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October 20, 2016
Question: I am an Asian woman married to a Muslim man and who lives in our home country. He has been living in the UAE for past three years and now has a girlfriend and wants to divorce me. What can I do?
Answer: If he has filed for divorce from you, you have the right to claim compensation, Nafakkit Muttaa, from him, as per Article 140 of Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, the Personal Status Law. It is also worth mentioning that you have the right to file a criminal case against him for adultery, as per Article 356 of UAE Federal Law No?3 of 1987, the Penal Code, if you have proof that he has been having a physical relationship with another woman inside the UAE. However, you should note that if your husband and girlfriend are found guilty both of them will have to be deported, according to Article 121 of the Penal Code. If they are found guilty, the judge has the discretion to set the jail sentence but does not have the power to remove the deportation order.
Question: I am a divorced Muslim man whose ex-wife has the custody of our 3-and-a-half-year-old child and has done so for more than 2 years. Do I have to pay her financial support including utility bills and property rent charges? Does she have the right to claim such expenses or am I only obliged to pay the child's expenses for food, clothing and school fees?
Answer: As per Articles 63, 78 and 148 of UAE Federal Law No. 28 of 2005, Personal Status Law, a child's expenses incorporate food, clothing, education expenses, electricity and water expenses and rental amounts. Therefore, it is your obligation to pay the electricity and rent charges as a means of child support mandated by UAE 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.