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November 10, 2016
Question: I am an Asian woman who lives outside the UAE, but my husband is there. He is unemployed and facing financial difficulties. He has told me that he will marry another woman on the pretext that she will solve all his financial difficulties. I do not believe him. I have a child with him and I'm worried about our future. What options do I have?
Answer: You have the right to claim a divorce from your husband based on the ground that he has not been supporting you and your child financially, under Article 124 of Federal Law No.28 of 2005, the Personal Status Law. Also, if he marries this woman he would be giving you another reason to claim divorce from him. You would have the right to claim from him compensation, or Nafakkit Muttaa, per Article 140 of the same law, as well as other financial rights such as any unpaid dowry, waiting period (Iddat) expenses, unpaid financial support backdated to 36 months, and so on. In addition to the above, if your child is still under custody age (normally until 11 for boys and 13 for girls) you would be entitled to keep custody of the child and he would need to provide financial support for their upbringing. Even if your husband does not have any money the court, in most cases, would enforce him to pay the minimum amount. It is important to note that you would need to be physically in the UAE to file your case in the family guidance section. Your lawyer can complete the remaining processes when the case is referred to court.
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.