In an earlier post, we presented a guide for those who are planning to get married in Bahrain, including Filipino expats. Today, however, we will discuss quite the opposite: getting a divorce.
Of course, nobody enters marriage expecting to get divorced, but sadly, for some reason or another — it is the last resort for broken relationships. If you find yourself in this situation, keep on reading to know the requirements and procedure for getting a divorce in Bahrain.
Steps to Getting a Divorce in Bahrain
The divorce process in Bahrain depends mainly on your religion: whether you are Muslim, or non-Muslim.
For Muslim couples, getting a divorce is applicable through Bahrain’s Family Law even if you are expats — provided that you were married through a Sunni marriage contract. Before anything else, find out first if a divorce in Bahrain would be recognised in your home country, so that you do not run into any legal problems or issues in the future.
For non-Muslims, the process is different and a bit more complicated. You can apply for divorce through the Bahrain Civil Courts, whose jurisdiction will be based on the provisions of the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law. Basically, the court will apply the laws of your nationality. For instance, if you are a non-Muslim woman married to a Muslim man, take note that the court would tend to “sway more” toward the laws of your husband’s nationality.
Keep in mind that in the case of non-Muslim expats, you will be asked to provide the court with certified copies of the laws of your home country, along with their Arabic translations. Of course, this could take some time and expenses on your part. In any case, try to decide whether it would be best to get a divorce in your home country, or in Bahrain.
How to Request for a Divorce Certificate
If you are decided on getting a divorce in Bahrain, here are the requirements and procedure for requesting a divorce certificate — a service that is provided by the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs, and Awqaf. Take note that there are separate requirements for the divorce certificate itself, and the amicable enforcement of the divorce.
For the divorce certificate:
- Accomplished divorce certificate issuance form
- Court order for the issuance of a divorce certificate
- Original marriage contract and a copy
NOTE: In case the original marriage contact is lost, submit a report from the police instead.
For the amicable enforcement of the divorce:
- Agreement of the two parties on issues of alimony, custody of children, visits, accommodation, and expenses
- Original documents and copies of the marriage contract, passports, and identity cards — of the two spouses, children, and witnesses
To apply for a divorce, you will have to visit the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs, and Awqaf located in Diplomatic Area, Courts Directorate, Manama, Bahrain. The service is available from Sunday to Thursday, between 7:00 am and 2:25 pm.
- Submit all the required documents and information. Make sure that these are complete; otherwise, your application may be rejected and returned so that you can provide the missing requirements.
- Upon completion of requirements, the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs, and Awqaf will forward your request to the judge for approval.
- Once approved, the Ministry will contact you on how to collect the divorce certificate.
- Go to the Ministry to collect your divorce certificate.
DISCLAIMER: The above guide is presented for information-sharing purposes only. To know more about the requirements and procedures for getting a divorce, please visit the official eGovernment website of Bahrain.