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November 17, 2013|
Briefly summarize the non-court-based processes available in your jurisdiction and the current status of agreements reached under the auspices of mediation, collaborative law and arbitration.
Concerning family law principles laid down under the Federal Law No. 28 of 2005 on Personal Status, the only use of mediation is through the Family Guidance Committee; the commencement of most family cases must be referred to here.
The Committee is made up of several counsellors with mediation/counselling training. They are not legally trained. Their job is to assist the parties to either reconcile or amicably resolve the issue(s) in dispute. Notice is given to the parties to attend the meeting, and the counsellor can ask for several meetings to give the parties time to seek legal advice or reconsider any proposed settlement.
Any agreement reached within the Family Guidance Committee meetings can be drafted in documentary form, and signed by both parties before a judge. The resulting judgment is legally binding on the parties and can be enforced as required through the courts.
In the event that one party refuses to attend the Family Guidance Committee or the counsellor determines that an agreement cannot be reached, a ‘no objection letter’ is issued to enable the parties to progress court proceedings.
On the other hand, those governed by the Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status are exempted from being referred to the Family Guidance Committee, under Article 3. Family disputes can directly be referred to the courts and the parties need not go through the mediation process.
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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