family law


August 24, 2017



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Both husband and I have filed for divorce - but in different countries

Question: My husband and I are both Asians living in the UAE. We've had some problems and I filed for divorce in our home country but I've found out that he is trying to file for divorce in the UAE. Can he do that when a case is already under way?

Question: My husband and I are both Asians living in the UAE. We've had some problems and I filed for divorce in our home country but I've found out that he is trying to file for divorce in the UAE. Can he do that when a case is already under way?

Answer: This is a matter that will come down to the discretion of the court. There have been many occasions when a case that is being tried in a foreign jurisdiction still processes through the UAE system as the court insisted on seeing a final judgment in the other case before throwing out such proceedings. However, there is a legal article that has been used successfully on occasion, article 102 of the Civil Procedures Law, to suspend proceedings when a party is able to categorically show the UAE court that the exact case was registered first in a foreign jurisdiction. However, what happens in this case will come down to what the individual court decides to do.

Question: My son divorced his wife a while ago and he now wants to get remarried but we would like to know if he can get married without the need for divorce papers because he has not received them yet?

Answer: The answer to this depends on whether your son is Muslim or not. If he is, he does not need the papers to have come through but he may have to wait for the three-month Iddat, or waiting, period to have elapsed if he is seeking to divorce his fourth wife or if he is intending to marry his ex-wife's sister. If he is not Muslim, no restrictions exist.

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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