Category: Family Law

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Divorce Process in UAE for Muslim Couples

The Legal Process of Divorce in UAE for Muslim Couples

Islamic marriages are governed by the Sharia law so as the legal dissolution of marriage. Despite the troublesome and complicated process of terminating marriage, divorce rates continuously increases, and marriage qualities have significantly changed.

Commencement of divorce case in UAE entails certain requirements to be met such as: the couple must be resident of UAE for at least six months prior to the filing for divorce. In addition, it is important to note that filing divorce must be supported with legal grounds such as, but not limited to; Mental incapacity, Disability, Adultery, Abuse, Desertion and other legal grounds permissible under Sharia law.

Under Sharia law, there are two types of divorce – revocable and irrevocable. In revocable divorce, the marriage remains valid within the waiting period of three months. After this period, should the parties reconcile, they can do so by entering into a new marriage contract. On the other hand, irrecoverable divorce terminates the marriage as soon as the decree issued.

Brief summary of filing divorce in United Arab Emirates for Muslim couples are as follows:

  • Divorce proceeding can be filed by the husband or by the wife. The initial step requires the case to be registered at the Family Guidance Section at the respective judicial department in one of the emirates.
  • Thereafter, the court will then appoint conciliator who will initiate a reconciliation proceeding between the parties. This is an indispensable process under UAE law. During this proceeding, divorcing parties will be entitled to address their concerns about the marriage. This can be done even in the absence of their respective legal representatives.
  • If amicable settlement fails and one of the parties or both are determined to dissolve their marriage, then the conciliator will issue a referral letter granting them permission to elevate the matter before the court and determine the conclusion of the divorce case.
  • Once the referral letter is issued, this letter can be submitted before the court within three months from the date of issuance.
  • Once the court obtains jurisdiction over the divorce case and subject to the court’s discretion, divorcing parties will be directed to provide their corresponding evidence to support their respective claims and lay down their own defense.

In addition, UAE government issued recent amendment towards divorce cases by virtue of Federal Law Number 8 of 2019 amending Federal. The following are the most significant amendments encompassing divorce proceedings and case determination:

  1. Under the new law, if the wife filed the divorce under grounds of adultery and she fails to prove the accusations, the case can be dismissed right away and no appeal will be permitted
  2. Under Article 118(2) of the new Law an order must be issued within 90 days from the date of appointment of conciliator. However, if conciliator fails to reconcile the parties, settlement proposal must be recommended to the court, and copy must be provided to the divorcing parties.
  3. Under Article 120 of the new law, if the parties fail to reconcile, the following will be considered:
    1. if it is proven to be the husband’s fault, the wife can seek divorce and other financial rights.
    2. if it is proven to be the wife’s fault, it can be dealt with in the following two ways: (i) divorce will be granted divorce upon paying a certain amount of compensation; or, (ii) unless husband request to maintain the marriage, the court, subject to the court’s discretion to preserving the marriage, can reject the divorce.
  • Under Article 120(4) of the new Law, if the conciliator fails to reconcile both parties due to mutual mistake of both parties, conciliator can order either party to pay compensation on pro-rata basis to the other one who is less guilty or get the divorce without any compensation. However, under Article 120 (5) of the new law, if the parties cannot reconcile and the reason behind filing for divorce is unknown or cannot be located, there can be two options: (i) If the husband is the applicant for divorce, the conciliator can recommend dismissing the case; (ii) Whereas, if the case has been registered by the wife, the conciliator will choose whether to issue an order for divorce with a lump sum amount or to dismiss the case in the interest of preserving the family.

When arranging a divorce, seek the advice of our team having a specialist divorce lawyers in Dubai (with knowledge of local Sharia law). We are ready and willing to handle your legal matter

child abduction case dubai uae

Child Abduction by Parents in UAE

There are increasing numbers of child abduction cases in UAE due to broken marriages where it is common for divorced or separated parents to contend for child custody.

For abduction cases where the father is a Muslim and mother is a non-Muslim importance will be given to the Muslim father because UAE is an Islamic state whereas in case of both being non-Muslim and non-nationals then laws of their land will be given preference. In case there is a UAE resident involved then local courts will favors the resident by applying local laws thus making the foreign laws non-applicable.

UAE is very strict when it comes to child abduction making it impossible for the abducted child in UAE to return.

To return abducted children to their country of residence or to the uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act, for which the UAE is not a part of 1980 Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

For the welfare of children, UAE follows its own federal laws even though they have bilateral ties with other countries.

These child abduction cases are viewed as enforcing child custody whereas serious abduction cases are to be dealt with by family lawyers as criminal cases. For the return of the abducted child to the parent, one must make an application through the UAE courts.

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child protection law in dubai

Child Protection Law Against Child Abuse In The UAE

Child Protection in the UAE | Children Protection Law in UAE

New laws were introduced to the UAE in June 2016 relating to the child abuse and protection of children’s rights. For the first time, individuals responsible for the care of a child were made accountable for their actions and the safety of the children under their care.

The law is often referred to as Wadeema’s Law in memory of the late young Emirati girl who died as a result of the type of abuse the legislation was put in place to prevent.

Two child protection centers have been set up in Dubai whereas in Abu Dhabi, social workers are made available at the child affairs prosecution service to assist in cases related to children. They have the authority to remove a child if their life is in danger.

There is a hotline number to call to report incidents involving possible abuse of a child. You can call 116111 to register a complaint or concern of this matter.

If a parent reports child abuse, they will be connected to a lawyer for free advice whereas, if a child reports a case, action will be taken against those taking care of the child. The punishment for abusing or mistreating a child may vary from financial measures such as a fine or possibly jail.

As a general guide, the penalty for serious offences relating to child abuse can typically be a fine of Dh. 50,000 and 10 years in jail.

Local officials are already trying to persuade schools to hire specialist child psychologists and hospitals are being urged to implement a suitable reporting structure. This will help doctors and teachers recognize the signs of child abuse which many children suffer in silence and assist them in knowing the correct actions to follow.

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adoption law in dubai

Laws of Adoption in UAE

Adoption Law in UAE | Family Lawyers – Assistance on Legal Process on how to adopt child in UAE

There are a growing number of cases where adoption is authorized in the UAE. Entering a sexual relationship outside of marriage is a crime in the UAE and offenders may face serious criminal charges. Sadly, in some instances, children born from such relationships are sometimes abandoned to avoid these circumstances but the law makes allowances for these children to be taken care of.

Under Islamic Law, it is forbidden to adopt a child because it interferes with ancestry but it allows that an abandoned child can benefit from the love and care of a family. In such circumstances, a court order is required to give that child the family name of the adopting parents.

UAE nationals are not permitted to adopt but expats may do so if the law of their home country gives them permission to do so. The option allows expats residing in UAE to adopt children from countries other than UAE provided they follow all the rules and regulations governing the process.

The UAE law is structured to support an abandoned child and may even give UAE citizenship and a passport in some cases, according to Article 2(e) of the Federal Law (1975).  Our expert family lawyers are happy to assist with the process of legally adopting a child into your home.

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divorce law in dubai

After Effects of Divorce in UAE

After Effects of Divorce in UAE – Hire Divorce Lawyer in Dubai

There is no escape from the after effects of a divorce in UAE. The rules and laws for divorce in your home country can apply here in the UAE according to Article 1 of ‘UAE Personal Status Law’ (commonly known as ‘Shariah Law’).

As an expat you may be unclear of many areas of the law, particularly in relation to divorce and court proceeding in the UAE. There may also be complications relating to claiming legal rights for the husband, the wife and the children.

As a Muslim man you can divorce your wife by saying ‘I divorce you’ three times and you will be separated according to the UAE law. However, women cannot do the same. There are provisions to allow a Muslim woman to divorce her husband for incidences such as domestic violence or inability or failure to provide financial support. Another method for a woman to divorce from her husband is Khula. It should be remembered however that if following this path, she will lose the dowry (the money to be paid by her husband for releasing her from the marriage).

How to file for divorce proceedings? This will depend on the specific details of the case. If, for example, a woman is earning money to support the family and has family assets in her name, Dubai court could be the most beneficial place to file if the intention is not to pay money to her husband. This path would also help in ensuring she retains custody of the children and she keep all her assets in her name.

UK courts can be more beneficial if a husband was earning to support the family, you have joint assets and if you need to consider pension earnings now or in the future.

In reality, there isn’t one solution that applies to all cases and it is imperative that you seek professional guidance that is tailored for your specific circumstances.

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