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April 12, 2022|
Expatriates have enjoyed living in the UAE for many years but often do not understand the application of the UAE laws on them. In this series, we are covering the laws applicable to family matters in the UAE which have implications for expatriates.
In Part I of the series, we discussed the overall personal status laws applicable in the UAE, the court’s jurisdiction over foreign residents in the UAE and the types of divorces recognized in the UAE. In this Part II of the ongoing series, we will understand the application of foreign law in personal law matters in the UAE and the types of claims usually seen in divorce matters.
Application of Foreign Law
Expatriates may want to apply foreign law in the UAE for their personal matters. The application of foreign laws is subject to two main rules:
In case the divorce has been granted, a wife is entitled to claim certain financial rights. These rights are given following the UAE laws. Some of these rights could be as follows.
A wife has a right to claim maintenance support from the husband, subject to the financial ability of the husband. However, a husband cannot claim maintenance.
The right to claim child support from the father is established under Article 78 of the UAE Personal Status Law. Both Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have their guidelines on the amount to be given as child support, which depends on the number of kids and the husband’s financial ability.
Custodian salary is the salary given to the wife for taking care of the children and is one of the amounts which is provided to the wife as part of alimony.
The husband could file a financial claim on the joint assets if he is the sole contributor to such assets.
We have discussed the issues relating to the divorce including the claims applicable.
But in whose custody do the children fall? What are the protections against the relocation and kidnapping of children? We will explore this and more in the next Part of this series.
The introduction of a new personal status law for the non-Muslims effective February 2023, the Federal Decree-Law No. 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status, brings with itself numerous changes in terms of marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance etc. Following the issuance of the Abu Dhabi Personal Status Law for non-Muslim Foreigners in 2021, the federal government came out with a Personal Status Law that would apply to the entire non-Muslim population of the UAE, whether citizens or expatriates.
This New Federal Law has introduced changes in personal status matters for non-Muslims in matters related to family guidance mediation, rights between the parties concerning testimony, inheritance, divorce, calculation of time-based on the Gregorian calendar, and joint custody of children. The New Federal Law has introduced civil marriage at a federal level and provided equal rights to parties in requesting the divorce. The New Federal Law covers matters related to alimony, custody, inheritance, and parentage and shall 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. To know more information about this law, please feel free to click this link.
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