Divorce in the UAE is regulated by UAE law, or Sharia law, with different procedures and jurisdictions for Muslims and non-Muslims seeking divorce in the country. This article outlines the fundamental divorce processes according to UAE laws.
Divorce Methods in Dubai, UAE:
In the case of Muslims, either the husband or wife must declare “Talaq” (which means “I divorce you” in Arabic) in the presence of a witness. To ensure legal recognition, the divorce should be registered in court, providing essential documentary evidence for future reference.
Non-Muslims seeking divorce should initiate the process by filing a divorce application in court. Following the filing, the parties involved in the dispute will be directed to the Family Guidance Center for reconciliation attempts. If reconciliation efforts prove unsuccessful, the case will be forwarded to the Court of First Instance.
Categories of Divorce in Sharia Law
Revocable Divorce: This type of divorce permits the parties to maintain a valid marriage until the completion of a 3-month waiting period.
Irrevocable Divorce: In this case, the marriage immediately terminates upon the divorce taking place.
Acceptable Grounds for Divorce Encompass
- Divorce based on defects
- Divorce due to deception
- Nonpayment of dowry
- Harm or disputes
- Inadequate financial support
- Divorce due to one party’s absence
- Divorce due to abandonment.
Steps to Initiate a Divorce
1. Filing the Complaint
– The divorce process commences when a couple decides to part ways. Their first action is to file a formal complaint with the Personal Status Courts.
2. Counseling Session
– Following the complaint filing, the court schedules a counseling session at the Family Guidance Center. The Family Guidance Committee’s role is to facilitate reconciliation between the spouses before resorting to separation. While the committee members lack legal qualifications, they possess mediation experience. They meet with both parties, and if reconciliation seems unlikely, the matter proceeds to court.
3. Amicable Settlement
– At this stage, amicable divorces can be finalized. The involved parties must collaborate to draft a settlement based on their mutual understanding.
4. Court Referral
– Should one or both parties insist on divorce despite counseling efforts, the case is referred to the court for a formal resolution.
5. Child Maintenance Assessment
– The court assesses the child’s quality of life during the marriage to determine appropriate child custody arrangements. Some of the child maintenance expenses claimed by the wife include:
– Medical expenses
– Housing rent
– Educational costs
– Career allowance, which is contingent upon the husband’s income.
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