1. The first task of the National Spiritual Assembly is to attempt to reconcile the couple, but if it finds that this is not possible and that an irreconcilable antipathy exists, it must register the beginning of the year of waiting. The Assembly may meet with the couple together or separately in its attempts to reconcile them. If there are compelling reasons for doing so, the Assembly may set a date retroactively for the beginning of the year of waiting, but this date can in no case be earlier than the last day the couple separated with the intention of having a divorce.
"2. Attempts at reconciliation should continue during the year of waiting. Divorce, though permitted in the Bahá’í Faith, is abhorred and it is the hope that during the year of waiting the couple may become reconciled and divorce avoided.
"3. With this in mind, it is more within the spirit of Bahá’í Law for Bahá’ís to postpone the initiation of civil proceedings, (if the law of the country requires a civil divorce) until the end of the year of waiting. However, if such postponement gives rise to inequity or to a legal prejudice against the possibility of a civil divorce, it is, of course, permissible for the civil proceedings to be initiated during the year of waiting.
"4. In most countries a civil divorce is required and, where this is so, the Bahá’í divorce does not become effective until the civil divorce has been granted. If the year of waiting has run its course when the civil divorce is granted, the Bahá’í divorce becomes automatically effective on the date. If the couple become reconciled before the grating of the civil divorce, even if the year of waiting has already elapsed, they have merely to inform the Spiritual Assembly and resume their marital status.
"5. In case the civil divorce is actually granted before the end of the year of waiting and the couple become reconciled with that time between the granting of the civil divorce and the end of the year of waiting, they are, of course, still married in the eyes of the Bahá’í Law and need only a civil marriage to restore the marriage bond.
"6. The parties to a divorce must live apart in separate residences during the year of waiting. Any cohabitation of the parties stops the running of the year of waiting. If thereafter a divorce is desired a new date for the beginning of a new year of waiting must be set by the Assembly.
"7. It is the responsibility of the husband to provide support for his wife and children during the year of waiting.
"8. It is the responsibility of the Assembly to assist the divorced couple to arrive at an amicable settlement of their financial affairs and arrangement for the custody and support of the children rather than let these matters be a subject of litigation in the civil courts. If the Assembly is unable to bring the couple to an agreement on such matters then their only recourse is to civil court. "These are some of the general guidelines your Assembly should have in mind in divorce cases...