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September 08, 2016
Question: I am an Asian Muslim woman married to an Asian Muslim man. He divorced me via text and has completely abandoned me in the UAE. I have not been able to contact him for a long time. Do I need to file for a Khula to legally separate from him or do I have the right to file for a divorce? If so, what kind of case can I file against him?
Answer: Having considered your case, you do not need to file for a Khula to get legal separation from your husband. You will need to file a case in the family court to request the judge to prove divorce. Such a case will be made in accordance with Article 106 of UAE Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, the Personal Status Law. If, for any reason, you were not able to prove that your husband divorced you, you will still have the right to file a case requesting the judge to grant you a divorce on the basis of Hajir, or abandonment, provided you furnish the judge with witnesses to prove this. In addition, you will also have the right to claim divorce on the basis of "harm" as envisaged under Article 117 of the Personal Status Law, or based on the fact that your husband did not support you financially after leaving you, as per Article 124 of the same law. If your husband has abandoned you for a period exceeding one year, you would have the right to claim for divorce on the basis of Article 129 of the Personal Status Law.
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.