family law


April 22, 2018



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Can my husband dodge financial support payments?

Question: I am an Asian expatriate and have signed a contract with my husband saying he has to give me the custody of my children and provide us with Dh7,000 a month in financial support. He paid for two years and then he stopped sending me money. When I confronted him he said he will raise an objection to the court. Later, when I filed an execution to enforce the agreement, he raised an objection called "Ishqaal". One of my friends told me "Ishqaal" will stop my proceeding till it is decided. Is this true? What can I do to protect myself? Can he keep prolonging my case and not pay me any money?

Answer: It is very unfortunate that your husband is trying to escape from his legal commitment. In any other cases, filing "Ishqaal" in the execution may suspend the proceeding till the "Ishqaal" is decided. However, the law - Article No. 11 of the UAE Personal Status Law No. 28 of 2005 - is very specific for cases such as yours where an agreement has been signed between both parties. The law indicates that "Ishqaal" against the alimony and custody settlement shall not suspend or freeze the proceeding, which means that even if your husband did "Ishqaal" he would still be obliged to pay you.

Question: I am a European expatriate based in Dubai and married to Asian woman. She filed a divorce case against me claiming that she has been insulted by me. However, neither she nor the witness could say what are insulting words I used were. The main argument of mine and my legal defence was to ask what the exact insulting words were since she may have considered them personally insulting but they technically were not. However, the court adopted her point of view and gave her the divorce. Do I have the right to appeal this judgment? And on which grounds?

Answer: Although your case is not precisely clarified in the UAE Personal Status Law, it has happened before in other cases like in a case No. 26/2002 in Supreme Court of Dubai. In that case the Supreme Court indicated that the First Instance Court had to indicate precisely what are the defamation words were to enable the Supreme Court to review them and confirm whether or not they are defamatory. So you may depend on this in your next appeal.

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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My Ex husband has refused to pay for alimony and went further to file a new case .I got custudy of our 2 children and he was aske to pay alimony of 1000 for both children as well as tuition fee. He has not performed any financial obligation towards them in the last 12months. .
Esther Ajuma
In furtherance to your query, kindly be informed that in order to receive maintenance expenses from the ex-husband, as ordered by the Family court, you are supposed to register an application with the Execution court by submitting the judgment so issued in the matter.

Please feel free to contact us if you prefer to have a meeting with one of our lawyers for a more detailed discussion on the matter.   Dr. Hassan Elhais

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