Marriage and divorce in the UAE fall under the governance of two laws: Federal Law No. 5 of 1985, also known as the Civil Law and the more recent Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, also known as the Personal Status Law. The last one is based on the Sharia laws.
Unlike the other Emirates, Dubai has its own court system comprised of:
- – civil courts,
- – criminal courts,
- – Sharia courts.
Marriage dissolution is handled by Sharia and civil courts in Dubai.
Marriage dissolution proceedings for expats living in Dubai
Foreign couples living in Dubai can file for divorce in their home country or in the UAE, no matter their religion. In order to simplify proceedings, the legislation also allows non-Muslims to file for marriage dissolution with a Dubai court which will try the case in accordance with the couple’s home country legislation. However, in the case of child support, division of assets and alimony the legal proceedings could encounter difficulties if the foreign civil laws do not coincide with the Dubai legislation. In this cases, legal advice from Dubai law firm is advisable.
Marriage dissolution of Muslim couples in Dubai
Divorce among Muslim citizens can be filed according to the Sharia laws and will be tried by these courts. Also, marriage dissolution under the Sharia laws is possible only under certain circumstances or for certain reasons. Among these reasons are:
- – physical abuse,
- – failure to offer family support,
- – leaving the conjugal home,
- – mental incapacity,
- – any other forms of maltreatment.
Our Dubai attorneys can provide with more information about the Sharia laws on marriage dissolution.
The main steps for obtaining a divorce in Dubai
The first step towards divorce in Dubai is to file a petition with the Moral and Family Guidance Department. Following the petition, a counselor will attempt to reconcile parties. This is the equivalent of mediation in Western countries. In case the spouses want to continue with the divorce proceedings, the case will be forwarded to the Personal Status Court. The petition for divorce may be submitted within three months from the attempt of reconciliation.
If you need legal support in marriage dissolution cases, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers in Dubai.