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My husband became romantically involved with another woman while out of the country (in Thailand) starting in March of 2016. Since then, he has visited her many times, stayed overnight at her apartment, sent her flowers, etc. When I left our home because of this he:
1) brought her to our home overnight and;
2) took my name off of our Etihad Airways family miles plan and replaced her as his spouse. (I have proof of all of this, plus an audio recording of his admitting to having her stay in our home overnight.)
My husband and I are American Christians. I am still a legal resident of the UAE and, even though my husband now wants a divorce, we have not yet filed paperwork.
Do I have any options to pursue legal action against my Husband for adultery?
The punishment for adultery in the UAE is between one and three years imprisonment and deportation. However, a judge has the discretionary power to suspend the jail sentence altogether or reduce it significantly.
If you are planning to proceed with criminal charges against your husband and his girlfriend you will need to furnish evidence to support your allegation. Accepted evidence includes witnesses, photos, videos, emails/messages exchanged or a letter of admission from your husband to you. In general, the criminal court would have full discretionary powers to evaluate and determine whether or not your husband committed adultery based on the subjective evidence you submit.
It needs to be noted that in order to proceed with criminal charges, the evidences submitted or investigated will need to establish that your husband had a physical relationship with another woman in UAE. Proof that he had a love affair will be sufficient in the family court to get favourable verdicts in divorce and custody cases. However, in a criminal court, an allegation of adultery would need to be substantiated with proof that a physical relationship existed outside wedlock.
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 expat 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