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Alimony for Spouse and Children Following Divorce in the United Arab Emirates

The dissolution of marriage results in the emergence of rights and obligations for both individuals bound by the marital agreement, frequently leading to disputes. Following the UAE Personal Status Law, Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, we will elucidate the various forms of spousal and child support that are mandated for women (divorced or widowed spouses) and children following a divorce.

Legal provision regarding spousal support under Federal Law

Under Article 63 of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 Concerning Personal Status, also known as the “Personal Status Law,” it is the husband’s responsibility to provide financial support for his wife and children. This support encompasses:

  1. Providing for the wife’s basic needs, including food, clothing, medical expenses, and any additional necessities arising from the marital relationship, such as domestic help if she resides with her family,.
  2. The specific amount of support shall be determined based on the husband’s financial capacity, the health of the dependents, and prevailing local and global economic conditions. However, the support amount should always meet the minimum essential requirements.
  3. The inspection certificate serves as a valid document for establishing the nature of support, the extent of custodial responsibilities, the household arrangements, and the conditions under which any resolved issues about the aforementioned aspects depend.

Unfulfilled spousal support obligations following divorce

  • Muta’a Alimony

In cases where a husband unilaterally decides to terminate a legally binding marriage without the wife’s request, the woman is entitled to receive Muta’a Alimony. This provision is outlined in Article 140 of Law No. 28 of 2005, which pertains to Personal status.

Article 140 of Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005 stipulates: “If a husband unilaterally divorces his wife from a legally consummated marriage without her request, she may be eligible for additional compensation, depending on the husband’s financial circumstances, in addition to the alimony during the waiting period.”

The woman can receive compensation in addition to the regular alimony during the waiting period if the husband unilaterally chooses to divorce her from a legally consummated marriage, as recognized by the law. The amount of this compensation, which should not exceed the equivalent of a year’s worth of alimony paid to any spouse in a similar situation, depends on the husband’s financial situation. The court may decide on installment payments for this compensation based on the husband’s financial solvency or bankruptcy, taking into full consideration the suffering experienced by the party who did not initiate the divorce when determining the compensation amount

  • Alimony for the Wife during the Idda (waiting period)

In cases of reversible divorce, the divorcee is entitled to receive support and alimony during the Idda, as stipulated in Article 69 of the 2005 Personal Status Law No. 28. Support and accommodation are provided to the divorcee during this waiting period, commonly known as “idda.” In cases of a non-retractable divorce, if the divorced woman is pregnant, she is entitled to both support and accommodation and if not, only accommodation is provided. This support covers expenses such as housing, clothing, food, and medical care. It’s important to note that widowed women do not receive alimony during this period. However, a widowed wife is allowed to continue residing in the marital home for a specified period, typically ten days and four months following local law, as per Article 70. It’s worth mentioning that widows do not receive alimony during the waiting period following their husband’s death, although they can remain in the marital home during their Idda period.

The specific amount of alimony is determined at the discretion of the judge. According to Article 63(2) of the 2005 Personal Status Law No. 28, when determining the appropriate amount of alimony, factors such as the sufficiency level, the debtor’s ability to pay, the beneficiary’s circumstances, and the economic conditions must all be taken into consideration.

  • Child Support in the UAE

Following the UAE’s Personal Status legislation, the following individuals qualify for child support:

Article 78 of the Personal Status Law of 2005 No. 28 stipulates that a father is obliged to provide child support to a young child who lacks other financial means, until the girl gets married or the boy attains an age at which self-sufficiency is feasible, except when the boy is a student actively pursuing his education.

In cases where an older child is incapable of supporting themselves due to a disability or other circumstances, the father is responsible for providing child support.

Should a child lack the financial resources necessary for their upkeep, it becomes the father’s responsibility to ensure that the required amount is provided within the aforementioned limitations.

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Article 79 highlights that “the father is responsible for covering the expenses of a nursing child if the mother is unable to nurse, and this is considered child support.”

Even though the mother is the caregiver, the father is obligated to cover the children’s expenses, which encompass provisions such as food, clothing (including special occasion attire, winter and summer wear, and school uniforms), housing, medical care, educational fees, and custodial support. The determination of the child support amount is exclusively within the purview of the presiding judge.

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Seeking the expertise of a UAE Family Lawyer at GA Lawyers and Legal Consultants

When dealing with financial matters related to alimony and child support cases in the UAE, it is crucial to enlist the services of a proficient UAE family lawyer. Securing a fair alimony arrangement for the wife in divorce proceedings within the UAE necessitates the guidance of a skilled UAE family lawyer who can effectively advocate for the appropriate level of support throughout the ongoing legal battle. Our top-tier UAE family lawyers possess the expertise to meticulously highlight every aspect of the case, compelling the court to grant the spouse the maximum possible support benefits. Throughout your pursuit of a maintenance claim, we will stand by your side, ensuring that the judge is thoroughly informed about your historical and current circumstances, as well as your requirements for a successful outcome.

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