Marriage is an essential institution that forms the foundation of society in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, despite the traditional emphasis on family values, marriage dissolution cases have become increasingly common in recent years. The dissolution of a marriage is a challenging and emotional process for both parties involved, requiring a comprehensive understanding of UAE’s legal framework and cultural nuances.
In the UAE, marriage dissolution cases fall under the jurisdiction of Islamic law (Sharia law). Sharia courts handle family matters, including divorce and custody disputes. To seek a divorce, either party must submit a formal application to the court, providing valid reasons as per Islamic law. The most common grounds for divorce include incompatibility, adultery, cruelty, and failure to fulfill marital duties.
Unlike many Western countries where a “no-fault” divorce is granted, the process of marriage dissolution in the UAE can be lengthy and complicated. The court typically initiates reconciliation attempts, and if unsuccessful, the case proceeds to arbitration before a judgment is issued. This approach aims to promote reconciliation and preserve the sanctity of marriage.
Alongside the emotional distress, marriage dissolution often involves complex financial and custody matters. The UAE follows the principle of reasonable distribution, meaning that marital assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally between spouses. This distribution may encompass real estate, financial assets, and other possessions acquired during the marriage. Child custody is another significant aspect of marriage dissolution cases. Sharia courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements.