Learning UAE’s Divorce Laws
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All UAE residents – Emiratis, Ex-pats, Muslims and Non-Muslims – are expected to follow Article 1 of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005. So, all residents living/working in UAE with a valid residency visa can apply for divorce through UAE’s family courts.
To commence the proceedings, one should first seek specific advice from a divorce lawyer in Dubai to understand whether UAE falls under proper jurisdictions to start the proceeding. Several factors are to be checked before proceedings, like the agreements between the parties, the location of the assets, agreement on matters related to children, etc.
When both parties agree to proceed on an amicable and uncontested basis, the divorce proceeding can begin when the parties submit an application under the Sharia law and agree to the terms before engaging in the court process.
Maintenance: The personal status law showcases the maintenance available to a wife and children of the marriage. UAE Family Court Lawyer can help you advise on the expected level of maintenance bearing in mind the personal status of both parties.
Assets and debts: Asset and debts both are considered in a divorce proceeding. Suppose one party holds the title for an asset in their name or is liable for debt in their sole name. In the absence of evidence that the other partner has contributed to the asset, the legal titleholder may be considered to have the sole ownership. The same aspect applies to the contents of UAE bank accounts in the name of one sole party.
Children: The rights in respect of children vary depending on the role of the parent. The mother is the default custodian, and the father is the guardian. Custody and guardianship of a child are two different aspects that need to be addressed individually.
Process: After online registration, the parties will be invited for a meeting with the court counsellor. The counsellor will discuss the case and the difficulties in marriage. The parties can try to iron out their differences or even reach a settlement. If not, then the case goes to the first instance court. Both parties will have a local advocate to represent them. After a judgement is made, either party will have thirty days to appeal.
If it becomes a contested divorce, the process will take time and concur many expenses. The amount of time taken to conclude a case depends on how complicated the case is and can go up to three to six months or longer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After qualifying as a lawyer in his native Egypt within the fields of Criminal and Public Law, Dr. Mohsen Elhais has been practicing as a Legal Consultant in Dubai.