family law


July 13, 2017



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Question: My husband and I have been living in the UAE for two years and we're both from Asia. He wants to divorce me but I have no intention of consenting to it as I am pregnant. Is he able to do that? What rights do I have under UAE law?

Answer: Your husband will be able to divorce you without your consent. The Iddat, or waiting period, which is a time frame applied in all cases in the family court and is usually three months, is not three months on this occasion but ends with the delivery of the baby. However, you have the right to claim financial support for the child. Many factors could be taken into consideration when calculating the monthly alimony for the child, such as your husband's income and the child's needs. As he is divorcing you without your consent, you also have the right to get compensation from him, called 'Nafakit Motta' in the family court.

Question: I'm a Muslim from Asia who married my wife two months ago through Dubai Courts. However, I want to divorce her but I heard that I have to pay monthly expense to her for 15 months, and my wife's family are asking me to return the gifts they gave to me and my family. Please let me know how many months' compensation I am required to pay and whether I have to return the gifts or not.

Answer: Your wife would be entitled to take three months' financial support and as she is not requesting the divorce you have to give her compensation equivalent to her expenses for 12 months and dowry as detailed in the marriage contract. Gifts do not have to be returned after a divorce without the consent of the receiver, so your wife's family cannot legally take the gifts back without your consent. The same goes if you have given gifts to your wife or her family.

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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