This article applies only to Iran.
Family is the most important social institution and has an undeniable role in the health of the individuals as well as the society. Considering the changes in lifestyle and disputes resulting from familial disagreements, the most important of which is the case of divorce, dowry, and custody of children, which take up a large part of the cases, it is necessary for everyone to be aware of these laws.
The main goal of family laws is to maintain the interests of members and the institution of family, so that as a result, we may have a healthy society. Alongside personal and social issues that arise from family laws, knowing rights and responsibilities towards one another is an inseparable part of family laws. So that according to article 10 of the constitution of the Islamic republic of Iran, family is the fundamental unit of the Islamic society, but there is no clear definition of family in religious jurisprudence or in Iran’s civil code.
Yet, considering the rules and regulations of civil law, family is a set which have legal and social correlation due to causative and relative reasons.
Family consists of a husband and wife and their children, headed by the husband.
With marriage, a spousal relationship is formed between the man and woman and after having children, this relationship is upgraded to fatherhood and motherhood, and parenting rights and responsibilities are added to spousal rights and responsibilities.
Rules governing the creation or dissolution of relationship between husband and wife and its effects, which are mostly based on marriage, are different from the rules overseeing the relationship between parents and children which consist of supportive legislation.
Rules considered as family laws include rules regarding marriage proposal, terms and conditions of marriage, marriage, termination of marriage, divorce, genealogy, proof of parity, alimony of wife, children and close relations, dowry, keeping custody of children, and etc…
: Laws created upon marriage
After a marriage contract is correctly bound, rights and responsibilities of the couple towards each other is made, some of which have financial aspects (such as dowry and alimony) and others have non-financial aspects (such as necessity of good behavior towards each other, cooperation, strengthening the bonds of family and parenting).
According the Civil Law, the man’s leadership of the family is among his specific duties which will result in a number of legal effects. These include guardianship of children, providing the costs of the family, complying with the conditions and obligations towards his partner, and necessity of compliance from the wife’s part.
Dissolution of marriage :
Dissolution of marriage means disappearance of marital relationship between the man and woman and the end of the marriage contract which consists of the following:
Dissolution of marriage and its reasons (for instance in case of defects such as impotency, madness and etc… in either party) would allow any of the partners to dissolve the marriage.
Kinship means a relationship formed between two people through marriage, relation or Reza’ (in Islam when a mother nurses a child other than her own, the children become siblings through her). Regarding kinship, the following issues come up: types, classes, degrees, and closeness effects.
All kinds of kinship are considered obstacles of marriage within the defined limits, however, they are not the same regarding financial rights and responsibilities.
In simple terms, genealogy (parentage) means the legal and religious relationship between members of the family, for instance between parents with their children.
Issues such as types of genealogy, ways to prove legitimate lineage, confession to descendants and its effects, rejection of children, and La’an (cursing one another) are considered issues related to genealogy in civil law.
In order to create rights and responsibilities between members of family, proving the lineage becomes evident and leads to issues such as guardianship, alimony, custody, and inheritance.
Another important effect of marriage, is the guardianship of children. Guardianship is an authority given to parents in order to manage children’s’ financial and non-financial affairs.
According to civil law, guardianship consists of father’s guardianship and paternal grandfather’s guardianship. In addition to the term “guardian”, another term is used in the civil law. Special guardian is a person appointed by either of the guardians (father or paternal grandfather) who is responsible for the child in case the mentioned guardians are absent.
Alimony means providing for the wife’s life costs which include housing, furniture, food, clothing, drugs and treatments. It is the husband’s duty from the time of marriage. Calculation of the alimony is based on the woman’s familial affairs, customs and habits of each region’s inhabitants, and the man’s financial status. Alimony is restricted to permanent marriage and a couple who are bound with a temporary marriage do not qualify for receiving alimony, unless they have agreed on it. On the other hand, a woman who does not comply to his husband’s needs (general and specific compliance) does not merit to receive alimony.
Payment of alimony by the husband to the wife must be proved. Therefore, whenever the woman makes a case on it, the man must provide proof of non-compliance by his wife. In case her non-compliance is proved in family court, the husband is free not to pay alimony and remarry.
In addition to the wife, children have the right to receive alimony. The child’s alimony falls upon the father from the time of birth. In case the father is deceased, or does not have the ability to pay alimony, the responsibility falls upon his family, and if they also do not have the means to pay, alimony becomes the mother’s responsibility.
Family court :
: The family court is a specific court which has the competence to handle the following cases
- Betrothals and damages from its break-up
- Permanent and temporary marriage and permission for marriage
- Conditions set while marrying
- Money paid by the groom (Mahrieh)
- Alimony of wife and retirement income
- Compliance and non-compliance (obedience and disobedience)
- Divorce, Roju’ (returning to divorced woman), cancellation and termination of marriage, pardoning of time and its expiration
- Custody of children and meeting them
- Growing up and its resolution
- Guardianship, affairs regarding the observer and properties of the incapable, and guardianship regarding them
- Alimony of close relatives
- Affairs concerning away and missing parents
- Custody of abandoned children
- Fetus donation
- Gender change
In case you have any question or need consultation regarding family laws, please contact our legal experts at Sarasa Law Office.