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family law


August 25, 2016

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Do I Have to Divorce to Claim My Husband's Unpaid Dowry?

Question: I am a married Muslim expatriate. At the time of my marriage, my husband and I had agreed on the amount of dowry that had to be paid at the time of signing the contract. But he has still not paid it. Can I claim it now separately, or can it be claimed only through a divorce?

Answer: If your husband had agreed with you that the dowry was to be paid at the time of signing the contract, you have the right to claim such amount at any time as per Article 53 of Federal Law No 28 of 2005, referred to as the Personal Status Law. You do not need to file for divorce to make such a claim.

Question: I am a Muslim expatriate living in the UAE. I want to get married to my fiance in the UAE. However, I just found out that I need to get an approval from my father to get married. My father does not live here and he cannot travel. Is there any other way for me to get married here?

Answer: As per Article 37 of Federal Law No 28 of 2005, your father can execute a power of attorney from outside the UAE in favour of another man residing in the UAE. This power of attorney would need to be legalised for it to be valid in the UAE. He will need to execute it in front of a notary public and have it attested by the country's foreign affairs ministry or equivalent, and the UAE Embassy in the country in which he makes the power of attorney. Once this step is completed, he may send it to the UAE for the final step of the legalisation process to be completed in front of the competent authorities in UAE. This can be done by you or any third party. The legalised power of attorney can then be used by your father's attorney to give the approval to conduct your marriage in the UAE.

The above information might not apply if both parties are non-muslim. Starting from the 1st of February 2023, UAE issued specific family law to be applied between non-muslim expatriate residents in case none of them wanted to apply his/her home country's law in the UAE. To know more information about this law, please feel free to click this link.

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