to court, getting a lawyer, and the paperwork." - Khushbakht Shah

Economic Abuse in Relationships

The discussion delves into economic abuse within relationships, an issue Khushbakht is passionate about. She explains that economic abuse can manifest in various forms, such as looting a spouse's belongings or taking away their property. Khushbakht highlights the Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection Act, which addresses economic abuse and allows victims to file petitions against it. She encourages women to seek legal recourse and emphasizes the importance of documenting evidence to support their claims. The lack of awareness and societal stigma surrounding economic abuse further compounds the challenges faced by women in such situations.

"Sometimes people don't go to family courts; they go to the civil court for compensation or recovery of that material. Yeah, maybe a case of domestic violence, gold is in the joint locker, and I've been telling, any proof that you have of that, you know, any transaction, whatever." - Khushbakht Shah

Costs and Challenges of Divorce in Pakistan

Divorce proceedings in Pakistan can be costly and challenging. One significant cost is the high legal fees, which depend on the case complexity and chosen representation. The division of assets and property acquired during the marriage can also lead to additional expenses and disputes. Moreover, the emotional toll on individuals and families is a major challenge. The lengthy and adversarial nature of the process causes stress, anxiety, and strained relationships. Additionally, social and cultural stigmas surrounding divorce in Pakistan bring social challenges like societal judgment, family pressure, and limited social support.

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