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Civil Code of Iran (1928, as amended 1985; selected provisions related to women) – 3: On Marriage and Divorce

Article 1034 – It is lawful to ask for the hand of a woman to whose marriage there is no obstacle.

Article 1035 -A promise of marriage does not create the matrimonial relation even though the whole or some of the dowry fixed for payment at the time of marriage between the two parties may have been paid. Either the man or the woman, therefore, can, so long as the ceremonial act of marriage has not been pronounced, refuse the marriage and the other party cannot oblige her or him to contract the marriage or claim compensation for losses merely owing to the refusal.

Article 1036 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1037 – Every one of the betrothed parties can , if the proposed marriage is cancelled, claim the restitution of the presents given to the other party or to the parents for the marriage in question.
If the presents do not exist in original, the claimant is entitled to ask for their value of the presents which are ordinarily preserved unless the same presents have been destroyed without any fault of the party who was in their possession.

Article 1038 – The stipulation of the foregoing Article does not apply as far as it concerns the payment of equivalent value in a case where the proposed marriage does not take place in consequence of the death of one of the betrothed persons.

Article 1039 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1040- Each one of the parties concerned can, with a view to contracting marriage, ask the other party to produce a certificate of a doctor showing the freedom of the person concerned from serious contagious diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea and consumption.

Article 1041 – Marriage before the age, of majority is prohibited.
Note -Marriage before puberty by the permission of the Guardian and on condition of taking into consideration the ward’s interest is proper.

Article 1042 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1043 – The marriage of a girl who has not married previously is dependent on the permission of her father or her paternal grandfather even if she has reached the full age of majority . If, however, the father or the paternal grandfather withhold the permission without justifiable reason, the girl can refer to the Special Civil Court giving full particulars of the man whom she wants to marry and also the terms of the marriage and the dowry money agreed upon and notify her father or her paternal grandfather through that Court of the foregoing particulars The Court can issue a permission for marriage fifteen days after the date of notification to the guardian if no response has been received from the guardian to satisfy refusal.

Article 1044 – If the father or the paternal grandfather are not present in the place and obtaining their permission is customarily impossible and the girl is in need of marriage, she can marry. Note – Registration of such a marriage in the Marriage Registry shall be pending on proving the above – cited instances in the Special Civil Court.

Article 1045 – Marriage with the following relations by blood is forbidden, even if the relationship is based on mistake or adultery:
1- Marriage with father or grandfather, mother or grandmothers, or to their ancestors to whatever generation.
2 – Marriage with children, or descendants to whatever generation.
3 – Marriage with the brother and sister and their children, or their descendants to whatever generation.
4 – Marriage with one’s own paternal aunts and maternal aunts and those one’s father, mother, grandfathers and grandmothers.

Article 1046 – Foster – relationship is the same as relationship by blood as far as impediments to marriage are concerned, provided that:
Firstly – The milk of the woman takes its source from a legitimate conception. Secondly – The milk is sucked directly from the breast.
Thirdly – The child has at least had full milk for 24 hours (one night and on day) or for 15 consecutive times without taking in between any other food or milk of another woman.
Fourthly – The child has taken the milk before it has reached the full age of two years (from its birth): and
Fifthly – The milk taken by the child is from the same woman with the same husband. If, therefore, a child takes during twenty – four hours some milk from one woman and some from another, this fact does not debar marriage even if the two women have a common husband.
In the same way, if a woman has a foster – daughter and a foster – In the same way, if a woman has a foster-daughter and a foster – son whom she has milked each from the milk belonging to a separate husband, that son and daughter cannot be considered as foster brother and sister and their marriage is not prohibited for this reason.

Article 1047 – Marriage between the following persons is permanently forbidden because of relationship by marriage.
1 – Marriage, between a man and his mother – in. – law or his grand – mother – in – law of any degree, whether the relationship is by blood or foster – relationship
2 – Marriage between a man and woman who has formerly been the wife of his father or of one of his grandfathers, or of his son or of one his grandchildren even though the relationship may be of the foster kind
3 – Between a man with females of descent from his wife, no matter of what degree no exception being made even if the woman is a foster – relation, provided that the husband and wife have already consummated the marriage.

Article 1048 – Marrying of two sisters by the same by one man is forbidden even if the marriage of each one of them is of temporary nature.

Article 1049 – No one can marry the daughter of his brother – in – law or the daughter of his sister – in – law unless his wife permits him to do so.

Article 1050 – Every person who marries a woman knowing of the existence of marriage ties binding the wife and of prohibition of his own marriage with that woman, or who marries a woman who has not yet passed the period of “uddeh” of divorce or of death, with knowledge of the existence of the “uddeh” and the prohibition of the marriage, his marriage will be null and void and the woman in question will definitely and permanently be incapable of becoming the wife of that man.

Article 1051 – The provisions of the foregoing Article will also be applicable in the case where the marriage was solemnized with ignorance of all or some of the facts mentioned in the foregoing Article, and the marriage has been consummated. In the case of ignorance, but where matrimonial relations have not taken place, the marriage will be null and void but marriage between the two does not become permanently prohibited.

Article 1052 – Separation caused by a solemn imprecation (li’an) involves a permanent bar to the marriage of the parties concerned. Article 1053 – A marriage contract will not be valid while the party concerned is covered with the pilgrimage garment . If the party concerned marries with knowledge of the fact that such a marriage is prohibited, the marriage will be barred forever.

Article 1054 – Adultery with a married woman who has not yet passed the period of uddeh, will entail a permanent bar to the marriage of the parties concerned.

Article 1055 – Sexual intercourse by mistake or by adultery if preceding marriage is tantamount to the existence of marriage as far as prohibition of marriage is concerned but cannot cause cancellation of the former marriage.

Article 1056 – One who perpetrates a shameful act on a boy cannot marry his mother, sister, or daughter.

Article 1057 – A woman who has been the wife of a man for three consecutive times and has been divorced each time will become unlawful as wife to that man unless she is married by permanent marriage to another man and, after matrimonial relations with that man, separation occurs between them by divorce or cancellation of the marriage or death.

Article 1058 – The wife of a person who has been divorced from him nine times, six of which were revocable divorce, will be illegal as wife to that man for ever.

Article 1059 – Marriage of a female Moslem with a non – Moslem is not allowed.

Article 1060 – Marriage of an Iranian woman with a foreign national is dependent , even in cases where there is no legal impediment, upon special permission of the Government.

Article 1061 – The Government can make the marriage of certain Government servants and officials and students supported by the Government with a female foreign national dependent upon special permission.

Article 1062 – Marriage takes place by proposal and acceptance in words which explicitly convey the intention of marriage.

Article 1063 – The proposal and acceptance may be uttered by the man and woman themselves or by persons who are legally entitled to perform the act.

Article 1064 – The person who performs the act must be sane in mind, of legal age, and capable of forming, a decision.

Article 1065 – It is a necessary for the validity of a marriage that acceptance should follow close upon proposal, in accordance with custom.

Article 1066 – If one or both of the parties to the marriage are dumb, the ceremony can be conducted by signs made by the dumb person or persons provided that the signs clearly convey the intention of entering into the contract of marriage.

Article 1067 – It is a necessary condition for the validity of a marriage that the wife and husband should be so declared that neither party is in doubt as to the identity of the other.

Article 1068 – Making marriage conditional will render it void.

Article 1069 – A provision in the marriage contract reserving the right of cancellation of the contract, if made, will be null and void. But in a permanent marriage, a provision entitling one of the parties withhold the dowry is permissible provided that duration of this is definitely mentioned . After cancellation of the grant of dowry (sudaq) the situation will be as if no dowry is mentioned in the contract of marriage.

Article 1070- Consent of the marrying parties is the condition upon which depends the enforcement of the marriage contract, and if a party showing at first reluctance authorises the making of the contract subsequently, the contract will be binding unless the reluctance is so acute that the reluctant person cannot be considered as having been in possession of any intention.

Article 1071 – Either the man or woman can depute a third party with power to contract the marriage.

Article 1072 – If power is given without conditions as to the identity of the, husband, the attorney cannot himself marry his principal under that power unless this permission is explicitly given to him in the power of attorney.

Article 1073 – If the attorney does not observe what his principal has laid down in connection with the person or the dowry or other particulars, the authenticity of the marriage will depend upon corroboration from the principal.

Article 1074 – The provisions of the preceding Article will also be binding where the power was without any reservation and the attorney did not act according to the best interests of his principal.

Article 1075 – Marriage is called temporary when it is for a limited period of time. Article 1076 – The duration of the temporary marriage must be definitely determined.

Article I077 – In the case of temporary marriage , provisions concerning inheritance of the wife and her dowry are the same as fixed in the Chapter on inheritance’ and in the following Chapter.

Article 1078 – Anything which can be called property and which can be owned and possessed can be designated as a marriage portion.

Article 1079 – The marriage portion must be known to the marrying parties to the extent that their ignorance is removed.

Article 1080 – Fixing of the amount of marriage portion depends upon the mutual consent of the marrying parties.

Article 1081 – If a condition is laid in the marriage act that if the marriage portion is not paid within a fixed period that marriage will be cancelled, the marriage and the marriage portion will remain binding and authentic but the condition will be null and void.

Article 1082 – Immediately after the performance of the marriage ceremony the wife becomes the owner of the marriage portion and can dispose of it in any way and manner that she may like.

Article 1083 – A duration of time or instalments can be fixed for the payment of the marriage portion, as a whole or in parts.

Article 1084 – If the marriage portion consists of a designated property and it is found out that before the celebration of the marriage, that property was defective, or that after the marriage celebration and before the delivery of the property it becomes defective or it was destroyed

Article 1085 – So long as the marriage portion is not delivered to her, the wife can refuse to fulfil the duties which she has to her husband provided, however, that the marriage portion is payable at once. This refusal does not debar her from right of maintenance expenses.

Article 1086 -If the wife proceeds to fulfil the duties that she has towards her husband by her own free will, she cannot subsequently avail herself of the provisions of the foregoing Article, but never the less she will not forfeit the right that she has for demanding the payment of the marriage portion due to her.

Article 1087 – If a marriage portion is not mentioned, or if the absence of marriage portion is stipulated in a permanent marriage, that marriage will be authentic and the parties to it can fix the marriage portion subsequently by mutual consent. If previous to this mutual consent matrimonial intercourse takes place between them, the wife will be entitled to the marriage portion ordinarily due.

Article 1088 – In the case of the foregoing Article, if one of the marrying parties dies before the fixing of the marriage portion and before the consummation of marriage, the wife will not be entitled to any marriage portion.

Article 1089 – Authority for fixing the marriage portion can be entrusted to the husband or a third party, in which case both of them can fix it at any amount they may wish.

Article 1090 – If the authority for fixing the marriage portion is vested in the wife, she cannot fix an amount which exceeds reasonable marriage portion.

Article 1091 – In fixing of the reasonable marriage portion the status of the wife in respect of her family’s station and other circumstances and peculiarities concerning her in comparison with her equals and relatives and also the customs of the locality, etcetera, must be considered.

Article 1092 -If the husband divorces his wife before the consummation of marriage, the wife be entitled to half of the marriage portion and if the husband has already paid more than half of the marriage portion he has the right to demand the return of the surplus, in original, in the equivalent, or in va1ue.

Article 1093 – If no marriage portion is mentioned in the act of marriage and the husband divorces his wife before the consummation of marriage and the fixing of the marriage portion, the wife is entitled to a reasonable marriage portion, and if she is divorced after the consumption of marriage, she will be entitled to the equivalent of marriage portion.

Article 1094- The status of the man in respect of wealth or poverty will be considered in fixing the reasonable marriage portion.

Article 1095 – Absence of marriage portion in the act of a temporary marriage will render the contract void.

Article 1096 – The death of the wife in a temporary marriage during the period of marriage will not cause the forfeiture of the marriage portion; the same will be true if the husband did not have any relations with her up to the end of the period of the marriage.

Article 1097 – If the husband waives his rights to the whole period of marriage in a temporary marriage before having any relations with the wife, he must pay half of the marriage portion.

Article 1098 – If the marriage, whether temporary or permanent, was void, and there has not been any matrimonial relations, the wife will not be entitled to any marriage portion and the husband can demand the refund of the marriage portion if it has been settled

Article 1099 – If the wife was ignorant of the fact that the marriage was unauthentic, and if in such case matrimonial relations have occurred, the wife will be entitled to a reasonable marriage portion.

Article 1100 – If the specified marriage portion is unknown or if it is not of such a nature that it can be owned or if it belongs to reasonable marriage portion and in the third case to the equivalent of the value of the property which proved to be that of a third party, unless the latter authorizes the transfer.

Article 1101 – If the marriage is cancelled before matrimonial relations for any reason, the wife is not entitled to any marriage portion . If the reason of cancellation is impotency, the wife will be entitled to half the marriage portion notwithstanding the cancellation of the marriage.

Article 1102 -As soon as marriage takes place in due form, relations of matrimony will automatically exist between the marrying parties and rights and reciprocal duties of husband and wife will be established between them.

Article 1103 – Husband and wife are bound to establish friendly relations.

Article 1104 – Husband and wife must cooperate with each other for the welfare of their family and the education of their children.

Article 1105- In relations between husband and wife; the position of the head of the family is the exclusive right of the husband.

Article 1106 – The cost of maintenance of the wife is at the charge of the husband in permanent marriages.

Article 1107 – Cost of maintenance includes dwelling, clothing, food, furniture in proportion to the situation of the wife, on a reasonable basis, and provision of a servant if the wife is accustomed to have servants or if she needs one because of illness or defects of limbs.

Article 1108 – If the wife refuses to fulfil duties of a wife without legitimate excuse, she will not be entitled to the cost of maintenance.

Article 1109 – Cost of maintenance of a divorced wife during the period of “uddeh” is to be borne by the husband, unless the divorce has taken place because of disobedience . But if the uddeh arises from the cancellation of the marriage or a final divorce, the wife is not entitled to cost of maintenance, unless she is with child from her husband in which case she 1 be entitled to cost of maintenance till her child is born.

Article 1110 – The wife is not entitled to cost of maintenance if she is passing through the uddeh period due to the death of her husband.

Article 1111 – The wife can refer to the court if her husband refuses to provide for her maintenance. In such a case the court will fix the amount and will compel the husband to pay it.

Article 1112 – If the enforcement of the provisions of the foregoing Article is impossible , the provisions of Article 1129 must be followed.

Article 1113 – In the case of a temporary marriage the wife is not entitled to the cost of maintenance, unless provision has been specially made for this, or the marriage has been arranged on this condition

Article 1114- The wife must stay in the dwelling that the husband allots for her unless such a right is reserved to the wife.

Article 1115 – If the existence of the wife and husband in the same house involves the risk of bodily or financial injury or that to the dignity of the wife, she can choose a separate dwelling: and if the alleged risk is proved the court will not order her to return to the house of the husband and, so long as she is authorized not to return to the house, her cost of maintenance will be on the charge of her husband.

Article 1116 – In the case of the foregoing Article, so long as litigation is not concluded between the married couple, the dwelling of the wife will be fixed by mutual consent of both parties and failing such consent, the court will fix the dwelling after duly obtaining the views of near relatives, and in the absence of relatives the court itself will fix a suitable dwelling.

Article 1117 – The husband can prevent his wife from occupations or technical work which is incompatible with the family interests or the dignity of himself or his wife.

Article 1118 – The wife can independently do what she likes with her own property.

Article 1119 – The parties to the marriage can stipulate any condition to the marriage which is not incompatible with the nature of the contract of marriage, either as part of the marriage contract or in another binding contract: for example, it can be stipulated that if the husband marries another wife or absents him self during a certain period, or discontinues the payment of cost of maintenance, or attempts the life of his wife or treats her so harshly that their life together becomes unbearable, the wife has the power, which she can also transfer to a third party by power of attorney to obtain a divorce herself after establishing in the court the fact that one of the foregoing alternatives has occurred and after the issue of a final judgment to that effect.

Article 1120 – Marriage may be dissolved by cancellation, by divorce, or by waiver of the remaining period in the case of a temporary marriage.

Article 1121 – Madness of either of the married couple, provided that it is settled, whether it is permanent or recurrent, will give the other person the right of cancellation.

Article 1122 – The following defects in man will give the woman the right to cancel the marriage
1 – Castration.
2 – Impotency, provided he has not even once performed the matrimonial act.
3 – Amputation of the sexual organ to the extent that he is unable to perform his marital duty.

Article 1123 – The following defects in a wife bring about the right for a man to cancel the marriage:
1 – Protrusion of the womb (qaran).
2 – Black leprosy (juzam).
3 – Leprosy (baras).
4 – Connection of the vaginal and anal passages (ifza).
5 – Being crippled.
6 – Being blind in both eyes.

Article 1124 – The defects of the wife entitle the man to a right of cancellation of marriage if they existed at the time of marriage.

Article 1125 – Madness and impotency create the right for the wife to cancel the marriage even if they occur after the date of the marriage.

Article 1126 – Any one of the married couple who was cognisant of the existence of the defects above mentioned in the other party before the marriage was celebrated , has no right after that date to cancel the marriage.

Article 1127 – If the husband contracts a venereal disease after the performance of the marriage act, the wife have the right to refuse to have any sexual relations with him and this refusal will not debar her from the right to cost of maintenance.

Article 1128 – If a special qualification is mentioned , as a condition of the marriage, to exist in one of the marrying parties and if after the marriage it is found out that the party concerned lacks the desired qualification, the other party has the right to cancel the marriage.
The foregoing is true whether the qualification is mentioned explicitly in the marriage contract or whether the marriage has been performed with the qualification understood mutually by the parties concerned.

Article 1129 – If the husband refuses to pay the cost of maintenance of his wife, and if it is impossible to enforce a judgment of the court and to induce him to pay the expenses, the wife can refer to the judge applying for divorce and the judge will compel the husband to divorce her.
The same stipulation will be binding in a case where the husband is unable to provide for the maintenance of the wife.

Article 1130 – In the following circumstances, the wife can refer to the Islamic judge and request for a divorce. When it is proved to the Court that the continuation of the marriage causes difficult and undesirable conditions, the judge can for the sake of avoiding harm and difficulty compel the husband to, divorce his wife. If this cannot be done, then the divorce will be made on the permission of the Islamic judge.

Article 1131 – The option of cancellation of marriage must be exercised immediately and, if the party who is entitled to the option does not cancel the marriage after becoming cognisant of the reason upon which he could cancel the marriage, he forfeits the option, provided also that he had full knowledge of the existence of the option and its urgent character. Determination of the duration of time during which the option can remain valid depends upon custom and usage.

Article 1132 – The observance of the arrangements stipulated in the case of a divorce is not obligatory in a case of cancellation of marriage.

Article 1133 – A man can divorce his wife whenever he wishes to do so.

Article 1134- The divorce must be performed in the actual form of utterance and in the presence of at least two just men who must hear the actual form of divorce.

Article 1135 – Divorce must be in clear and precise wording, a conditional divorce is null and void.

Article 1136 – The divorcer must be of legal, must be in possession of his faculties, must intend the act and must be free in his action.

Article 1137 – The guardian of a permanently made person, can divorce the wife of the latter if the interests of the person under his custody allow him to do so.

Article 1138 – The actual ritual utterance of the divorce can be performed by an attorney.

Article 1139 – Divorce is specially appointed for cases of permanent marriage: a temporary wife is relieved from marriage by the expiry of the period of marriage or by waiver of the remaining period by her husband.

Article 1140- It is not proper to divorce a wife during her monthly period or during the convalescent period after childbirth unless when the wife is pregnant or when the divorce occurs before matrimonial relations with her, or when the husband is absent so that he cannot obtain information concerning her monthly period.

Article 1141 – It is not proper to divorce a wife between two monthly periods during which intercourse has taken place unless the wife is pregnant or is incapable of conception.

Article 1142- The divorce of a wife who although of child – bearing age has no monthly period, will be valid only when three months have passed from the date of the last matrimonial relations with her.

Article 1143 – The are two forms of divorce, irrevocable divorce and revocable divorce.

Article 1144 – After an irrevocable divorce the husband has not the right to renounce his intention of divorcing.

Article 1145 – A divorce is irrevocable in the following instances
1 – A divorce performed before the occurrence of matrimonial relations
2- Divorce of a wife who is incapable of conception.
3 – (a) a divorce which a wife achieves by giving a consideration to her husband and (Khul’a) and (b) a divorce by mutual consent (mubarat), as long as the wife has not demanded the return of the consideration.
4 – A third divorce, performed after three consecutive marriages (of the same parties) whether by mere renouncement by the husband of his desire to divorce the wife or by a new marriage between the two parties.

Article 1146 – A Khul’a divorce occurs when the wife obtains a divorce owing to dislike of her husband, against property which she cedes to the husband. The property in question may consist of the original marriage portion, or the monetary equivalent thereof, whether more or less than the marriage portion.

Article 1147 – A “Mubarat” divorce occurs when the dislike is mutual in which case the compensation must not be more than the marriage portion.

Article 1148 – The husband has the right to renounce divorce in a revocable divorce provide the period of “Iddah” has not expired.

Article 1149 – Return to the wife after divorce can be effected by any word or deed which may convey the idea, provided that it is based on an intention to do so.

Article 1150 – Iddah consists of a period during which a woman whose matrimonial bond has been dissolved cannot marry.

Article 1151 – The period of Iddah for a divorce or for the dissolution of a marriage consists of three consecutive monthly periods of a woman unless the woman concerned though of child bearing age has no monthly period, in which case the period of Iddah will be three months.

Article 1152 – The period of Iddah for divorce or dissolution of marriage or waiver of the remaining period or its expiry in the case of temporary marriage for a non – pregnant woman is the expiry of two monthly periods unless contrary to the nature of her age, she no such periods, in which case the period will be 45 days.

Article 1153 – The period of Iddah for divorce or dissolution of marriage act or waiver or expiry of the period of marriage in the case of a woman who is pregnant will be until she given birth to a child.

Article 1154- The period of Iddah in the case of death (of husband) in both permanent and temporary marriages will be four months and ten days, unless the wife is pregnant when the uddeh comes to an end with the birth of the child provided that the interval between the death of the husband and the birth of the child is longer than four months and 10 days: if not, the period of uddeh will be the same four months and 10 days.

Article 1155 – There is no Iddah in the case of a wife who has not had any matrimonial intercourse with her husband, or in the case of a wife beyond the age of conception who is not affected by any uddeh for divorce or for dissolution of marriage. But the uddeh for death must be observed in both cases.

Article 1156 – The wife of a continuously absent husband whose whereabouts are unknown, if divorced by a judge, must observe uddah for death, starting from the date on which the divorce was granted

Article 1157- A woman who has had matrimonial relations by way of mistake with someone must observe the uddah laid down in cases of divorce.

Next: Chapter 4- On Children