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Divorce Lawyers in Dubai

Divorce Lawyers in Dubai

Divorces in Dubai are filed for various reasons, including marital infidelity, lack of communication, financial strain, cultural differences or unrealistic expectations. When a marriage in Dubai breaks down, couples must address the appropriate Dubai court in order to end the union. The Sharia Law applies to Islamic marriages and divorces in Dubai, while non-Muslim divorces are governed by other laws. Our divorce lawyers in Dubai can help you file for divorce and offer you legal representation during the procedure.

Reasons to get a divorce in Dubai

If in other countries, couples seeking to terminate their marriage must provide a reason for divorce, this is not the case in the UAE. Also, in this state, there is no minimum separation period before filing a divorce petition, which makes the entire procedure easier.

Cultural and religious differences, the loss of employment in the case of one of the spouses are reasons that can lead to divorce in Dubai, even so, these will not be taken into account in court, only the desire to get divorced will be.

There are, however, legal grounds under which one can request a divorce, such as mental illness, a criminal offense, and adultery when seeking a fast process. Our divorce lawyers in Dubai can review your case and offer the necessary counseling.

Divorce according to ethnicity in Dubai

Dubai is an international financial center, where many business owners open companies and handle various affairs. This is why, the number of foreign citizens living here is quite important. According to the laws, non-Muslims and non-natives in Dubai can benefit from specific regulations and can make an application for divorce in the UAE even if the marriage was not concluded there. Muslim couples can divorce according to the Sharia Law. The first step is to register the divorce at the Moral and Family Guidance Section belonging to the Dubai Courts. A marriage counselor will try to reconcile the parties, but if no compromise is made, the case is sent to court.

Non-Muslim and non-native couples living in Dubai can apply for divorce in Dubai. Non-Muslims, who were married in Dubai, can divorce according to the laws in their native country. However, it is important to know that if non-Muslim couples decide to divorce in Dubai, the Sharia Law will apply for child custody and support and the division of assets. The law in the native country can be different from the Sharia Law and it is recommended that couples seek the help of adivorce lawyer in Dubai in this case.

The procedure, explained by our divorce lawyers in Dubai

Regardless of the reasons that brought the separation, couples wanting to divorce in Dubai are required to go through a conciliation period. During this time, both parties can express their complaints and issues and discuss them. This is done without the presence of the legal representative. During this stage, the couple can agree upon amicable divorce. If this is their wish, they will have to draft a settlement and sign it before a qualified conciliator. This settlement may be freely agreed upon and it does not necessarily need to comply with the UAE laws or the specific Sharia regulations. When the parties can agree upon the division of assets and other matters, the divorce procedure can take only a few months. If an agreement is not possible and the divorce is settled in court, the procedure will last longer.

After the counsellor has met the parties and they have agreed to the divorce, the case is referred to the competent judge. The procedure takes place in the presence of two witnesses. Copies of the four persons’ identification documents must be submitted and also a copy of the marriage contract. If you want to divorce , one of our divorce lawyers in Dubai who has knowledge of the Sharia Law can help you.

Foreign citizens getting divorced in Dubai

The number of foreign citizens living in Dubai is one of the largest in the entire UAE. Most of them come here for work which is why they bring family members along. There are cases where these decide to get divorced and if they want to complete their procedures in their home countries, they have the possibility of obtaining a decision in this sense from a court in Dubai.

As most foreign citizens know, the UAE is a Muslim country which is why the legislation here is different from that of Western states. Even so, thanks to the fact that the government is keen on attracting foreign investors and workforce, non-Muslims can file for divorce in accordance with the laws of their countries. All they need to do is file a petition in this sense, case in which our divorce lawyers in Dubai can help. The petition can be filed in accordance with Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 for Personal Affairs.

Making this decision implies that the law in the husband’s country of origin will apply in terms of personal status and belongings that need to be divided between the spouses. However, there can also be exceptions from these rules, and where such exceptions apply, the UAE law will be enabled.

An important requirement for foreign citizens to get divorced in Dubai is for them to be UAE residents for at least 6 months prior to filing the petition. Having a divorce lawyer by your side when seeking to terminate a marriage as a foreigner in Dubai is critical for the completion of the procedure in good terms.

Once a divorce decree is issued, foreign citizens can have it enforced when they return to their home country.  Foreign citizens coming to Dubai also have various options in terms of starting a business, a case where our lawyers can help you.

You might  also need to hire a lawyer or legal counselor to assist you with the application process and to help you locate investment possibilities in the UAE because the investment visa for Dubai falls under a separate category than regular visas. For such cases, our immigration lawyers in Dubai can offer tailored assistance in accordance with its requirements.

A new type of visa that has been enabled by the UAE government is the freelance visa. Its main feature is that it enables citizens from all over the world to relocate here and work as independent contractors in various sectors. We can also help you apply for a Dubai freelance visa, if you are interested in coming to this Emirate.

British expats divorcing in Dubai

British citizens who reside in the UAE and particularly in Dubai can address to our team of  divorce lawyers in Dubai if they want to separate through a divorce. If the marriage took place in the UK or any other country, this isn’t an impediment to apply for divorce in Dubai, even if you live in the UAE, mentioning that the separation will be made under the laws of the home country. It is important to note that the courts in Dubai have jurisdiction to deal with divorce cases. We can represent you and we can provide complete legal advice if you are from the UK and want to get a divorce in Dubai.

How do I file for divorce in Dubai?

The following steps will explain the ways in which you can file for a divorce in Dubai, mentioning that our team of attorneys in Dubai is at your disposal throughout the entire process:

  1. The registration of the divorce is made with the Moral and Family Guidance Section.
  2. A family guidance officer will be assigned by the Family Guidance Committee in order to work out a reconciliation.
  3. If both spouses consider that there is no place for reconciliation, the officer will issue a letter stating the official separation before going to the court.
  4. Next, the case goes to court where evidence for claiming the divorce is needed.
  5. The division of assets, custody and child support must be established before going to the court for legal separation.

If you want to know more about how you can file for divorce in Dubai, you can rely on the support of our divorce lawyers in Dubai. They can represent you from the beginning and can be your side in the court of law.

The mediation procedure – What is the Family Guidance Committee?

The Family Guidance Committee is associated with the court in Dubai and acts as a mediation or reconciliation center before starting a trial. Both spouses will be invited to a meeting to discuss the separation and the reasons for divorce with a family guidance officer. The representative of the Family Guidance Committee will have to act as a mediator and find ways for reconciliation for spouses. In the case of an agreement, a report will be made, signed by a judge in Dubai, the spouses, and the family guidance officer. In the case the reconciliation is not possible, the officer will have to give permission to send the case to the court where the divorce will take place under specific conditions. You can benefit from complete legal advice if you want to get a divorce from our attorneys in Dubai.

Child custody when getting divorced in Dubai

One of the most sensitive matters when it comes to a divorce in Dubai is child custody. In this case, Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 for Personal Affairs will apply. 

This act states that the mother will be granted custody of minor children, while the father will act as a legal guardian. There are important differences between the two statuses, as explained by our divorce lawyers in Dubai below:

  1. Custody involves taking care of the daily needs of the children.
  2. Guardianship implies providing the financial means for the support of the children. This also means that the father must provide shelter, handle personal and education expenses of the minors. However, he has the right to make decisions about the welfare of the children.

What needs to be considered is that under the UAE legislation, custody and guardianship are treated separately given the fact that the contribution of the parents is not shared in an equal manner. However, when establishing who gets custody, the court will always issue a decision that favors the interests of the children.

A special provisions of Law No.28 is that custody ends as it follows:

  • at the age of 11 in the case of boys;
  • at the age of 13 in the case of girls.

At these ages, father can apply for custody provided that he meets all the requirements below:

  • he is mature and rational;
  • he is able to rear and take care of a child;
  • he does not suffer from an infectious disease;
  • he has not been sentenced for crimes (crimes of honor, according to the Sharia Law).

Honesty is another criterion under which a court can award custody to fathers. Also, once a father is granted the custody of the minors, he must have a female relative to take care of them and must have the same religion as the children.

In case the of mothers who want to keep custody of children, these must have the same religion as the minors, and must not remarry until the court decides such an action is in the best interest of the children.

Custody is an important matter when it comes to ending a marriage and if you need details on the particularities of the law, you can inquire with our divorce lawyers in Dubai.

Assets separation and child support in Dubai

First of all, each spouse is entitled to remain with the personal assets found on their names, after getting separated. However, if the marriage contract stipulates other assets of gifts on behalf of the wife, she has the right to receive them. More than that, if children are involved in a separation, the former husband will have to provide financial support for house rental, education, food, clothing, etc. The cases of financial support that it is not provided according to the previous agreement enter the jurisdiction of Dubai courts if the wife makes a complaint. In most of the cases, the refund will be made for no more than 3 years. All the details regarding assets separation or child support can be offered by one of our divorce lawyers in Dubai.

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How long does it take to get a divorce in Dubai?

The divorce procedure in Dubai may take up to 6 months, even for amicable cases. However, complex divorce cases, where child custody and assets separation is not concluded in the first place, might prolong for a couple of years. It is important to have the support of a lawyer specialized in divorce cases in Dubai and understand the rules and the laws that apply. This is where our Dubai attorneys can give full support and legal guidance if you want to file for divorce in the UAE.

Below you can find some interesting facts and figures about divorce cases in the UAE, provided by GulfNews:

  • according to UAE Statistics Centre, 50% of the marriages registered in this country were dissolved after 3 years;
  • around 28% of the marriages did not surpass the first year, as revealed by studies for 2017;
  • in 2016, there were registered around 6,000 marriages and about 2,000 divorce cases;
  • most of the divorce applications were based on bad communication, as declared by spouses.

The support of a divorce lawyer in Dubai is not only suggested but quite necessary if you want to avoid complex situations, due to different legislation. One of our Dubai lawyers can offer the needed legal advice and support for couples interested in filing for divorce in Dubai.

Please contact our law firm in Dubai for more information about marriage or divorce in the UAE.