Divorce may follow three different procedures:

1. divorce as a result of abuse or other grounds

2. divorce without grounds initiated by the husband (talaq)

3. divorce without grounds initiated by the wife (iftida)


Jordan’s “Family Protection Law No. 6 of 2008” lays out guidelines for procedures in domestic violence cases for medical officials and police officers, however, does not criminalize domestic violence nor does it specifically nor penalize martial rape (130).

Although assault and abuse are accepted as grounds for divorce, it is often very difficult for a woman to prove her case because Sharia Courts require the testimony of two male witnesses. This discourages many women from initiating legal procedures. Other acceptable grounds for divorce include the husband’s failure to provide a home or financial maintenance, and his unjustified absence for more than one year.

Either the husband or wife are permitted to petition for divorce on the grounds of discord and strife causing enough harm to make cohabitation impossible. The case then goes before a judge, who tries to reconcile the couple. If this is unsuccessful, the case goes before two arbitrators who gather evidence on the marital situation before making a decision. One arbitrator is chosen from each side of the family.

The arbitrator’s rule on the terms of the divorce and any due compensation, which the judge then reviews and ratifies. If the arbitrators deem that the wife is in the wrong, a divorce will be granted in exchange for compensation to the husband. If the wrongs were committed by the husband, a divorce will be granted, and the wife can ask for compensation.

If the wrongs are shared, divorce will be granted in exchange for a division of the mahr in proportion to the wrongs of each side.


1. The law obliges the husband to spend on his wife from the moment of signing the “katb iktaab” or marriage contract.

2. The husband must spend on his wife to the extent appropriate for his financial condition, even if she is financially capable.

3. The wife has the right to demand the imposition of the monthly alimony on her husband if he does not spend on her or fails to do so.

4. A husband’s agreement to his wife’s choice to work is not considered valid ground for his stopping her financial support.

5. The law obliges the husband to spend on his wife with regard to her food, clothing, rental fees, and health care, and he is also obligated to pay the expenses of those who serve her, if the women in their condition have those who serve them.

6. There is no difference between a Muslim nor non-Muslim wife for the purposes of a husbands financial obligations to them.

7. The husband must spend on his pregnant wife, even if she is present without justification outside his home.

8. If the court decides to impose alimony on the husband, it is the wife’s right to obtain it from the date of filing the case.

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