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family law


November 17, 2016

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What Can I Do about My Husband Living with Another Woman While I'm Abroad?

Question: I am an Asian woman living in my home country but my husband is an expatriate in the UAE. I have just found out that he has been living with another woman for several months. Is there something that I can do about it? Can they be called in by UAE authorities for questioning?

Answer: You have the right to file a criminal case against him for the offence of adultery, as per Article 356 of UAE Federal Law No 3 of 1987, the Penal Code, but only if you have proof that he has been having a physical relationship with another woman inside the UAE. If you are planning to proceed with criminal charges against your husband and his girlfriend you should provide any kind of evidence you have, including witnesses, photos, videos, emails/messages exchanged or a letter of admission. In general, the criminal court has full discretionary powers to evaluate and determine whether or not your husband committed adultery based on the subjective evidence you produce. However, you should note that, as per Article 121 of the Penal Code, if found guilty both of them will be deported. It is also important to note that the judge has discretionary powers to reduce jail sentence if they are found guilty but does not have power to remove deportation.

Question: I am a European woman who lives in the UAE and my fiancee is a divorcee. As was decided in court, his kids from the former marriage live with his ex-wife in Dubai and he pays Dh13,000 a month to cover all expenses and maintenance for the children, a girl aged 12 and a boy aged 10, and the ex-wife. Could you please advise us if he has a right to file a case demanding custody?

Answer: Your fiancee has a right to file a custody case in Dubai. However, he has to wait until the daughter turns 13 and boy turns 11 to file the case, as it is at these ages boys and girls are no longer obliged to be in the custody of the mother.

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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