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There are many expatriates in the United Arab Emirates where many of them are married and enjoying a happy married life here. Unfortunately, some of them want to part with their partner and want to file a divorce case. A divorce is a final step when facing failure or abuse in married life. But many expats remain unaware and they often wonder about the proceedings and what law is applicable to their divorce, Sharia law or federal law, or the law of the country they were married to? This blog post mainly aims at clearing your wide range of doubts.

When it comes to what laws and regulations will govern the divorce of the expats in UAE, they hold the choice.

Expats in case if married from outside and are currently residing in UAE, they have a choice that they can choose the jurisdiction of the UAE, or can go to their home country. For choosing the jurisdiction in UAE, they have two choices to opt. If the couples are non-Muslims, they can file divorce under their own religious personal laws, by providing the court with a notarised, legalised version of their country’s laws, translated in the UAE by an approved translator as approved by the Ministry of Justice or they may even choose the UAE’s civil procedures. In the case of Muslim expats, Sharia law is applicable.

Well, the law applicable to divorces concluded in Dubai, is the UAE federal law, regardless of whether or not the couple or either party is citizens or non citizens of the UAE. It is possible for a non-citizen who is also non-Muslim to ask the law of his domicile or the law of the state where the marriage was concluded to be applied. (Article 1 of Degree 28 of 2005 on Personal Status)

The understandings and the principles of Islamic doctrines shall be consulted and the law may not contradict with the Islamic teachings. (Article 2 of Degree 28 of 2005 on Personal Status)

Marriage Annulment in UAE

UAE Courts have jurisdiction to hear a divorce petition if both Parties have domicile , residence or have a place of business in the UAE; or if the Plaintiff/Petitioner is domiciled, residence, or a place of business in the UAE and the respondent had the same, but is currently living abroad. (Article 6 and 7 of Degree 28 of 2005 on Personal Status).

The substantive law of divorce is the law of the country where the couple got married. The grounds of divorce are found from the law of the country of the marriage.

Source of Law:

  • Rule 279 of the Cassation Court
  • The UAE Federal Law No 28 of 1985 on Personal Status
  • Civil Procedure Law Degree No 5 of 1985 as amended.
  • Law of Evidence in Civil and Commercial Transactions Degree No 10 of 1992.

FAQ about divorce in UAE | Best divorce lawyer in UAE

1- How to file for divorce in UAE?

The first step is for either party to register the case with the Family Guidance Section of the appropriate judicial department in one of the emirates. A conciliator appointed by the court will attempt to reconcile the divorced parties. In the UAE, the conciliatory procedure is a required part of the divorce process.

2- What happens in an Islamic divorce case?

The specifics of the divorce case are left to the judge’s discretion once it is in court, and each side is required to provide evidence in support of their own claims against the other party as well as in defense of themselves. Sharia law governs arranged marriages in Islam.

3- How long does it take to get a divorce in UAE?

Due to the complexity of the situation, you might need to wait between three and six months to obtain a divorce in the UAE.

Khairallah Advocates & Legal Consultants delicately handle all kinds of family and personal law services in UAE. Please contact us for family issues such as Divorce, Alimony, Child Care, Marriage Contract etc.