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I have filed a divorce case and I want to check if in case of absence of my husband will that effect the judgment?
We understand that you have registered a divorce case and you are concerned whether the absence of your husband will affect the outcome of your case. Since we do not know whether or not your husband is a resident in the UAE, we will attend to your questions in the following two parts:
Considering your husband is a resident of the UAE
Article 5 of the Federal Law No. (28) of 2005 (The Personal Status Law) provides,
The State courts shall have jurisdiction on Personal Status litigations in which citizens, or aliens, having a domicile or residence or place of business in the State, are defendants
Accordingly, if the husband does not attend the hearing although it can be established that he is a residence of the UAE and thus the courts of the UAE have jurisdiction on him, you may get an ex-parte judgement against your husband from the UAE courts.
Considering your husband is not a resident of the UAE
Article 6.5 of the Personal Status Law provides,
The State courts shall have jurisdiction on Personal Status lawsuits raised against an alien who has not, in the State, a domicile or residence or place of business, in the following instances:
Should the lawsuit concern a matter of Personal Status and the plaintiff is a citizen, or an alien having in the State a domicile, residence or place of business, in case the defendant has no known domicile or residence in a foreign country or if the national law is, in the State, the governing law.
Further, Article 21.6 of Federal Law No. (11) of 1992 (The Civil Procedure Code) provides,
The courts shall have jurisdiction to examine the actions against the foreigner who has no residence or domicile in the state in the following cases:
If the action is concerned with the civil status and the plaintiff is a citizen or a foreigner who has residence in the state, provided that the defendant had not a determined residence abroad or the national law is imperatively applicable on the action.
As per Article 6.5 of the Personal Status Law and Article 21.6 of the Civil Procedure Code, the divorce case against your husband may be maintained by the court, if you do not know your husband’s location.
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