UAE Divorce Law: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Article 1 of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 sets out the grounds on which a husband may divorce his wife. It also provides that if parties or couples resident in UAE who are from a foreign country can divorce in the UAE, they may request that the law of their home country be applied.

UAE Divorce Law: What are the Options for Divorce and Maintenance for a Wife

To start the divorce process in the UAE, the husband or the wife may file a divorce case with the personal status court, accompanied by certain documents. Once the case is filed, the personal status court will set a date for the first meeting before a conciliator.

An amicable divorce may be finalized if the conciliator’s attempt to save the marriage is unsuccessful. The parties must write a settlement agreement in English and Arabic and sign it before the conciliator. 

If the divorce is contentious and complicated, the conciliator will issue the claimant a referral letter allowing them to continue to court to have their divorce case resolved. Engaging an advocate is advised in this situation. At the first hearing, the court will decide whether to grant a divorce and, if so, on what terms. A contested divorce is generally more expensive and time-consuming than an amicable divorce. The court may also order compensation for maintenance, child custody, visitation, and support.

If the divorce is contentious, the husband or wife must file a petition for divorce with the court. The petition must state the grounds on which the divorce is being sought. The grounds for divorce in the UAE are:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Mental illness
  • Physical illness
  • Refusal to perform marital duties
  • Arrest or imprisonment
  • Ill-treatment

The petition must also include a request for child custody, visitation, support, and division of property.

Once the petition is filed, the court will set a date for the first hearing. At the first hearing, the court will decide whether to grant the divorce and, if so, on what terms. The court may also make orders regarding child custody, visitation, and support.

If the parties have minor children, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the children. A guardian ad litem is an impartial third party representing the children’s best interests.

The guardian ad litem will investigate the family situation and recommend child custody, visitation, and support to the court.

The parties may go to trial if they cannot agree on a divorce settlement. At trial, each party will present evidence and testimony to support their position. After hearing all the evidence, the judge will decide on the divorce and issue a divorce decree.

A General Overview of the Divorce Process in UAE

The divorce process in the UAE generally consists of the following steps:

  1. Filing a petition for divorce with the court
  2. Serving the petition on the other party
  3. Appearing at a hearing before a judge
  4. Obtaining a divorce decree from the court
  5. Registering the divorce decree with the government

Evidence must be presented to the court to show that the grounds for divorce have been met. The burden of proof is on the party who is seeking the divorce.

Either party may appeal the divorce decision within 28 days of the date of the divorce decree.

What is the simplest and fastest way for Expats to divorce in Dubai, UAE?

If you have a resident visa in Dubai, the fastest way to conclude a divorce is by seeking mutual consent from your spouse. This means that both you and your spouse agree to the divorce and have no objections to any of the terms, including the division of property and custody of any children.

My partner filed for divorce in Dubai, and I filed for divorce in India. Is my Indian divorce valid in Dubai?

Your divorce might still be valid as long as none of your files was pronounced during the proceedings in India.

Is it possible for me to conduct the divorce procedure in the UAE, regardless of my wife’s desire to have it done in her native country?

Yes. Expats can file for divorce in the UAE regardless of their spouse’s nationality or country of residence. However, it is important to note that if your spouse does not reside in the UAE, they may not be required to attend hearings or sign any documents. In such cases, the court may rely on your testimony and evidence to make a decision on the divorce.

How do I get a divorce from my Indian husband while in UAE?

Even if you were married in accordance with the Hindu Marriage Act, you can file for divorce in the UAE. You will need to provide the court with evidence that your marriage was registered in India and that you currently live in the UAE. The court may also ask for proof of your husband’s whereabouts.

By mutually consenting to the divorce, both parties can make the process simpler and faster. You may need to go to trial if you and your husband cannot agree on the divorce terms. In such cases, it is recommended that you hire a lawyer to represent you in court.

If your spouse is outside the UAE, how do you get a mutual divorce?

According to Article 1 of Federal Law No. 28, UAE citizens and residents can file for divorce in the UAE regardless of their spouse’s nationality or country of residence (with the exception of Muslims). In such cases, the court may rely on your testimony and evidence to make a decision on the divorce.

An easy and fast way to get a divorce when both parties agree is to consent to the divorce mutually. This means that both you and your spouse agree to the divorce and have no objections to any of the terms, including the division of property and custody of any children.

You may need to go to trial if you and your husband cannot agree on the divorce terms. In such cases, it is recommended that you hire a lawyer to represent you in court.

If my spouse and I live in different countries, how can we get a divorce through the Philippine expat process?

Philippines law does not allow for divorce. However, if your spouse is a Filipino citizen, you may be able to file for legal separation or annulment. You will need to follow Sharia law if you are married to a Muslim.

Is it possible for me to keep my kid from traveling without my permission after I get divorced?

If you have been granted primary custody of your child, you may be able to prevent them from traveling without your permission. You will need to provide the court with evidence that the travel would not be in the child’s best interest. The court may also ask for a certified copy of the passport and travel itinerary.

How can I register the divorce of a Muslim couple in the UAE?

You can register your divorce at the Sharia Court if you are a Muslim couple living in the UAE. You will need to provide your marriage contract and evidence that you have fulfilled the requirements for divorce under Sharia law. The court may also ask for additional documents, such as proof of residency and income. To get a certificate for divorce, you will need 2 witnesses.

What are the rights of a Muslim woman who has children during divorce?

A divorcing Muslim woman may be entitled to alimony and child support, including housing, DEWA, and school expenses from her ex-husband. She may also be granted custody of her children, although this is not always the case. The court will consider the best interests of the child when deciding on custody.

After my divorce, my child’s father is in violation of the terms of child support and custody. What resort do I have?

If your ex-husband is not following the terms of child support or custody, you can file a complaint, and you should open a file in the execution with the department of personal affairs. 

My wife and I are going through a divorce. Can I impose a travel restriction on my child to keep her in the UAE?

As a parent or the child’s sponsor, you may be able to impose a travel restriction or travel ban on your child’s passport to prevent them from leaving the UAE. You will need to provide the court with evidence that the travel would not be in the child’s best interest. 

In order to put a travel ban on your daughter, you must file for divorce in UAE courts, and then only you can request a travel ban for your daughter.

What You Need To Know About Family Law
How To File For Divorce In UAE: A Full Guide
UAE Divorce Law: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
All About Divorce Contracts In UAE

If you’re considering a divorce in the UAE, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process. With their help, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that your divorce is handled correctly.

You may visit us for a legal consultation, Kindly email us at legal@lawyersuae.com or call us +971506531334 +971558018669 (A consultation fee may apply)

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