UAE Divorce Law

Divorce has taken off all over the world, and the UAE is certainly not an exception. According to newspaper stories, divorce rates in the UAE are among the highest in the Gulf region. The following are some of the reasons behind this high rate in the country: marital infidelity, job loss, poor communication, financial strain, religious & cultural differences.

The end of an engagement is always a heartbreaking time, and the strain can be increased if one or both parties are unaware of the procedures. Because many expatriates prefer to file for divorce in UAE because it is considerably faster and easier than their home country, obtaining an annulment in UAE is frequently preferred by them over filing in their motherland.

An Outline of Divorce in UAE

Getting a legal separation in the UAE is not unusual; however, the UAE has the highest divorce rate in the Gulf region. In 2018, 984 divorcement certificates were issued by the Statistics Centre in Dubai. The Personal Status Court is responsible for both ex-pats and Emiratis, and it can give an annulment certificate within a month of application

The legal framework for divorce in UAE

When you file for divorce in UAE, you’ll have to consider a variety of things. The most important of them all is why the pair is seeking a divorce. You will have to fulfill any conditions that you can meet. Even though there is no specific waiting period before separating, one of the couples must have a UAE residence visa to initiate a divorce.

In the event that both individuals are unable to come to an agreement, the divorce procedure must be taken through the appropriate court. In such instances, it will be considered a contentious divorce, therefore the person starting it must supply a cause and demonstrate why they believe their marriage should end. There may be a variety of reasons why a couple decides to end their marriage contract.

Many factors cause couples to separate, including marital infidelity, job loss, poor communication, financial strain, religious and cultural differences, social media, generational change, and unrealistic expectations.

It’s also important to keep in mind that your separation may have unforeseen consequences. While adultery provides a valid cause for divorce, it is also considered a criminal offense in the UAE, therefore the accused adulterer may be subject to prosecution and deportation following the divorce judgment. In order to avoid getting into an ugly legal battle, it’s best to choose an amicable settlement rather than furnishing such kind of accusation.

  • Adultery: Unfaithfulness is to blame for the dissolution of many marriages across the world, including those in the United Arab Emirates. It’s a crime in UAE to have an illicit love affair or any sexual relationship without being married. Providing convincing proof of infidelity may be difficult because you’ll need greater evidence than suspicions and a glint of evidence.
  • Abuse:In the event of a divorce case, when the petitioner, who has been maltreated throughout the marital relationship by one party, must take additional actions. Abuse in this scenario might be mental or bodily, but both provide for a divorce judgment. The petitioner is responsible for verifying the claim through supporting documentation. In addition, two individuals must verify the allegations.
  • Desertion – Desertion/abandonment occurs when one spouse leaves the wedlock without the consent of the other. To acquire a legal basis, the departure must have been persistent for a reasonable length of time.
What do you do as long as your visa depends on your wedding?

The silver lining to being separated in the UAE is that if you are a woman, you do not need to leave the country after your divorce, as per new visa rules implemented by the UAE for female divorcees. This new rule allows a divorced woman and her children to stay in the UAE for up to one year after their split, which could be even extended to 2 years.

In the situation of a husband sponsored by his wife, this rule does not apply, and as a result, the spouse visa under wife sponsorship will be canceled during divorce proceedings and he will have to obtain a work or investment visa to remain in the UAE.

Things to be reviewed for obtaining a Judicial Separation in UAE
  • Custody of the Children & Child support

The custodian is usually the mother under UAE law, although the guardian is the father. The expense of all of these must be paid by the father who is the guardian, including daily care, education, religious instruction, medical treatment, and accommodation. A mother wanting to obtain custody of her minor child must establish that she is sane, mature, honest, and free from communicable illnesses, and able to care for the kid. She will not be permitted to marry again without court approval unless she demonstrates that she has sufficiently vindicated her rationality, maturity, honesty, and freedom from contagious diseases. If the father is married to someone who can care for the kid, such as a family member at his home, he may seek custody in unusual situations.

  • Property Division

Another factor to consider is the property and other assets in a divorce. In general, each party may keep all of their possessions or property on their own name, however, if joint assets, such as bank accounts, are involved, the judge will split them equally between the two parties. Judges frequently give a marital home to the custodian so that the kid may have a typical childhood while his or her parents’ divorce.

  • Spousal Maintenance

After the divorce decree is signed, the husband is required to financially assist his ex-wife. He is responsible for providing his ex-wife and children with clothing, food, and housing in accordance with local custom. He must also pay for the education of his children and the remuneration of house employees, such as a driver and maid. His spouse’s maintenance costs might reach up to 30% of his income, but he can pay more if he wants to. A wife, on the other hand, does not have to provide her spouse with any type of assistance. A wife also loses her right to food if she leaves her husband for sex or refuses to travel with him in such circumstances, as when she abandons her marital home and refuses her husband for sex or declines to accompany him.

The procedure of getting annulment in UAE

In reality, if the parties can reach a quick settlement, this procedure takes only a month, which is referred to as divorce by mutual consent. There is no legal justification for digging out after the parties have reached an amicable agreement, so the procedure becomes simpler and less time-consuming.

The first stage in the divorce process is conciliation. The pair would attempt to negotiate or come to an agreement at this point in time. Both parties must present their marriage certificate, passport and visa copies of all including their children (if any), which should all be translated into Arabic. This phase lasts for three months, after which you may go two ways if it isn’t resolved.

If two parties are unable to reach an agreement, this instance will be sent to the court of First Instance in such circumstances. After it is filed, the defense will respond, and the claimant will rebut it, continuing as long as the required time period for each Judge to rule on the case has not elapsed.

After the judgment is issued, both parties will have 28 days to appeal. The Appeal Court’s procedure is similar to that of the First Instance Court, with the exception that it is headed by three judges instead of one. The court of Cessation reviews all documents in the case to ensure that due process was followed after the final decision is rendered. In this phase, no new evidence from either party will be accepted. Finally, the judgement will be carried out by the Enforcement Court.

Preferences to get Legal Separation in UAE

In the UAE, mediation has grown in popularity as a divorce procedure. The choice for mediation is because it is less expensive, faster, more flexible, and less contentious than litigation. Mediation commonly necessitates that both parties attend numerous meetings – each lasting many hours – to discuss important issues and reach an agreement. Once the spouses agree on terms, the divorce process could be expedited in court.

Terminating a Marital Partnership in UAE

In the United Arab Emirates, civil partnerships/marital partnerships are recognized, but not in all instances due to the influence of Sharia Law. In such situations, marital/civil partnerships among certain individuals become void. This includes gay relationships and matrimony between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man.