Article 2 | July 2014 : Divorce Facts in UAE

Divorce Facts in UAE

by Al Mubasheri  |  July 2014

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Throughout the decade, a significant rise on divorce cases has been apparent for UAE making it one of the largest Arab economies to have the highest divorce rate among the GCC Nations. Most recent statistics obtained was from 2012 exhibiting 25.6% rise in total incidence in the country. There is also a noticeable ascend in the number of divorce among expatriates from 2009-2011.

Divorce in Dubai, UAE is an acceptable act among Muslims which follows rulings under the Shari’a law. However, substantial evidence should be presented that would ascertain that the marriage is no longer working out. Within the process, the husband and wife undergoes counseling in order to assess if there is still a probability for reconciliation. If at first try no resolution has been achieved, the judge will appoint arbiters who will investigate further and resolve the conflict for no more than 90 days.  If both parties persist on the former, the case will be endorsed to the courts and approval of the separation shall be sought from the judge.

There are plenty of reasons for marriage dissolution and failure to meet conjugal needs is one primary motive. This may imply failure to fulfill financial, sexual or familial responsibility that a wife or a husband is obligated to provide. While multiple marriage is allowed for Muslims, it is however paramount that the man has the capability to provide for his families equally. Not being able to provide may dissatisfy the wife and may be grounds for divorce. On the other hand, if a woman fails to satisfy the husband on various facets, the similar circumstance may ensue. Some reasons may also be infidelity, misunderstandings and poor communication, violence and abuse, irreconcilable differences among others.

Getting divorced also entails the issue on child custody. According to Article 156 of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 (UAE Personal Status Law) states that child custody after divorce shall be awarded to the mother until 11 years of age for a boy and 13 years of age for a girl. After such, the father will take over custody upon application. However, it is also stated that the situation may vary if the court deem that a different condition is best for the child. Financial support and maintenance shall be provided by the father regardless of the mother’s financial capacity. It is also pointed out that the court has the power to enhance child maintenance orders. Under the law, it is the father who owns the financial responsibility to his child and necessities may not be forcefully claimed from the mother.

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