family law

|

October 10, 2013

|

6855 views


| Your comment matters, please click here to rate article!



Muslim couples (Emirati and expatriate) enter into a marriage contract (Nikah') if they conduct an Islamic marriage in a Muslim jurisdiction or elsewhere.

To what extent are pre and post nups binding within the jurisdiction?

Within the marriage contract is a section which allows for a dowry ('Mahr') to be specified. Mahr is a sum of money or property, which the wife is entitled to receive from her husband in consideration of their marriage and is meant to offer financial security to the wife. There are two types of Mahr provided in the UAE Personal Status Law, namely: Prompt Dowry (Mokadam) and Deferred Dowry (Moajal). Whereas Prompt Dowry is payable immediately upon the marriage, Deferred Dowry is payable upon the dissolution of a marriage, either by divorce or death. The dowry must be present in the contract to ensure its legal validity. The marriage contract has been compared to a pre-nuptial agreement because of the dowry, but it is far from this. There are restrictions as to what can be included within the marriage contract, those that are contrary to public order or Islamic Shari'a will not be included.

Some wives may use the Dowry term to give them a bargaining position and agree to receive a lesser dowry on alternative terms to their benefit. The marriage contract is negotiated and agreed upon by the husband and the wife's father or another male guardian, often with the benefit of legal advice (although this is not required).

If a Muslim couple wishes to rely on a pre-nuptial agreement validly drafted in another jurisdiction, likely, the UAE courts would not choose to enforce the terms, especially about children. This is because under Sharia law a couple could not enter into an agreement concerning children that have not yet been born.

The contract will be void or voidable if any term in the agreement conflicts with Islamic Shari'a, public order or morals in the UAE (Article 27 Civil Transactions Law). Public order is defined in Article 3 of Civil Transactions Law as 'matters relating to personal status'. This means that any terms in the contract that are against or conflicting with UAE morals would be void. 

Notwithstanding, if you would like to be sure that the terms of the pre-nuptial agreement are contracted between the parties in such a way that its enforcement is assured, then you may reproduce the terms of the prenuptial agreement in the post-nuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement can be signed even one day after the marriage.

Update:

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. Prenuptial agreements may be taken into consideration, according to Federal Law 41 of 2022 on Civil Personal Status. Article 9 of this law reads, "in the absence of an agreement on the conditions or controls of such alimony or other financial claims in the marriage contract." Although, due to the laws' recentness, there haven't been any test cases on this topic. Prenuptial agreements should theoretically be enforceable under Abu Dhabi Law No. 14/2021 on Civil Marriage and its Effects in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi by the Abu Dhabi civil family courts, albeit we have yet to see how. To know more information about this law, please feel free to click this link.

Related Links


Copyright © of this article is retained by the author and/or other copyright owners. We explicitly grant you permission to download a copy, without any alteration, of this article for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or any charge. This article can be utilized on your website or for marketing, however, we grant you permission to host this article on your website and no other rights. This content should not be altered in any way or sold commercially in any format without prior permission of the copyright holder. During reference of this article, full biographic details entailing the name of the author, his designation, the institute and the publishing date of the article shall be provided.

Disclaimer: There have been recent changes/amendments in the provisions of the UAE Family Law covered in the content on this website. The views and opinions in the articles are contemporaneous with the time of its publication only and do not necessarily address any matters after the recent amendments of the law or supreme court decisions issued after the date of this publication. The content of this website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments. Such content is designed only to give general information on the developments actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of recent developments in the law, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice or render a legal opinion. Since the law is constantly changing and since the law will vary based on different facts and circumstances, statements on this website regarding the status of a given law or legal issue may not be current or applicable to your particular situation. You should not take any action based on the information in this website. Each legal issue depends on its individual facts and different matters have different laws and regulations. We may make changes to the features, functionality or content of the website at any time.


Comments

No comments found.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to know more?
Then talk to us.


Client Testimonials

I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.

Raphael Lauria
Manager, FME General Trading

Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.

Zhuo Liu
Client

...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...

H.H. Sheikh Saeed Bin
Mohammed Hashir Al Maktoum

I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.

Luis Pozueco
Client

Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.

Bassam Yamout
Director, JM Metal Trading LCC

He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.

Philippe Delbecq
Client

Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.

British Client

Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.

Asma Mattar
Manager, Italian Style

Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.

Dr. Massimo Hakim
Chairman, Italian Style

I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.

Manish Gupta
Marketing Manager, Express Digital System

Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.

James Horsley
British Client

Select your Language:

     

Main Menu

whatsapp