family law


July 07, 2019



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My child's father lives in the UAE - but I don't. Can I get support?

Question: The father of my child lives in the UAE. Can I claim child support from him if I do not live in the Emirates?

Answer: If your marriage is or was valid under UAE law and your husband is a resident of the Emirates, you can visit the UAE and file a case against your husband to claim maintenance support from him - as per Article 5 of the UAE Personal Status Law.

The maintenance claim includes child support and can be filed regardless of a divorce case, which means you can seek maintenance support from your husband without filing for divorce.

Question: My husband wants to get divorced but I think his reasons are silly and would like to work on our marriage instead. Can I save my marriage through the Family Guidance department?

Answer: The Family Guidance Department in the Personal Status Court is tasked with the responsibility to amicably resolve family disputes. The Department is equipped with learned family matters experts and they may be able to resolve the issues between you and your husband amicably. If the parties are unable to settle their issues, the Department refers them to the court.

Question: Is it mandatory to attend counselling before I apply for Khula from my husband?

Answer: Khula is a type of divorce initiated by the wife that requires her to return the Mahr, a mandatory payment or gift, her husband gave her before their marriage.

Mahr can be claimed if the husband has not made a mistake in the marriage - such as committed adultery. The wife may have to pay him back for the gift along with compensation, as decided by the court.

If physical violence, verbal abuse or adultery are the reasons behind the divorce, then Khula is not the best choice. It would be recommended that you instead apply for divorce because of the harm you suffered in the marriage. Khula tends to be a better choice if the reason behind the divorce is that the couple simply do not love each other any more and no longer wish to be married. To register any family matter before the Personal Status Courts, it must first be presented to the Family Guidance Department. The Family Guidance Department is located within the premises of the Personal Status Courts. The Department aims to address family disputes amicably. As a result, you will need to attend the Department physically before getting a Khula and will likely have to attend counselling.

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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